Parma the city of Perfume

Parma the city of Perfume




Parma the city of Perfume is a unique and exclusive opportunity to immerse yourself in the history of the city and discover, through an olfactory journey, the tradition of perfume and the protagonists of its supply chain in Parma from 1816 till today. An important history but still little known by the general public.

The greenhouses of the Ducal Park introduce us to the discovery of the botanical characteristics of the famous “Violetta di Parma”, already present within the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza in the second half of the Eighteenth Century. The great success of the small flower under the First and Second Empire is widely testified by the collections of the Glauco Lombardi Museum, where numerous traces of Maria Luigia of Austria’s predilection for the violet can be found in furnishings and decorative arts. This passion for the little flower gave birth to the perfume that later became a symbol of the city and the Duchess.

The visit to Violetta di Parma 1930 shop allows us to trace the life of Ludovico Borsari, to learn about the famous products made by the Borsari Company during the first half of the Twentieth Century and contemporary  local glass industry represented by the Bormioli Company.

Visiting the exhibition Parma the city of Perfume, it is possible to discover the history of the companies of the Parma perfume supply chain, which arose many years ago, by intuition of the founders, in small laboratories, to grow to the point to have become some of the major references worldwide for perfumery packaging, bottles, caps and labels.

Two hundred years of professionalism and entrepreneurial competence have made the city of Parma an important productive center of international perfumery, thanks to the presence of companies specialized in the creation of essences and in the realization of all the components of the product. The complete supply chain linked to the world of perfume still makes Parma a unique case in Italy.

Our experience ends with a visit to an Acqua di Parma Flagship Store, to get to know the brand from its origins to new variations, and an engaging visual-olfactory sensory experience which introduces you to Artistic perfumery at one of the historic perfumeries in the city center.

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The exhibition Parma the city of Perfume, conceived by CNA Parma in collaboration with Mouillettes & Co, is a project included in the official programming of Parma Italian Capital of Culture 2020. The project will continue in 2021, with the second chapter of the exhibition entitled Parma the City of Perfume – Evolution and Modernity which will be set up at Ape Parma Museum and will enhance the contemporary and innovative point of view of the art of perfumery and its production chain.

When the exhibition is not open to the public, it is replaced by a sensory experience to learn more about one of the perfume lines of Acqua di Parma (Colonie, Blu Mediterraneo, Signatures of the Sun, Le Nobili, Note di Colonia) at an Acqua di Parma Flagship Store in the city center.

The exhibition can be alternatively replaced by a visit to the Antica Farmacia di San Filippo Neri, a fascinating place hidden in the heart of the historic center, guardian of the cosmetic and pharmaceutical heritage of the city. A galenic laboratory that has preserved untouched its structure dating back to 1789, the perfect place to discover, touch and smell the raw materials once used by apothecaries and perfumers and flip through the ancient recipe books based on natural ingredients, a legacy of ancient knowledge.