"Casa del Profumo" (House of Perfume) is the new museum that will enrich the cultural offer of Santa Maria Maggiore. This new project aims to recall the histories of two famous emigrants and, above all, it celebrates the invention of Eau de Cologne.
Giovanni Paolo Femminis was born in Crana (hamlet of Santa Maria Maggiore) and – when he was very young – he emigrated to Germany. He was the inventor of Aqua Mirabilis, whose medicinal properties were certified by the University of Cologne in 1727. Aqua Mirabilis became the famous Eau de Cologne and was merchandised by Giovanni Maria Farina. It became a very renowned perfume, appreciated all over the world by illustrious personalities, such as for example Napoleon Bonaparte.
The officinal herbs, which compose Aqua Mirabilis, will be shown in the museum and a little winter garden will house the citrus. Visitors will be guided through an interactive tour to discover all the scents and essences of this perfume.
This exhibition area represents a journey through the history of Eau de Cologne. The ground floor of the building houses a little exhibition of the herbs used for the original recipe of Aqua Mirabilis, a bookshop, a fascinating greenhouse with citrus. A little garden with officinal herbs and scented plants completes this project.
On the first floor a technologic and multimedia tour will be proposed to visitors. The so-called head notes, heart notes and base notes of the perfume will be matched up with clothes and accessories of the traditional costume of Valle Vigezzo.
The ground floor of the museum has been inaugurated in summer 2016, while in 2017 the first floor will be completed.
Casa del Profumo, located in Piazza Risorgimento 7, is open throughout the summer, free of charge, from Monday to Sunday from 10 to 12.30 am and from 4 to 6:30 pm (closing to the public only Thursday and Sunday afternoon).