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The rediscovered scent of Bologna

On May 21 1827, Pietro Bortolotti presented to the Healthcare Commission his historical invention, called “Acqua di felsina”. From that moment, he gained a chance to sell it in his perfume shop under the Portico del Pavaglione. The scent, available in Rossa (Red) or Bianca (White) varieties, received many awards at exhibitions across Europe also conquering America. I
“Acqua di felsina” obtained recognition in the history of Italian perfumes. It was loved by celebrities like Guglielmo Marconi; other writers, such as Alfredo Testoni, Mario Praz, and Italo Calvino, talked about it in their works. But this historical fragrance called “Acqua di felsina” became most of all the perfume of Bologna.

It still happens today that on the traditional day when the "Madonna della Pioggia" is moved in a procession across the long Portico di San Luca, the people of Bologna sprinkle their beloved perfume on a handkerchief and waved it to salute their protector Mary. 

The Portico del Pavaglione, next to the Archiginnasio was suffused with the fragrance of this perfume as this is where it was produced and sold. The Italian royal families knew it and appreciated it so much that they conferred upon the company a jewel and the privilege of calling the business the “Imperial and Royal Perfume Shop”.

The Bortolotti company had maintained a family management by passing on the craft from father to son for four generations
Only after the last postwar, following the death of the last perfumer of the company whose name is Pietro Bortolotti, his wife, who had been running the company for a few years,  proposed to his nephew, Livio Grandi, to get involved in the business.
Thirty years later, Barbara, Livio's granddaughter, discovered in the basement some documents belonging to her grandfather, including the two formulas called "white felsina water" and "red felsina water". Moved by the discovery, Barbara talked to her brother Pierpaolo and the two achieved the dream of "returning the perfume to the city of Bologna".

Meeting Francesca Faruolo, the creator and director of Smell - Festival dell'Olfatto, gave the sibling the final motivation to fulfil their project. They meticulously looked for experts in order to create "Autentica di Felsina", which expresses the true intention of the brand's supporters to bring these creations back to their original prestige.

For further information visit our website Autentica di Felsina