Perfumed words

Oltrarno, Florence

Perfumed words

Forget following your nose – perfume pro Caitlin Swanson and calligraphy artist Betty Soldi will be your guides through this fragrant tour. 

Florentine history has never smelled this sweet: walk in the perfumed footsteps of the Renaissance masters on this olfactory tour. You’ll visit an incense-scented church, scout for your new favourite perfume and end the experience with a calligraphy workshop so you’ll be able to pen your own perfumed missives like Medici herself. 

To Book

call smith24 1 800 464 2040

Contact us

From €500 for 2 people

Caitlin Swanson and Betty Soldi

Your insider

Caitlin Swanson and Betty Soldi

Perfume evaluator and graphic designer, respectively

Independent perfume evaluator Caitlin Swanson knows her way around every step of the perfume-making process, from scent creation to sales. Co-founder of Renaissance-inspired brand Aquaflor Firenze, Caitlin is passionate about the artisanal roots of perfumery. Accomplished calligrapher and graphic designer Betty Soldi has worked with some of the worlds’ leading retail brands and luxury labels. Florence-born Betty’s unique style merges modern design and colours with old type and antique touches; she’s also the author of a calligraphy book and runs her own creative studio.

Renaissance history, pretty glass bottles of perfume and curlicued notes – only in Florence, friends.

3 hours
Start Time
Tours run between the hours of 10:00 and 13:00
Call our travel specialists 24/7 on 1 800 464 2040 or contact us to find availability
Where you'll go
This uniquely Florentine experience is redolent with history. You’ll start at a Gothic-Renaissance church in the heart of Florence and follow insider Caitlin Swanson through the history of Florentine perfume to frescoed cloisters, historic perfume shops that were favourites of the powerful Medicis, a bloom-filled rose garden near the famous Boboli Gardens and finally to Betty Soldi’s private calligraphy studio. Your olfactory journey will take you from incense to flowers, perfume to plumed pens.
What you'll do
You’ll learn all about the history of fragrance in Florence and the legacy of the Medici family. Decipher the symbolism behind the church’s flower- and fruit-filled artwork and learn about the history of botanical cultivation in the cloisters. Caitlin will guide you through the scents in the historic Farmacia Santa Maria Novella – helping you to hone in on your personal preferences – then lead you across the Arno to the city’s ‘Left Bank’ Oltrarno neighbourhood, where Betty will lead a hands-on calligraphy how-to session and highlight the history of perfumed words.
Experience location
You’ll be meeting Caitlin Swanson at near Basilica Santa Maria Novella; Betty Soldi will make her appearance later in your tour. We’ll send you the details of your meeting location in your confirmation.