Borsari Parma

Parma city of perfume

Parma city of Gastronomy, Parma city of Culture and Parma city of Perfume.

From 7 December 2019 to 22 March 2020, inside the exhibitions and events of Parma Capital of Culture 2020 , you will be able to discover the origins and history of perfume at the exhibition inside the Glauco Lombardi Museum.

The city of perfume

Parma is known from many points of view, food and wine, cultural but less known in other respects: one of these and that you would never say is the perfume. Why exactly the perfume?

You must know that the Duchess Maria Luigia, wife of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1816 arrives in Parma to govern the city as the Duchess of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla. You will understand for yourself that as empress of a great nation like France, to govern a “small” duchy, the difference was substantial, but certainly more suitable and closer to his person.

Loved by the citizens, she has worked very hard to make the city flourish.

We recommend a visit to the Glauco Lombardi Museum to explore its history and the reasons that make it so loved.

One more reason to visit the Museum is because until March 22nd (and then from April 1st to June 30th 2020 at the APE Parma Museum in via Farini), during the weekends you will find the exhibition-event that concerns the passion of the Duchess for botany, and to follow his beloved violets. Legend has it that the friars of the local Annunziata church found a way to prepare a violet perfume, only for the Duchess.

During the guided tour you can do inside the Museum, you will discover that in 1870 Lodovico Borsari, barber in via Cavour in the city center, manages to have the formula and start the production of perfume. Thanks also to the experience gained from his work.

It addresses the glass company known worldwide, Bormioli Luigi and the perfume bottles they create, push Borsari to create the company in the city and then to make it known all over the world as La violetta di Parma

Parma Capital of Perfume

Over the years and with the success of the Borsari company, there are still numerous industries in Parma that make Violetta’s name big in the world: many names, many companies, some are no longer there, but most are still active and firmly inserted in the perfume chain. No longer just Violetta, but a whole huge sector of extraordinary success.

Yes, because thanks to the working and successful context of Parma’s industry and economy, the Bormioli Luigi glassworks at the forefront with the creations of glass bottles, numerous famous companies followed its success, such as

  • Parma’s water
  • O.P.S.O. (Officina Parmense of Odorous Substances now of Officina Parfum)
  • Borsari
  • Triumphal
  • The Ducal
  • Adam
  • Florbath
  • Morris
  • Italart
  • Eurographic (now Zeta Labels)
  • Amba

Not just perfume

You must also know that not only the perfume to which we are accustomed was created, but also the products in cream for face and body, cosmetic and if you think about it, another branch began from here such as packaging, glass decorations, interior packaging, labels, all in the Parma area.

Some names present in the exhibition we can mention the Cerve, the Cartongraf, the Scatolificio Giampietri, Cosmoproject, Cavalieri & Amoretti, Vexel.

What to see in the exhibition

Inside the exhibition there are two exhibition halls and you will find the panels that tell you the history of perfume, but also the display of bottles, names, and the history of companies over time. You will also find test dispensers to feel the fragrances and thus let you leave the museum, with something from Parma in your clothes.

The perfumeries in the city

To date, around the city you will find several very well structured and professional historical perfumeries in which to find the display of Violet perfumes. For example Profumeria Gianfranca, Parma Color Viola, Chiastra. The most famous is in Via Repubblica, and you recognize it well by the classic violet color of the violet.

The perfume in the world

Over the years, many important and well-known brands in the world of fashion also stand out for their perfume. If you think about it and look at the advertisements, each brand still has its fragrance and its own brand combined, with the classic packaging or the particular shape of the glass, or the screen-printed design on the front.

Two names, above all

Cavalieri & Amoretti in Parma, a company born in the mid-1900s, is one of the best known internationally for the production of round boxes and luxury confanets: Acqua di Parma, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Davines, some prestige names for which it produces.

Acqua di Parma is the symbol, an all Parmesan style in the world: a colony, the first true Italian to give a touch of style to the most elegant men. The unmistakable Art Deco bottle with the black bakelite cap, which has become an icon like the unmistakable and bright Parma yellow, inspired by the buildings of the city lightly caressed by the sun.

Well, all this originates in Parma, they are based here (at most in the suburbs), and they were founded by passionate people who with infinite patience believed in the market and in their product. Create a perfume, it takes at least 2 years. A lot of time, a lot of experiments, not everything succeeds in the short time but the commitment is a lot, and if today they buy in perfumeries what they find is thanks to the industries of Parma.

Do you want to do an olfactory training course instead? Contact Mouillettes & Co: thanks to the passion and experience of Maria Grazia Fornasier and it is a unique reality in Italy that develops training, consultancy and events related to the sense of smell. Here are the references.

How to visit the museum and exhibition

These are the references of the Museum with the access times for the visit.

In the camper you can stop in the parking area and with the comfortable bus no. 23 takes you directly to Piazza Ghiaia and continue towards the Museum.


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