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The Italian inspiration behind our products

Caterina de’ Medici, the 16 th century Florentine noblewoman, had her personal perfumer, Renato Bianco, create such highly prized fragrances, that she visited his laboratory via a secret passage.

When she left Italy to marry Henri, Duc d’Orlean, who became Henri II, King of France, Renato, nicknamed Rene de Florentin by the French, was one of the most valued of her courtiers to accompany her to France.

A prolific innovator, Caterina the Renaissance queen, is credited with introducing an even greater elegance to the French.

As well as perfume, she introduced high-heeled shoes, corsets, ballet, the refined style of eating with a fork and Italian cooking to the French.

Foods whose introduction to France have been attributed to Caterina include parsley, the artichoke, lettuce, broccoli, the garden pea, pasta, Parmesan, as well as the turkey and tomato of the New World.

She also received credit for introducing sauces and a variety of dishes such as duck à l’orange and deviled eggs.

Mother of 3 French kings, she became the most powerful woman in 16th century Europe.

Portrait of Caterina de Medici

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