The Person Behind The Name


    Being a model was very exciting, but it also had its drawbacks. For every stunning magazine cover or makeup ad, there were hours upon hours spent sitting in chairs being unglamorously “glamorized” by makeup artists. They applied multiple creams, foundations, lip and eye products….followed by the dreadful routine of rubbing the skin raw removing it all then reapplying a new “face” for the next shot. This process often involved six facial changes a day, and when I got home at night after all the prepping and cleansing, the last thing I wanted to do was think about cleansing and moisturizing again.  So, I did what no model would ever admit to: I USED SOAP!!!   Fast forward to today.  I no longer model but the effects of my past career and a bit of aging (lol) have taken their toll on my skin. I am, however, still a committed and dedicated champion of the “mighty bar” and my skin still looks and feels great!  That’s why I decided to use my years of experience to make my very own soap with my favorite ingredients.  


    I began and, as it turns out, ended my quest for the ultimate soap in Florence – which is like my second home.  My family’s origins are Florentine and I know the city by heart from years of exploring its cobbled-stoned streets and wonderful gardens.  Here, I discovered a treasure trove of the most wonderfully gifted artisans for all aspects of making my first product -- everything from the design, packaging, and fragrance to the actual oils and nutrients in the soap itself.


    The Artisans

    The artisans of Florence are, and always have been, the heart and soul of the city.  They descended from the Middle Ages and flourished during the Renaissance, when Florence was renowned as Europe’s center of fine art.  The artisans were crucial in the development of trade and commerce for the city, and their authentic culture remains to this very day.  
    Based on centuries-old traditions and techniques, each craft has been handed down within families for generations. 
    The craftsmanship of the wonderful Florentine artisans can be experienced in all of our Splendor of Florence products.

    The Design

    There is so much inspiration in Florence, it was almost impossible to narrow my eye on one single design that could serve for my packaging.  Luckily I partnered with the amazing graphic designer, Ann Antonini, and she was able to interpret what I wanted on paper.  The design and colors of our packaging were inspired by the intricate tiles and mosaics of the beautiful churches and palaces in Florence, combined with an intricate Renaissance floral arrangement containing some of the fruits, flowers and spices in our fragrance.  Our gift box is hand made by one of the most famous box artisans in Florence.



    The Fragrance

    Next, I needed to find the perfect fragrance.  I spent days walking around Florence’s beautiful Renaissance gardens with a master perfumer, searching for the right combination of fruits and flowers.  It took quite a few months of trial and error (mixing, adding and subtracting various essential oils). Finally, one day we hit upon the perfect combination of the purest ingredients: a gentle mixture of citrus (orange blossoms, limes and bergamot) for sharpness, a drop of rose for softness, and a touch of cypress to bring it all down to earth.  It is truly the fragrance of Florence!  I named it Passeggiata which means “a walk or stroll” …..which will always remind me of how I discovered the fragrance.

    The Soap Process

    The making of Passeggiata was a very careful, thoughtful, delicate event.  The soap is artisan made, vegetable based, solvent free, and contains the wonderful oils of apricots, coconuts and olives.  The special milling process allows the soap crystals to be constantly turned and compressed in a roller mill, resulting in an extremely fine and smooth paste, prior to being turned into bars. This process also ensures that the fragrance is evenly spread throughout the bar. The soap is then left to cure for one month so that each bar becomes dense and the fragrance settles.  This process also ensures quick drying after every use.