After spending a morning with clients at our by appointment office in London, one having flown from Frankfurt to have his final fitting, (very flattered) I went across to Piccadilly to meet with one of my favourite shops, Santa Maria Novella at the top of Piccadilly Arcade.

I’ve been shopping there since being introduced by a friend from New York some 20 years ago.

Their range of colognes and soaps are exquisite, and the room fragrances and pot pourri are wonderful, which I have used to fragrance Rhodes-Wood , giving the shop it’s unique and often commented on smell.

I was also very attracted by their moth repellent spray and didn’t expect to inhale for the second time, but it was very good….not what one expects from such a ‘glamorous ‘ product.

Soaps and shaving requisites, bath salts and mint water ( a lovely refresher to the skin ) were chosen and of course I was guided by Bran who has looked after me for so long.

Interestingly my two favourite colognes from S.M.Novella are two of the most difficult to sell, but I will rise to the challenge.

The problem with many colognes is , people expect them to smell great straight away, which is reasonable enough, but my two favourites and the ones people have leant in close for a quick inhale, need an hour or two to settle and develop on the skin, before imparting a rich understated but sophisticated aroma…..initially think of old churches, old leather the smell of a classic car and a hint of diesel….and it’s no wonder it’s a slower seller, but trust me …allow it to develop on the skin and grow into a heady, rich smell that people express the odd “mmmm” you smell lovely !

I also like to blend two or three together and whilst I’m by no means an expert, I’ve been wearing SMN 20 plus years and will be able to guide you.

Of course the best sellers and most popular were chosen along with a unisex fragrance in soaps and cologne.

Their shop in Florence in a former monastery is breathtaking and should be visited when there.

The pharmacy is the oldest in the world and the artisan traditional products have been a favourite of mine for two decades.
I am delighted to be bringing some of the products of S M Novella to Rhodes-Wood and indeed to Yorkshire.

We will announce its arrival soon and I’m looking forward to the mix of products that will add firstly a wonderful aroma to R-W and an exclusive selection of products not readily available outside London and of course Florence.