Jantiena Fieyra is the host of the popular new travel-lifestyle magazine TV program where she travels the world “…to bring Europe to the USA and the USA to Europe.”

Jantiena Fieyra takes to the wonderful world of Florence, Italy and here she makes an amazing journey through one of the world’s oldest makers of genuine herbal remedies, fragrances, cosmetics, liqueurs and soaps which are some of the most exquisite and cherished health and beauty products available throughout the world!


In this video Jantiena Fieyra takes you on a tour of the world-renowned Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella with Senior Director Eugenio Alphandery. Here you walk through spaces and rooms that have not changed in centuries and which have their original frescoes and furnishings!

Then Mr. Gianluca Foà, Commercial Director, takes us for an inside look at how things are manufactured in their laboratory premises. Here you will see how the totally genuine Santa Maria Novella soap is made and you will also see some of the special ingredients of their famous liqueur Alkermes.


Officina Profumo – Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella:

In the center of Florence (Firenze) Italy, just across from the main railway station, is the famous church and adjoining cloister known as Santa Maria Novella. It was the first great basilica of Florence and the site was originally assigned to the Dominican Order in 1221 and church construction began in 1246 and eventually consecrated in 1420. However, in 1221 the Dominican monks also cultivated medicinal herbs in their gardens and used them to prepare balms, ointments and pomades for their convent’s infirmary. This pharmacy was not opened to the public until 1612 at which time it was bestowed the title of His Royal Highness’ Foundry. Through the centuries this pharmacy, using the highest quality raw materials from the original formulas still used today, has reached international fame and popularity and continues to do so under the direction of Mr. Eugenio Alphandery who gives Jantiena Fieyra a tour of this amazing facility in Florence, Italy.

You are then given a tour of the laboratory facilities by Commercial Director Mr. Gianluca Foà where you will see how their products are made with the some of the most stringent quality standards you will find anywhere in the world – such as handmade soaps from genuine subproducts that are each one individually hand-wrapped at the end of the production line!

And here you will see one of the most ancient ingredients still to be used today to provide the vibrant red scarlet color in the genuine Santa Maria Novella liqueur known as Alkermes!

For more information on the Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella go to


The Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella was established here in 1612. These are all original 18th century furnishings.

Originally built in the 1300’s and used as a workshop, the Sala verde room (Green Room) became a salon where important guests were received and house specialties were served such as Alkermes or the very fashionable beverage: hot chocolate.

Gianluca Foà, Commercial Director for Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, demonstrates how a properly aged bar of soap must look like when ready to be hand-wrapped and packaged.

Mr. Eugenio Alphandery giving Ms. Jantiena Fieyra a tour of the Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella.

Through the ages this room was known as the “aroma room” or “water room” where distilled waters were stored. Today it is where the conserved texts for Officina Profumo – Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella may be consulted.

Originally one of the monastery chapels, this is now the sales room where you can buy any one of the hundreds of health and beauty products produced at the Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella.

This is a bottle of the unique liqueur that got its name from its bright red scarlet color – Alkermes. The red color was originally produced by grinding up the parasitic insect Kermes Vermilio which is related to the cochineal insect. The word crimson which describes the bright red color, is derived from the word “kermes”. Although this exact species is no longer used, the Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella still uses related insects for the bright red coloring, true to the original formula throughout the centuries. It is also one of the very few red dyes over the years that has proven to be healthy and non-carcinogenic and is becoming more popularly used.

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