One morning 140 years ago, in the flourishing town of Parma, a man, coming from Ponte di Mezzo, turned into Via Cavour. He held a youngster in his hand who trotted happily by his side on this early-morning walk. They stopped in front of a barber shop where the owner, Dario Saccò was waiting for him at the entrance with his arms crossed. The two men, long time friends, greeted each other, talked about the weather, the family, work, and then about the boy who was hanging around nearby; finally, accompanied by a fatherly blow, the boy crossed the threshold of the shop, taken on consignment by this barber friend. This is how the perfumery adventure of Lodovico Borsari began. The third son of a carpenter with other eleven children to be systematised, Lodovico had preferred to become a barber’s apprentice rather than to continue the activity of his father leaving that to the other brothers.
In those years Parma still enjoyed the illuminated period of government of the duchess Maria Luigia, wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, who died in 1847, she had known how to give impulse to the arts, to commerce and to the craftsmanship of the city. In Saccò’s shop, Lodovico Borsari discovered a natural predisposition for the creation of fragrances, creams and cosmetic products: a artisan production realized in the back office, so much that, after a few years, Dario Saccò thought about making him his partner. Among the various compositions realized by Lodovico, there was one creation that made the shop of the two associates famous: a perfume of violets that ladies used more and more often.
In 1880 with a formula of his own invention, Lodovico Borsari proposed a traditional perfume distilled by parmesan monks that had been very popular during the time of the Dukedom of Maria Luigia. The fragrance was called “Violetta di Parma”, and success came quickly. Towards the end of the century - in 1897 - Lodovico Borsari started his industrial activity, really widening the range of fragrances and shortly became a point of reference for Italian perfumery art.
Great care has also always been employed by "Borsari & Figli" in the creation of fragrance containers. The fruitful collaboration with the Glass works Bormioli gave life to splendid samples in glass and crystal. The same is true for the graphics of the labels and the boxes, submitted to designers and painters of national fame. All the styles that have crossed the century - from Liberty to Art Déco to the Nineteen hundreds - can be seen in the Borsari productions. A "frame-container" is the splendid building in nineteen hundred style company headquarters and museum, in Via Trento in Parma, built in the1930s. Borsari still operates today with the denomination "Borsari 1870".