Over three decades ago, I left Rome, Italy as a young girl. I had lasting impressions of this beautiful city, which had nothing to do with perfume. Light, warmth, umbrella pine trees, weekends at the beach, Catholic school, fish – lots of fish – these were some of the memories I cherished.
Now, fast forward to 2012 and the deep desire to return to my childhood Rome and to introduce it to my three year old son. This trip in December was a pilgrimage of sorts that we as a family embarked upon. It was time to return and say Thanks at St. Peter’s Basilica for all of the blessings in our lives.
Now you are wondering what in heck this has to do with perfume! I am getting there, I promise. Rome held no importance to me whatsoever with respect to perfume. But oh how that changed! Now memories of Rome include my scented treasures I had the honor of experiencing.
Before my trip I knew that I wanted to search out some Italian perfume companies and I wanted to smell fresh and citrus-y perfumes in a warmer climate. I had grandiose plans of visiting several perfume stores.
As fate would have it our hotel was situated right around the corner of the Pantheon. I knew from speaking with Birgit that I should check out a store specializing in niche perfumes called Campomarzio70.
As we turned the corner to head to the Pantheon there stood Campomarzio70. It was our first night and I did not have the energy to walk in. So, the next morning I told my family that was what I wanted to do for a ‘minute’ to get a feel for the company. In order to find some allergy free food we went in the opposite direction of the Pantheon and I was utterly surprised to find a second Campomarzio70 not five minutes from the hotel again. This time I walked in.
This very small branch of Campomarzio70 is on Via di Campo Marzio. Fabrizio, the store director, greeted me and showed me some of the brands that he had in his store. Everything was beautifully laid out and I was surprised as to how many companies one could have in such a small space. I was under the false impression that this was the large store and kept thinking to myself ‘oh my, what do the other two stores have to offer?’
We found ourselves by the Spanish steps that afternoon and I walked up and down the streets in that area lapping up the pre Christmas rush and all of the beautiful decorations. Campomarzio70 on Via Vittoria is in that area and we sought it out. It specializes in the very difficult to find niche perfumes. Thankfully my son decided to take a nap and the timing was very convenient. My husband was ushered to a comfortable chair and started dozing off next to our son.
I was in heaven. So many beautiful perfumes in such a spacious store and so impeccably displayed. What more could I ask for? The lovely Serena and later Diego were my guides. Amouage, Caron, Parfum MDCI, Casamoratti 1888, Fornasetti, Puredistance were among many of the treasures.
The store is so beautifully decorated with subtle and elegant pieces. The room where my men were dozing, housed a motorcycle and a piano and looked out into a small courtyard which was so picturesque and soothing. It all worked so well together. I thought I had seen it all when Serena asked me if I would be interested in smelling more luxurious perfumes upstairs. Flabbergasted that there was more to discover I probably showed far too much eagerness to get upstairs. That is where I discovered the Xerjoffs… a disaster for my wallet.
Serena was absolutely lovely. She was patient and kind and very knowledgeable of the perfumes. Once she had an understanding of the notes that I like she walked me through several perfumes to see what my reaction would be. I was given all the time I needed. After going through the Xerjoffs she showed me a limited edition, which was made for Qatar – Wabar. It pierced my heart with its beauty and I could not leave the store without a bottle of Wabar in my hand.
Campomarzio70 next to the Pantheon on Piazza della Rotonda is yet another concept. It is a beautiful store on a street corner that has niche fragrances catering to the tourist crowds.
There are some gems to be found in that store as well such as the Mona di Orio line and the luxury perfumes from Creed as well as many others. They had just finished decorating for Christmas when I walked in, and I could not help but wish that I had been able to see the other two stores with the Christmas decorations. Elena from this branch was also wonderful and willing to let me photograph and ask questions and test various perfumes. They did not have the Fornasetti candles or incense like the other stores but were willing to bring it in so I could decide on what would come home with us. Now that is what I call great customer service!
There were too many perfume stores in Rome to visit them all.
Campomarzio70 steals the show from all of the stores fronts I saw. They entice you with their wonderful window displays and the beautiful perfumes they sell. Most importantly though, they excel in customer service with their knowledgeable and kind staff.
One honorable mention goes to Helèn Profumeria on Via Lombardia near the top of the Spanish steps. They were a small boutique which also housed many niche fragrances. I sought them out was because after many months of reading positive reviews I wanted to smell the Arquiste line.
I was pleased to learn that Campomarzio70 will be receiving the Arquiste perfume in mid December and I won’t have to have such a trek to find them next time I go to Rome.
We will be traveling to Rome again and soon. Not only for its history, art, sights and spiritual aspects but also for Campomarzio70!