Inaugurated as a whole in 2018, the Feminis-Farina House of Perfume in Santa Maria Maggiore, in the Vigezzo Valley, is one of the flagships of Piedmont’s cultural landscape.
The small and delightful mountain museum pays tribute to the origins, still little known, of the famous Eau de Cologne, whose formula was conceived by Giovanni Paolo Feminis, originally from Crana (a hamlet of Santa Maria Maggiore) and who emigrated to Cologne, Germany.
The original name of the famous fragrance was Aqua Mirabilis and it was born as a soothing essence recognised for its medicinal properties and later became a fragrance that was much sought after throughout the world and appreciated by famous people.
When Feminis died in 1736, the marketing of Aqua Mirabilis was handled by Giovanni Maria Farina, who understood its potential and managed to make it famous throughout Europe under its current name, Eau de Cologne.
The Feminis-Farina House of Perfume in Santa Maria Maggiore offers a multimedia journey through fragrances, aromas and splendour. The ground floor hosts a small exhibition of herbs and essences used in the original recipe; outside, an elegant greenhouse and a small citrus grove embellish the fragrant garden. On the mezzanine, the exhibition itinerary involves the visitor through sensory and multimedia installations combining history and innovation: a new experiential journey that ties the world’s oldest perfume to traditional Vigezzo customs.