When Medieval Monks Couldn’t Cure the Plague, They Launched a Luxe Skincare Line

When Medieval Monks Couldn’t Cure the Plague, They Launched a Luxe Skincare Line

Long before the modern deluge of organic soaps, herbal remedies, juice cleanses, and lifestyle brands like Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP, the mindful crowd had a medieval-era source for all-natural panaceas: the Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella. Roughly translated as the “Perfume-Pharmaceutical Workshop of New Saint Mary’s Church,” this world-renowned cosmetics and pharmaceutical company began its illustrious life as a community health clinic at a 13th-century Florentine monastery.

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