From pasta dishes in Rome to limoncello on the Amalfi Coast, every summer, the social-media memes seem to write themselves: Everyone is in Italy. Last month, I was lucky enough to join the legions via the ultimate Italian tour guide, Beauty Made In Italy. The government program promotes the awareness, excellence and availability of Italian beauty brands—and to say they have a few products with amazing backstories doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. Here are seven that take tops in my book.
Olivella Moisturizer Oil ($30)
Olivella knows olive oil and the family-owned company also knows how to take the star ingredient and make it work to perfection in beauty products. The body and facial oils are lovely and deliver that just-right moisturizing—yet not greasy or slippery—formula that really does seem to “feed the skin.”
I had used this Oprah-approved, truffle-focused brand in the past, but somehow missed out on this insanely luxe hand cream. Featuring shea butter, sweet almond oil, and the company’s proprietary Black Winter Truffle Extract (this is one ingredient that takes some serious precision to take from the field to the formula), the intense hydrator single-handedly leaves hands super-moisturized and looking better on-contact.
YaBe 28 Days Beauty Ritual ($150)
The simple message of this holistic line is something everyone needs: Take a minute. This four-week treasure chest of products—there’s masks, creams and, my personal favorite, a meditation podcast that’s intended to be listened to while you’re applying—really reinvents the “mindful beauty” category.
I didn’t think I’d find one of the best shaving creams I’ve ever used at a men’s barber shop but, alas, maybe that’s where I should have been looking all along. This solid product comes in six scents (my favorite is the Green Tobacco) in a wooden bowl that’s next-level for sustainability, skin and a touch of tradition.
PhytoBios Peeling Lavanda ($29.50)
I really enjoyed meeting the mother-daughter duo who started their aromatherapy-focused line at the start of COVID and I really loved everything they are doing with lavender. I can’t get the translation quite right, but the “Peeling” product is a gentle body exfoliator that smells like the most delicious fresh lavender.
Coquillete Curis perfume ($240)
I rarely wear perfume so if I’m going to spray something, it has to be good. This new women’s scent doesn’t come out until fall, but is best described as “cozy,” giving off hues of bergamot, magnolia, amber, cardamom, cumin, jasmine, Turkish rose, and iris that mix with a warm base of suede, patchouli and tonic bean.
Another sleeper hit (see above), this jewel-box of a store, situated on a side street in Florence is worth the plane ticket itself. It’s hard to pick one favorite, but know that, if you go, you’re stepping inside some kind of “living museum” of perfumery that’s a very special experience.