Florence comes to its senses with a new perfume museum

Lorenzo Villoresi, the famed Florentine perfume maestro, has opened a ‘museum of scent’ within his 15th century palazzo which also houses his atelier and an education centre complete with a secret garden. Over three floors, and across 1000 square metres, Museo Villoresi is divided by themes to create a ‘study of the senses’ in the heart of Florence.

Museo Villoresi takes visitors on a multi-sensory journey through the senses. Image by Museo Villoresi

Villoresi is renowned for his bespoke perfumes made in his laboratory nestled within his ancestral family home. Having launched his business in 1990, with Italian fashion giant Fendi being an inaugural client, he was awarded the prestigious international perfumery award, Prix Coty, in 2006. Now Lorenzo, with wife Ludovica Villoresi, has fulfilled a life-long dream opening a museum and academy on one of the Renaissance capital’s most noble and ancient streets.

The Osmorama room. Image by Museo Villoresi

The Osmorama room is a library of essences and aromatic materials preserved within a monitored air-conditioned system. Here, visitors can explore over 1000 scents via olfactory booths, an interactive map and original films to understand the complexity of perfume-making. In the Perfume Centre, courses, events and seminars unveil the ancient secrets, myths and legends of perfumery, with the library a research centre and showroom complete with a Conversation Salon to host talks.

The garden at the museum. Image by Museo Villoresi

The museum features aromatic gardens and botanical trails including a 200 square-metre internal garden and the Belvedere Terrace filled with over 80 different plants including citrus favourites bergamot, lemon and tangerine. Aimed at all ages and expertise, from the perfume professional to fragrance enthusiast, and family-friendly, Museo Villoresi takes visitors on a multi-sensory journey through the senses. Pre-booked guided visits run twice a day at 2.30pm and 4.30pm Monday to Saturday.