Olive Pigs - a hungry Italian adventure 🇮🇹


Olive Pigs - a hungry Italian adventure 🇮🇹

Honeysuckle has been in bloom across Italy while we’ve been here. You’ll often find their long tendrils draped down the side of buildings or wrapped around roof terraces. You can smell their aroma from a mile off - a sweet mix of honey, jasmine and vanilla. It’s delightful.

Beck has been on the hunt for a honeysuckle perfume so she can remember this trip for decades to come. We’ve visited perfumeries up and down the country, but very few stock the fragrance.

You see, honeysuckle is a notoriously difficult molecule to add to perfumes. This means finding one incredibly rare. If you know Beck, you’re probably thinking: ‘of course that’s the perfume she wants.’

This quixotic mission has brought us to the Santa Maria Novella pharmacy pictured above. It’s one of the oldest pharmacy in the world, founded in 1221 by Dominican friars who grew medicinal herbs in their monastery gardens to prepare balms and medicines.

The building is dripping with faded, luxurious glamour. Greek statues align the hallway leading to the main room. Shelves are filled with ancient apothecary tinctures, potions and salves. Scent experts waft around the room providing guidance and advice to those who seem wealthy enough to afford their products.

Many of the scents hark beck to the roots of the perfumery: slightly medicinal with deep herbal undertones. Some of them are from a single flower, simple but strong, zapping your sinuses like smelling salts.

They even have an ‘experience room’ where they blast pleasant smells at you while trippy visuals fill the walls.

Surely, somewhere so ancient, knowledgeable and luxurious would have the perfect scent, even for someone as discerning as Beck?


They had sold out because it’s so difficult to get the molecule in stock. They offered us similar scents that contained molecules just like that of the honeysuckle.

Alas, this is simply not good enough.

So on we go with the quest, to find a rare and particular fragrance for a rare and particular woman.