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The Best in Rome


Acqua del Elba
Inspired by the island in the Tuscan archipelago, artesanal perfumes produced in limited quantities by Marciana Marina and her family, make a perfect gift for the folks back home. The line includes perfumes for men and women, shower gels and the like, as well as fragrances for the home, candles, bathrobes and travel cases, all in their signature ocean blue.
Via Frattina 87 tel 06 6790282

Kiehl 's
The first ever flagship store has now opened in Rome. Kiehl 's, which opened in New York City in 1851 is still going strong. All New Yorkers know Kiehl's as one of the leading boutique pharmacies specializing in unique products for the face, body, hair, and skin and sundries. Now you can find the full range here in the Eternal City, albeit at predictably higher prices.
Via Frattina, 67a/68. tel 06 90282626
(Rickey Mayer Magno)

Pro Fumum Durante
Specializing in the ancient art of creating and bottling fragrances, the artisans of the Durante family produce perfumes, soaps, incense and candles. Each of their fourteen scents is accompanied by a poem, describing the perfume's romantic properties. In addition to their own line, the four Durante shops carry hard-to-find French and English imports, including products from Jean LaPorte's Maitre Perfumerie et Gantier, famous for having revived formulas from the 17th century. Other stars in the line up: perfumes by Andrée Putnam, Fréderic Malle, British perfume maker Miller Harris, the complete line of oil-based fragrances and objects from Neapolitan Bruno Acamparo, and the Australian cosmetics line Aesop.  
Via della Colonna Antonina 30 tel 06 679 5982
Via Ripetta,10 tel 06 320 0306 (Spanish Steps)
Piazza G. Mazzini, 4 tel 06 321 7920 (Prati)
Viale Angelico, 87/89 tel 06.372 579 (Prati)

Campo Marzio 70 
These shops stock rare and hard-to-find brands of perfume, exclusive beauty products and accessories, with myriad brands such as Annick Goutal, Creed, Frank Los Angeles, Lalique, Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris, Pavillon des Fleurs, Penhaligon's. Yosh Cosmetics, Dr Bakel, Institut de Karité, Kanebo, Kiehl's and La Prairie. Look, too, for Kent hairbrushes, and American drugstore items.
via di Campo Marzio 70 tel 06 6920 2123
Piazza della Rotonda 70 tel 06 6920 2394
Via Vittoria 52 (near Piazza del Popolo) tel 06 6979 7739

Olfattorio Bar à Parfums
There are some 200 perfumes to try at this olfactory "bar", where owners Gaidano and Renata de Rossi will you invite you to sit at their "bar", where you can comfortably sample the various aromas from spicey to musky to floral. Among the labels y ou'll find here: L'Artisan Parfumeur, Diptyque, Penhaligon's, Comptoir Sud, Rosine.
Via di Ripetta 34 tel 06 361 2325

International Pharmacy
Stocking the complete line of Dr. Perricone skin care products, as well as French imports such as Rêve de Provence, and one of the few pharmacies in Rome to stay open at night.
Piazza Barberini, 49 tel. 06.482 5456 Open daily, Saturday and Sunday evenings only from 7:30 pm.

You could be forgiven for mistaking this soap shop for a candy store. The soaps, sold in bins, are ball-shaped and candy-colored and many of them are food-scented, with names like “Besame Mucho” for a a chocolate–based soap, and "Bibi", for one scented with cloves and mint. Shop for bath and shower gels, massage oils, face and body creams with names like “One Man, One Cream,” “Symphony for the Skin” and “Tiramas.” Their shaving cream is called “Blade Runner.” All the products are made by hand, with no animal products or animal testing. Gift boxes, looking just like candy boxes, are also available.
Via Baulari, 112 tel. 06.683 01810 (Campo dei Fiori)
Via del Gambero, 25 (Spanish Steps)

The Canadian line, coveted by makeup artists and fashionisti, has a flagship store in Rome, complete with makeup artists available for advice, lessons and makeovers. This shop carries the complete line including Mac Pro for professional makeup artists.
Via del Babuino, 124 tel. 06 67 92 989 Also in the COIN department store on via Cola di Rienzo in Prati.

Kiehls addicts will be thriled to find that the line is available in this Rome profumeria, but distressed to find that the prices are up to double what they pay in New York. The shop carries some of the most expensive and luxurious products for bath and beauty (Lorenzo Villanezi, Institut Karité, La Compagne de Provence), as well as shaving items, jewelry, hair accessories, and, strangely, a selection of fine quality knives.
Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina, 5 tel. 06.688 92686

Ai Monasteri
In this charming old shop, still furnished wth the original polished wooden fixtures, you’ll find products from the monasteries of Italy: soaps and bath and beauty items, fragrant oils and essences, candies, chocolates, cakes and marmalades, all hand-made, charmingly packaged and reasonably priced. Ask to take home the catalogue.
Corso Rinascimento 72 tel. 06.688 02783 (Piazza Navona)

Roma Store
A fragrant oasis in the midst of Trastevere, the shop stocks exclusive perfumes from all over Europe, as well as fragrant candles, soaps and incense. You’ll find Aqua di Parma, Lorenzo Villoresi, L’Occitane, Annick Goutal and many other exclusive brands not available elsewhere. The window displays (pictured at left), which are changed monthly, are works of art created by scenic designer Enrico Miglio.
Via della Lungaretta, 63 tel. 06. 581 87 89 (Trastevere)

Santa Maria Novella
These luxury products, which originated in a Domenican monastery in Florence in 1621, are now available in outlets from Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills and Houston to boutiques in Osaka, Tokyo, Paris, Brussels and London. The Rome shop, beautifully outfitted with polished wooden shelves and cabinets, sells the complete line, from essential essences to liquors, soaps, lotions and bath products, with help available from a multi-lingual sales staff. Try the almond hand cream or the potpourri. Expensive but worth it.
Corso del Rinascimento, 47 tel. 06.687 9608 (Navona)

The Roman outpost of the cosmetic superstore is in the lower-level shopping arcade at the main train station, Stazione Termini. Like its counterparts in France and America, it's almost always crowded. The merchandise varies a little from country to country. Here you'll find lower-priced lines like L'Oreal as well as more costly Chanel, Dior and Yves Saint Laurent, and the Sephora trademark range.
(Stazione Termini) Also in Via del Corso near Piazza del Popolo.

Ufficina Nazionale
The place to shop for an excellent selection of soaps, lotions and unguents with labels hard to find in Rome, particularly the popular English Neil’s Yard range.
Via della Reginella 3 (Campo de' Fiori)

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In Rome Now Travel Guide: Shopping in Rome, Italy