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Intense and lingering with floral or fruity notes – these are the traits of perfumes that the top brands have chosen to warm up your winter. The perfumes come in different versions in accord with each person’s personality, from scents designed for passionate, magnetic women to those made for strong-willed, sophisticated women. And then there are the men’s fragrances. Leather and spice for sensual, provocative men; hints of fruit for sophisticated, elegant men.

This year our noses are being tempted once again with stylish advertising campaigns. But, few people know how the essences we find in our perfume shops are created.

The nuances we sniff are made by combining different elements. Perfumers choose from over 3,000 scents, some natural in origin and others from synthetic materials.

Different production methods are adopted depending on what kind of raw material is used to make an essence. For instance, cold expression is a technique used for extracting essences from citrus fruit. The processes for making them are as complex as they are fascinating.

If you want to delve into the past and come under the spell of all kinds of aromas, come discover the art of perfume at the Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella in Florence, founded in 1612. It’s a store and museum in one where you can visit the historic pharmacy or buy one of the products made to this day, in a perfect fusion of the lessons of the past and the demands of the present.