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The Vatican pharmacy has its own line of biblical perfumes 

parfums, vatican, Bible

EG / ALETEIA

Le Vatican s’est inspiré de la richesse olfactive de la Bible pour créer sa propre ligne de parfums.

Anna Kurian - published on 05/06/24

Frankincense, myrrh, rose, eucalyptus, spikenard, saffron ... the Bible is full of enchanting scents, which have inspired the Vatican’s own line of perfumes.

At lunchtime, just a stone’s throw from the gendarmerie post that filters all comings and goings, the Vatican Pharmacy is bustling with people. On either side of the automatic doors, posters display the “Sacred Bible Collection” of perfumes. It offers four evocatively named fragrances: gold, frankincense, myrrh, and mystic rose. 

Inspired by the Magi’s gifts to the Infant Jesus in the crib, these fragrances were designed in 2017 by Italian master perfumer Lorenzo Dante Ferro, explains the pharmacy’s website. Their golden-hued bottles are lined up on a shelf amid the Vatican’s collection of room fragrances and floral waters. 

2,000 visitors a day

“Shall I present them to you?” All smiles, an employee dressed in black and white takes out the samples of the collection and sprays them onto strips. Rosy, musky, and fruity scents waft under customers’ noses. Around 2,000 visitors pass through here every day, making it one of the busiest pharmacies in the world. Anyone with a prescription — from any country — can enter. Many foreign medicines not available in Italy can be found here. 

“These perfumes are only sold in the pharmacy and in the Vatican Museums souvenir store,” explains the employee, setting down the bottles of amber and ochre liquid. Unavailable online, these products are an exclusive curiosity that tourists can purchase for 59 euros (about 64 US dollars at the current exchange rate) per 100 ml bottle. 

Made from natural essences

They are made from natural essences in the small state’s own laboratory. The lab also produces other cosmetics such as soaps, lavender cologne, anti-acne lotion, and aftershave cream. All these products feature the coat of arms of the world’s smallest state. 

Parfum-pharmacie-Vatican.jpg

Br. Eusebio Ludvig Fronmen, a member of the Order of the Hospitallers of St. John of God — known as “Fatebenefratelli” (which literally translates as “Dowellbrothers”) — founded the Vatican pharmacy in 1874. Religious of the same community still run it today. It moved to its current premises in the Belvedere Palace in 1929. 

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BibleRomeVatican
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