Hidden treasures

Roberts Borotalco was born in Florence too!

Did you know that...
Talco_Roberts

Roberts Borotalco was born in Florence too!

Have you ever seen Roberts talcum powder? It’s the one in the green box with Art Nouveau decorations and red words. Those of you born in the '70s will know that bathing used to be followed by a good dusting of this scented talcum powder. And do you know where Borotalco was invented? In Florence, of course, precisely in the very elegant Via Tornabuoni.

If you happen to be nearby, go and look for Profumeria Inglese because it is precisely here that the British chemist Henry Roberts opened his pharmaceutical laboratory in 1843. It was a really elegant shop where you could buy beauty creams but also liquors. Many of the cosmetics and officinal preparations were skillfully created by Roberts himself, who used to mix different elements to prepare new and innovative formulas.

So it was that in 1878 he had the idea of combining the bleaching and antiperspirant qualities of ventilated talcum powder with boric acid, which was instead known for its antiseptic and soothing properties. He thus created a fine white powder, impalpable, velvety and delicately perfumed which he named borotalcum. Ladies and gentlemen, the famous Roberts talcum powder was born! Starting from 1904 it was marketed in the famous green tin can which you can still find on supermarket shelves.

Henry Roberts, in addition to running the pharmacy in Florence and opening others in Rome, Naples, London and Paris, also opened a small chemical and pharmaceutical factory near Florence. After his death he was succeeded by Halbert Houlton who subsequently merged with Manetti, owner of the pharmacy rival of the Borotalco inventor’s one. This is how Manetti-Roberts was born, a modern company that, besides many new products, still produces the famous talcum powder in the green box.

Would you like to follow Roberts' footsteps and have fun with formulas and alembics? Take part in our Perfumery Making Workshop in Florence in a time-honored shop in the Santa Croce area and you will create your own fragrance. A truly incredible sensory experience you cannot fail to try!

 

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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