On my third day in Rome, I decided to wander the streets around the Spanish steps. There, I discovered small boutique of perfumes I knew nothing about. There were many scents and with the help of the perfumer, I was soon lost in the universe of Carthusia.
Carthusia is a scent born in Capri, an island in Italy’s Bay of Naples. Legends tell that in 1380, the father prior of the Carthusian Monastery of St. James, taken by surprise by the news of Queen Joan of Anjou of Naples coming to Capri, picked a bouquet of 80 most beautiful and scented flowers of the island. These flowers remained in the same water for several days until the father decided to throw them away. Then, he noticed a very pleasant smell. He sought answers to the father alchemist who explored the combinations to understand the beautiful aromas. The first perfume of Capri was born.
Fast forward in 1948, the prior of the monastery found notes of the ancient perfume formulas and with permission of the pope, shared them with a chemist from Torino. This chemist opened the smallest perfume laboratories in the world to commercialized this scent calling it "Carthusia"
Nowadays, as in the past, all stages of production are still carried out by hands to maintain the craftsmanship of the Carthusian monks.
Carthusia fragrances are very fresh and give you the feel of wandering through the gardens of the island. I was able to pin down my top three:
Carthusia boutiques are only located in Italy. However, you can request samples online and the company will ship them to your door. Online orders are also available.