Italian perfume manufacturer, I Profumi di Firenze, is offering scents available that Catherine de Medici has worn herself. In 1966 Dr. Giovanni di Massimi, perfumer and founder of the company, discovered the Renaissance perfume formulas in an antique manuscript hidden in his basement when the Arno River flooded the city. These formulas were used by Catherine de Medici and other nobility during the Renaissance. He knew the formulas to be genuine because his shop had been a perfumery since medieval times where the Medici Palace was right down the road from the store and the Medicis commissioned perfume from this shop. Dr. Massimi decided to recreate the scents with all natural ingredients and named the most beautiful scent after the Queen Catherine herself with a oil painting print of her as the bottles artwork. These extraordinary high quality perfumes can be purchased in fine shops in Italy and the here in the United States at such places like Bigelows.
A few facts about Catherine de Medici who was Queen of France from 1547 to 1559. She was born in Florence, Italy as Caterina Maria Romula di Lorenzo de' Medici. Catherine grew up amidst the splendor of her Medici family's fetes, balls, and banquets, and she greatly admired their elegance. When she left Italy to marry Henri, Duc d'Orlean, she took with her many artists, poets and dancing masters, and even her own perfumer, Rene de Florentin. Catherine is credited with introducing a new age of even greater elegance to the already very chic French. As well as perfume, she brought the habit of eating with a fork, the high-heeled shoe, corsets, ballet and even Italian cooking to her new Court. Rene de Florentin had his own laboratory which Catherine visited by using a secret passage, in order to prevent the recipes for the scents being stolen. According to legend, Catherine created jewelry containing poisonous potions which she used to murder her many enemies. Florentin created his famous scented gloves to cover this smell. The real reason is probably that Catherine disliked the smell of her leather gloves and wanted to mask the smell. The word "Perfume" has its origins in the Latin "per-fumum" meaning "through smoke." The Egyptians created aromatic perfumes from burning scented wood. The Arabs introduced scents to the Italians, and the Medici family commissioned perfumes from nearby apothecaries. She was wife of one King, and mother of three others, people associate her name with the horrific St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, poisonings, and political intrigue. Whether this powerful woman was really guilty or used as a scapegoat is a matter of disagreement by historians, but there is no doubt that she was very unhappy.Regarded by the French as an 'outsider', and spurned by her husband for his beautiful mistress, Diane de Poitiers, Catherine's life was very difficult. Information posted here on Catherine de Medici and her contributions of perfumery and culture to France was taken from Life In Italy. Visit the site for Italian Culture.