Florence, Italy: FLOR Perfumery- Offering Custom Made Fragrances by Master Perfumer Sileno Cheloni
FLOR's Historic Interior
Alien life, 16th c Lisbon, and Reincarnation come together in this unique tale
Sileno Cheloni at Work
What would you do if you woke up 20 years in the future?
Did You Know...
Olfactory memory is one of the most powerful that we can experience as human beings? Certain scents can trigger moments in the past almost immediately. For example, my father wears Fahrenheit cologne by Dior and every time I run into someone wearing it I think of him. We all have a list of scents that are special (or repulsive) to us depending on the memories attached to them.
Prior to obtaining my Art History degree and moving to Europe, I had a career in the beauty industry as a makeup artist and fragrance model. Doing this article made me reminisce about my days in the glamorous world of cosmetics and fragrances. Meeting a Master Perfumer was an honor.
I had heard about FLOR from a colleague and decided to check it out. Located in a Renaissance palazzo near the S. Croce church, the interior is like a set out of a period film. A spacious selling floor with antique rug, leather chairs and a doorway leading into a charming 15th century courtyard complete with well and statues. Even the wood and glass cabinets are antiques- they are the originals from the late 18th-early 19th century apothecary shop that existed there.
Sileno Cheloni started his career in perfume in Rimini working as an apprentice to a Master Perfumer who only worked with natural ingredients. After his apprenticeship he moved to Milano in order to work for another perfume company where he gathered valuable hands-on experience.
He decided to move to London to study formally and returned to Italy- Tuscany- and opened his own little shop in Lucca. His first fragrance, Pura Toscana (a lovely, clean scent), became so popular that it got picked up and sold at Harrod's.
Sileno informed me that FLOR is his professional dream come true and that 100% of his heart and soul is going into this venture. Opened only 2 years here in Florence it is gaining increasing popularity with people who prefer artisan, natural fragrance to the commercial ones in department stores.
What makes FLOR so special is that the customer can create his or her own personal scent under Sileno's guidance. As someone who worked with fragrances, I immediately thought that the price would be exorbitant (if natural elements like precious amber are used, the price can get into the thousands).
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that one can get a custom-made eau de parfum for as little as 200,00 euro (the prices go up from there into the thousands). If you have ever wondered what it would be like to own and wear your own custom fragrance made pure- without chemicals- that is not such a high price at all. Think of it as an affordable luxury (many people spend that much on a nice dinner!).
Prior to WWII, most perfume houses operated in this manner. Today, most fragrances are mass-produced, commercialized and made with cheap synthetic ingredients. The difference between what you buy in the drug or department store and what you buy at FLOR Is night and day- and that is their KEY selling point.
Sileno showed me big glass jars full of Dead Sea salts mixed with floral essences that are so wonderfully relaxing and healing for your bath. Customers can mix and match salts to create a personal scent.
FLOR offers artisan soaps, lotions, creams and even an all natural cosmetic skincare line designed by their very own experienced Research Chemist. There are three face creams for different skin types. So much to try! As always, thank you for reading!
Borgo S. Croce, 6
Tel (011 39) 055 234 3471
C. De Melo
Author & Artist