06-02-2018, 05:09 AM
#1
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I just returned from a trip to Italy, visiting Florence and Rome.  Here are the shaving (and pen) related goodies I brought back with me, with some information about where to find this stuff and how much it cost.


[Image: VaGcSmk.jpg]

From Left to Right:

1.  Intesa Anti-Wrinkle Aftershave.  I'd never heard of this, but I found it on the shelf of a Canad supermarket in Rome.  5.20 Euros for 100 ml.  It's made by Mirato of Italy. The bottle says it's got liposomes (google it) and is formulated to be anti-rughi (wrinkle). What a concept. Smells clean and pleasant with the consistency of a thin gel, like hand sanitizer.  The scent doesn't last, but it feels good on the face.

2.  Aurora fountain pen cartridges.  5.50 Euros.  I purchased these just to have an excuse to visit one of the world's great pen shops:  Novelli in Rome, near the Trevi Fountain (see photo below).  I didn't buy a pen, because I didn't want to pay the 22% VAT or hassle with the VAT refund process.  You can get pens from their website (http://www.novelli.it) at lower prices.  Their in-store selection of fountain pens is mostly high end stuff, and they sell pipes and accessories too.  The selection of pens on the website is much better; they just don't carry a lot of inventory in situ.

3. Visconti Burgundy ink.  12 Euros from the Visconti flagship shop in Florence (Via Porta Rossa, in the old part of town).  They had every model of pen currently offered by Visconti plus some special edition close outs that are otherwise unobtainable at 35% off retail.  But I didn't want to spend hundreds of Euros on a new pen.  I have and love three Visconti pens, but it wasn't in the budget this trip.  With the VAT, the prices were approximately what you would pay retail in the States.  And you can get them from Novelli's website for less.

4. Proraso soap.  This is the 50 ml travel size that you can get in the States for about $5.00.  I paid 2.50 Euros in downtown Florence.  I saw it priced anywhere from 1.60 Euros to 3.50 Euros.  I went into 3 pharmacies and 2 supermarkets in Florence and Rome, and the only shaving soap or cream I could find was this, Proraso canned goo, and Noxzema canned goo.  I was surprised the range of Proraso products wasn't more readily available.  There was a parfumerie in Florence (Parfumerie Verita -- Via Porto Rossa, near the Visconti shop) that carried the full line of Proraso products, including some cool gift box assortments.  But I didn't need more software.

5. Santa Maria Novella shaving cream.  36 Euros for a huge 220 ml (7.4 oz.) jar from the SMN factory store on the other side of the Santa Maria Novella church from the Piazza Santa Maria Novella.  

6. Santa Maria Novella Eau de Parfume in the scent "Russa".  Wonderful smelling stuff, but unfortunately the scent dissipates really fast.  Faster even than Acqua di Parma Colonia.  Still, I'm happy to have it.  It cost 90 Euros for 250 ml from the same SMN shop whence came the shaving cream.  What a store!!!  I first smelled it from one of the adjacent cloisters of the Santa Maria Novella church.  The shop is adjacent, and you can peer in the windows from the church cloister.  It was a warm day, so the shop had a window open, and the smell was wonderful. The shop is not only big and wonderful, but it has an interesting sales system.  Each type of product is shown at a round display table staffed by a very attractive and stylish Italian young woman.  Men's products here, women's scents there, other creams and lotions there, etc.  The sales person demos whatever you want to try.  If you decide you want to buy something, she gives you an electronic card and loads the info about your purchase onto the card.  Once you have the card, you can go to other displays and have the card loaded with whatever you want.  Then you go into an adjoining room, hand the clerk your card, and he or she pulls the product and you pay.

There you have it.  Great trip with some interesting shaving and pen related souvenirs.

[Image: y4QOcix.jpg]

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 06-02-2018, 05:16 AM
#2
  • NJDJ
  • Senior Member
  • New Jersey
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Cool post!  I want to get to SMN some day.

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 06-02-2018, 05:19 AM
#3
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Very nice haul!

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 06-02-2018, 06:43 AM
#4
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I should have mentioned that the SMN shaving cream is outstanding.  It has the consistency of a semi-hard cream or very soft croap.  A little goes a long way and produces a thick luxurious lather that smells of eucalyptus and tobacco.  Really nice stuff, especially now that the warm weather is here in the northern hemisphere.  That jar is going to last me a very long time.  It's a little expensive, but not outrageously so -- a little less than $6 per oz. at current exchange rates.  If you live outside Europe and want to go through the VAT refund process, you can knock off 22%.  I didn't bother.

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 06-02-2018, 04:39 PM
#5
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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A very nice selection of items you chose to buy.  But more impressive than that, was your restraint not to max out a credit card at novelli and Visconti.  Back in the day when I had more money than brains, I spent a small fortune ordering pipes and tobacco products from novelli.  

I have one of the earlier soaps from SMN before the tobacco scent was added and I purchased it almost four years ago, and I still have some left.  It is an exceptional soap.  Thanks for sharing your experience.

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 06-02-2018, 06:42 PM
#6
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SMN soap is outstanding. Can't say the same for their scents though. They do smell good but fair poorly on the longevity side.

Nice haul and experience btw. Cheers!


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 06-02-2018, 07:41 PM
#7
  • evnpar
  • Emeritus
  • Portland, Oregon
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(06-02-2018, 06:42 PM)Jags009 Wrote: SMN soap is outstanding. Can't say the same for their scents though. They do smell good but fair poorly on the longevity side.

Nice haul and experience btw. Cheers!


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Perhaps, but Tobacco Tuscano is probably my all time favorite scent.

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 06-02-2018, 07:42 PM
#8
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(06-02-2018, 07:41 PM)evnpar Wrote:
(06-02-2018, 06:42 PM)Jags009 Wrote: SMN soap is outstanding. Can't say the same for their scents though. They do smell good but fair poorly on the longevity side.

Nice haul and experience btw. Cheers!


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Perhaps, but Tobacco Tuscano is probably my all time favorite scent.


I had to sell mine. Was not what I was hoping it to be.


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 06-02-2018, 10:35 PM
#9
  • Mr_Smartepants
  • Senior Member
  • Cambridgeshire, UK (CONUS post address)
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The SMN shop in Firenze (Florence) has a tiny front but is massive on the inside.  Our hotel was just opposite the SMN shop and my wife had to drag me out of there.
Here are some photos I snapped of the SMN shop while we were there.
[Image: zYtbml1.jpg]
[Image: DwY16iM.jpg]
[Image: 7Pvu622.jpg]

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 06-03-2018, 05:39 AM
#10
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I hope you return to Italy long before you finish the SMN soap. SMN soaps lasts a long time.

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 06-08-2018, 02:18 PM
#11
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Nice post!

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