No Penguins in Florence -

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No Penguins in Florence

Stella asked me to drop by and let you all know that she and Sophia have been out shopping all week, so there won't be a column today.

By Jason Rhodes     March 01, 2008

The arms of Santa Maria Novella.
© Santa Maria Novella

Um... Stella asked me to drop by and let you all know that she and Sophia have been out shopping all week, so there won't be a column today.

Unfortunately for me, Stella's marathon shopping trips usually include a visit to the Farmacia di Santa Maria Novella in Florence, one of the oldest apothecaries in the world. Established in the 13th century as an extension of the coded church of Santa Maria Novella, the monks developed the herbal distillations and perfumes that are still on sale today. Conveniently, there is a Santa Maria Novella shop in London, and also one in Los Angeles, but Stella says that the atmosphere just isn't the same. Hence the extended shopping pilgrimage to Florence.

For those who are interested in these things, there is a treatise in the Biblioteca Nazionale in Florence written by the Dominican monk Agostino del Riccio in 1595, entitled Arte delle Memoria Locale, which explains the coding of Santa Maria Novella based on the zodiacal asterisms underpinning the gnomonic alignments in many of the older churches that Stella lights candles in.

Anyway, it was the monks of Santa Maria Novella who developed a special perfume for Catherine di Medici, originally called Eau de Reine, which the shops still sell. Anyone who has been to Stella's house knows that it is absolutely stuffed with SMN soaps, potpourri, and other potions created from the flowers and herbs grown on hills surrounding Florence and made to the 13th century monks' original formulas. The Pomegranate soap is blissful.

In fact, Stella gave Margaret Starbird a special sachet of Santa Maria Novella potpourri as a token when they had tea in London last autumn.

So hopefully she and Soph will get back soon, otherwise you'll be stuck with these scintillating missives from me. I wouldn't count on it, though, as they sounded awfully hung over when they called.

I guess girls will be girls...

Newton Coordinate:- St David's Day, March 1st, from atop the San Andreas Fault.


Showing items 1 - 6 of 6
mckracken 2/29/2008 10:33:54 PM
"Um... Stella asked me to drop by and let you all know that ..., so there won't be a column today. " if it looks like a column, and smells like a column.. then maybe it is a column? so Jason can I quote you on this: "The Pomegranate soap is blissful." LOL!!!
Mnemosyne 3/1/2008 4:29:44 AM
Ah...but the Pomengranate soap is blissful. The Sali de bango compliments it nicely. Check it out: http://www.aedes. com/brand. php?brand_ id=39&cat_ id=4
DIIDDIID 3/1/2008 5:37:53 AM
The ampersand must be changed in order for the link to work. "et" doesn't work.
SlamShut 3/1/2008 10:37:44 AM
Hey Mania, can I have a regular column too? I want to just ramble on semi-coherently without explaining a damn thing about who I'm talking about or why it matters to anyone. Whaddya say, Mania? It certainly can't be any worse than this completely irrelevant shit.
Mnemosyne 3/2/2008 5:56:05 AM
Hey Slamshut, Don't know if you've been following along, but you might want to refer back to the previous installments found here: http://www.mania. com/57375. html And here http://www.mania. com/57451. html Also, you might find Chip's comments of interest http://www.mania. com/57523. html namaste
experiMENTAL 3/2/2008 9:17:39 AM
Yeah, the natives get grumpy when you knock this column, SlamShut. I got a good swat on the wrist from Chip last time I spoke of it or my opinion of it. The dingleberry & shitpickle soap is blissful.


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