About us

The Merchant Of Venice represents the Art of Perfumery of Venice. It draws attention to the everlasting role of the city as an essential force in the perfumery tradition throughout the world, and it is intended to highlight the tradition that made Italy, and particularly Venice, central to the history of perfumery. The Merchant Of Venice is a luxury line that offers a large assortment of exclusive Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette, along with body care and household products and accessories.

The line is inspired by the “Mude,” the maritime trade routes that covered a very large area from Asia to Africa, and on to Europe as far as the Northern Seas. The “Mude” started from Venice and reached many different harbours, which in turn were the destination of other commercial routes. These ports were the exchange centres for raw materials and finished products.

This system enabled the Republic of Venice to acquire the knowledge and raw materials that otherwise it could not directly attain from within its own mainland. Through master craftsmen such as the muschieri (perfumers), venditori de polvere di Cipro (Cyprus powder haberdashers) and the saoneri (soap makers), new techniques of production were invented that made the Venetian perfumes and cosmetics highly sought after products in all the Royal Courts of Europ


The Vidal Family, involved in the arts of perfumery for more than a century, recognised the need for a cultural luxury brand that would express the uniqueness of Venice: The Merchant Of Venice.

In the late Middle Ages, Venice is already the center of the European trades.

As a matter of fact in 1060 the princess Teodora Ducas, daughter of the Emperor of Byzantium, gets married with the Doge Domenico Selvo. Thus began the history of perfume and cosmetics in Venice, which will become in later centuries the center of the European perfumery art.



The Republic of Venice

periodically sponsors the shipping routes of Venetian merchants to Middle and Far East with commercial purposes. The Venetian merchants trade goods produced in Venice with spices, incense, perfumes and silks from Asia and North Africa, through the “Road of Silk” and the sea routes controlled by the Byzantines and Arabs. Reworked in Venice, these goods are then shipped to various parts of Europe, object of the yearning of men and women prepared to pay large sums of money to secure them.


Marco Polo starts off his first trip to China.

On his return to Venice he introduces many cultural aspects of China including body care. Many names of fragrant substances, plants and animals, are written in his travel report “Il Milione”.


With the quantity of raw materials brought by trades with the East,

the Venetian perfumery stands up to a period of great splendor. This is the century of the birth of the Corporations of Saoneri (soap producers) and Muschieri (perfume producers) which have the merit of transforming the craftsmanship linked to cosmetics into real art.



The interest in the composition of perfumes and cosmetics

is documented by the numerous publications printed in Venice in the 16thcentury featuring recipes and treatises that revealed the ‘secrets' of their manufacture and promised beauty and appeal but also health effects.One book stands out among the various publications: “Notandissimi Secreti dell'Arte profumatoria” (“The very noble secrets of Perfumery Art”) published in Venice in 1555. It contains 300 recipes, including the art of hair dyeing, the art of perfuming the bod y or the house, the art of adding scents to laundry or leather accessories smelling tanning leather.



The masters Venetian soap makers and perfumers

are requested in the European courts and particularly in France to practice their art as real artists. In Venice rich and not so rich shops display a wide variety of perfumed waters and pastes to satisfy the most demanding request, while the number of hairdressers and barbers in town raise up to 400, evidence of the Venetian attention to personal care.



The Vidal family expresses the need and the will to create a cultural project

that is capable of generating the appropriate relationship between the perfumery tradition of the family within the Venetian cultural patrimony and the history of the perfumery art in the city.


During this year, “The Merchant of Venice” is created.

This ambitious project has two souls: commercial and cultural. It takes its inspiration from the ancient Mude, the Venetian trade routes. 
Due to the collaboration with the Fondazione Musei Civici of Venice, Palazzo Mocenigo is re-opened to the public. The palace, already the Study Centre for the History of Venetian Textile and Costumes, now also houses eight new rooms dedicated to the history of the Venetian Perfumery Art.



In October, the new Brand, The Merchant of Venice, is launched,

which includes the first collection of Eau de Parfum, the Murano Collection, and a series of high -level ancillary products. The Flagship Store of the Brand opens inside the ancient pharmacy shop (circa 1600) in Campo San Fantin.  
During the same year, The Merchant of Venice wins the “CULTURA+IMPRESA 2013” award.


The Brand enlarges the assortment:

it expands the existing lines, and launches the Museum Collection Eau de Parfum Concentrée and the Murano Art Candle.
With the opening of the first international corner in London, the Brand initiates its commercial development. 


Following the phenomenon of Brand awareness, highly prestigious lines are presented:

Nobil Homo (masculine line), Murano Exclusive (symbol of refinement and elegance), and Murano Art Collection, The latter is a unique line that is capable of combining the perfumery art with that of the ancient art of Murano glass. 
In July of the same year, The Merchant of Venice enters the magnificent Salon de Parfum, a space in Harrods that is dedicated to the most refined fragrances throughout the world. 


© 2018 The Merchant of Venice