The lowdown: Mama always said, “Like a fine wine, life gets better with age,” and such is the case with Santa Maria Novella. Seeing as the Florence, Italy-based apothecary has been around for almost 800 years, it’s the world’s oldest and most esteemed pharmacy on the globe.
The new Bal Harbour Shops door marks the company’s fourth freestanding boutique in the U.S. with sister stores in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas. Luxury Articles & Fragrance Company founder Jon Bresler says, “Along with my dream of offering this historic and authentic Italian apothecary line to Santa Maria Novella devotees here in the U.S., was the dream of those stores being in the best shopping venues that the U.S. has to offer.”
The ‘hood: Bal Harbour Shops, of course. With neighbors like Gucci, Hermès, Louis Vuitton and Jimmy Choo — a saunter through Bal harbour Shops is similar to walking through the glossy pages of Vogue. The 500,000 square foot al fresco shopping destination is unlike any mall in the U.S. with its uber luxe mix of retailers, koi ponds, palm tree covered parking and well-heeled clientele. The addition of Santa Maria Novella will be the Shops’ first apothecary/perfumery.
The ambience: “We’ve created a glimmering contemporary Italian apothecary with touches of Old World glamour,” says LAFCO creative director Vincent LaRouche. The 300 square foot “jewel box” boutique boasts mosaic stone flooring, custom-made Italian oak shelving, antiques and brass fixtures. Magnifico!
Highlights: Bestsellers include Santa Maria Novella almond soap ($16), hand cream ($50), aloe vera gel ($35), calendula cream ($52) and women’s body milk ($72).
The owner says: “Expect a warm and sophisticated atmosphere with a staff that gives great attention to service. Enjoy centuries old fragrances, scents for the home, beauty products, teas, honey and more,” Bresler says.