Herbarium : Italian language, Olfactory Memory & Ancient Perfums

Herbarium : Italian language, Olfactory Memory & Ancient Perfums – The aim of the new activity is to bring ancient knowledge back to life and share Etruscan womens’cultural heritage while learning  Italian.

We still don’t know a lot about the Etruscan population who lived in Tuscany centuries ago. Even less we know about the Etruscan women, ignored by history to the point of being totally forgotten. It seems that they were very emancipated for their times, wise herbalists and healers.

This project is based on our passion for Tuscany, with its aromatic plants and ancient perfumes, and on the dream of being able to capture the essence of a place and of an experience.

Moreover, the project is naturally linked to Chiara’s Tuscany’s experiential teaching method applied to the Italian language.      Watch the  Video HERE 


The Project: Herbarium- following the Etruscans’ footsteps

What is it ? It is a workshop that includes an Italian language and culture lesson & a Botanical Laboratory to bring back to life and preserve the cultural heritage of the territory, linked to phytotherapy and well-being.

A lesson about the fascinating Etruscan people, who inhabited this land centuries ago, with particular attention to their women, their role and their phytotherapy knowledge.


A Botanical workshop : Hands-on Experience to learn  how to use aromatic herbs, essences and local ingredients to create products for personal use. A workshop to practice and improve the Italian language while learning to recognise herbs, identify and capture the essence of a place we love, of a holiday, a happy moment, to be able to relive the experience.

The Research behind

In collaboration with Tuscan museums and local archaeological societies, Chiara, over the years, studied the history of the Etruscans and collected information and documents showing their deep knowledge of herbs and plant properties. Etruscans were true experts in maintaining the balance between body and spirit.

Innovative concept: Olfactory Experiences & Language Learning

Chiara’s lessons often talk about scents and perfumes. Why?

It’s not just a romantic subject; it is part of her unique teaching method.  What is a scent, a fragrance, an odour? It is the chemical process allowing us to perceive chemicals that stimulate the olfactory organs.


What is a scent…not chemically speaking?  It is the trigger of a whirlwind of emotions and memories.  Olfactory memories bring back to life memories that we thought were lost forever.  The involuntary memory of Proust, his “Madeleines”, the unique and precious souvenirs of each of us.

Marie Caroline Guerin – Antidote

All this is a magical mix of disciplines combining neurology with linguistics.

How do you learn your native language?  Through emotions.

Do you know that olfactory memory is a powerful tool to

  • Provoke emotions
  • Reactivate distant memories
  • Generate long-term ones
  • Fix sensations and reinforce learned concepts?

Furthermore, olfactory memory is completely language unrelated.  It actually bypasses words and verbalisation.

It is therefore an arduous cognitive task to describe and classify scents and odours, even everyday ones, such as morning coffee or freshly baked bread.   If it is challenging in your own language, imagine how stimulating it might be trying to do it in another language!


During this workshop, history and new vocabulary are combined with aromatic herbs and essences. They become useful tools to communicate and describe sensations while making products that will, eventually help us to remember the experience, and all the things learned, while having fun.

An experience difficult to explain without trying it.  Just as it is almost impossible to describe a perfume.   I can only invite you to participate!

Full article in Italian , you can  read HERE




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