When I was recently introduced to the fragrant world of Antica Farmacista from my friend and fellow blogger Jane of Daly Beauty (aka: the Perfume Whisperer – her knowledge in this field is unequalled), it was love at first sight: then, I looked over this brand’s extensive catalog of room scents, bodycare & hand creams, scented candles, as well as nickel-plated accessories … and I basically melted. Beauty overload.
With their glamorous vintage look, unique scent combinations, and attention to detail – from the labelling/packaging to the actual products themselves – nothing has been overlooked: exquisite craftsmanship, luxurious indulgences, and pampering ideology being the backbone of this brand.
Founded in 2003 by Seattle-based best friends Susanne Pruitt and Shelley Callaghan, they were the first to bring home ambiance diffusers to the US (which now includes over 20 scents) and since then, Antica Farmacista products have made their way into several high-end retailers and luxury hotel markets.
As a beauty blogger, it’s always about the details for me, and surrounding myself with the intoxicating yet soothing fragrances of these products while I work, only adds to my inspiration. There’s something about a lit scented candle that keeps one centred and I cannot begin to describe the sensorial experience of walking into a room that’s been touched by the subtle kiss of one of Antica Farmacista’s home ambiance diffusers.
*Please note that my original product photos seem to have mysteriously disappeared from my computer and I had to retake them all; since I [stupidly] assumed all was fine, I began my testing of the home ambiance diffusers – which should explain the discrepancies shown in the product usage between the bottles.
Antica Farmacista | Home Ambiance Fragrances in Santorini and Vaniglia, Bourbon e Mandarino (tray, my own)
Vaniglia, Bourbon e Mandarino (US $26.00/100 ml includes white birch reeds) | Available in 3 sizes including the one shown here, along with US $66.00 for 250 ml and US $94.00 for 500 ml. From the brand:
‘A delightful twist on a Vanilla-based fragrance. The sweet richness of warm Vanilla is paired with Mandarin of Sicily, a crisp full-bodied citrus fragrance. Rounding out this warm blend is the spicy essence of Bourbon. These combined elements result in something very unexpected and wonderful’
Housed in retro apothecary-style bottles tied with a small satin ribbon at the neck and capped with a cork topper, each home ambiance diffuser comes with its own set of white birch reeds. Once inserted into the bottle, it is recommended to reverse the reeds every few days to refresh the scent. Vaniglia, Bourbon e Mandarino is a warm and sultry scent, made youthful and fresh with its touches of citrus — a perfect combination which prevents it from coming across as cloying. I can get a little obsessive about anything vanilla-scented, although I steer clear of those nauseating artificial fragrances, a far cry from the beautiful and subtly sophisticated blend of this elixir.
Santorini (US $26.00 includes white birch reeds) | Available in 3 sizes including the one shown here, along with US $66.00 for 250 ml and US $94.00 for 500 ml. From the brand:
‘A medley of crisp citrus and green notes artfully paired with exotic spice and natural wood essences. Top notes of vibrant italian bergamot sweet verbena and fresh vetyver are enhanced by the subtle sweetness of rosewood, warm sandalwood and aromatic cardamom’
When I’m not leaning towards orients and warm amber/vanilla aromas, the other fragrance groups I gravitate towards are crisp greens with woody tones; the addition of sandalwood and spicy cardamom adds a whole new level of beautiful to this scent. Then there the name – Santorini – which speaks to the Greek in me (and which also happens to be an island that’s situated across from the one I usually stay at when in Greece).
Lighter and more playful in tone than Vaniglia, Bourbon e Mandarino, Santorini has a mysterious & sensual side as well that that greets you with whisper-light touches, elevating this fragrance above anything traditionally green, and unlike any I’ve come across before.
Antica Farmacista | Scented Candle in Damascena Rose, Orris & Oud
Damascena Rose, Orris & Oud (US $44.00/9 oz) | Brand new from Antica Farmacista and introduced for Spring/Summer 2015, Damascena Rose, Orris & Oud is “an exotic fragrance encapsulating the delicacy and femininity of rose in its many forms“. Housed in a clear glass vessel with platinum leaf details and packaged in a pedestal presentation box (*this collection features exclusive custom packaging featuring rose gold foiling on pearlescent paper), each candle is created from a blend of premium soy and parafin waxes featuring all-natural and lead-free wicks for the cleanest burn, providing approximately 60 hours of scented illumination. From the brand:
‘An exquisite floral fragrance built on fresh Damascus Rose absolute, sensual Violet and rich Tuscan Orris root. Tart rhubarb and dewy apricot add a hint of lush fruit, while the warmth of rare Oud and Amber lend an exotic earthiness. A soft drydown of musk and cashmere result in an intoxicating warmth to this complex floral scent’
As someone who historically stays far away from florals, I am truly captivated by the fragrance of this candle; the combination of earthy Orris root with the hints of fresh fruit round out its floral notes to not only balance the predominant rose scent, but adds a silky modern touch, complex and traditionally accurate at the same time. And seriously, absolutely beautiful.
*As always, never leave a lit candle unattended and make sure to trim the wick after each use to ensure an even burn.
Antica Farmacista | Scented Candle in Damascena Rose, Orris & Oud
White birch reed diffusers and wooden matches
Our sense of scent is the most highly developed of them all, as well as tied in to so many of our memories; therefore it stands to reason that we need to have fragrance in our lives. I personally have had a love-hate relationship with many aromas, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized the importance and difference a scent can make in my own life: some inspire, some soothe, some invite, but no matter what, scent always sets a ‘mood’. Surrounding myself with fragrance in the home – such as with these intoxicating products from Antica Farmacista – completes the equation; setting free my creative juices when I want to work, or enveloping me with a beautiful touch when I simply just wish to relax. The fact that my home smells so amazing, is the icing on the cake.
Find more information by visiting anticafarmacista.com
Press samples kindly provided for my unbiased consideration