“Fragrances can be more than a pleasant accessory. A great fragrance is a work of art. It can lift our days, enrich our nights and create milestones in our memories. A fragrance is liquid emotion.” (Michael Edwards ) A perfume is a distinctive sign, the first dress in contact with the skin, a choice that determines who we are or who we want to be. In the vast world of fragrances, the frequent request is that of an olfactory note that distinguishes itself from the others, of an exclusive essence. What you want is not just any perfume, but “the perfume”, what makes us unique, recognizable among all.
Italian perfumes: essences on the catwalk and craft shops
Great brands and fragrances of niche, the universe of fragances Made in Italy is very rich and varied. The combination with the world of Style was very lucky, so the most famous Italian fashion designers launched perfume lines that became true icons: from Acqua di Giò by Giorgio Armani to Rome by Laura Biagiotti, passing through Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, Salvatore Ferragamo, Moschino and Versace, unmissable in the list of the great Italian perfume brands. As with all the excellence of Italy, even the perfumery is closely linked to the craft tradition, to those creators of Italian perfumes that began to win hearts and noses a long time ago.
Officina di Santa Maria Novella
The oldest Italian perfume production house was founded in 1221 by the first European pharmacy in the famous Basilica of Florence. Here the scent for men rather than vintage is history. It was the Dominican friars who had the intuition to extract the medicines and perfumes from the aromatic and medicinal herbs of their garden. Each recipe was secret and jealously guarded, for the joy of princes and grand dukes who could enjoy a personalized product, like the Acqua della Regina, created especially for Caterina de ‘Medici. Base of bergamot and over 40 possible variations, between flowers and fruits, patchouli and tobacco, vanilla and the classic vetiver.
Violetta di Parma
Also in this case everything was born at the hands of the friars who in 1556 began in the Emilian city to prepare perfumed ointments. In the mid 1800’s Maria Luigia Duchesse of Parma asked the convent to create a perfume especially for her, based on violet leaves and flowers: this was how the famous Violetta di Parma was born, which has now become one of the most appreciated Italian luxury perfumes in the world .
Frecceri – water of Genoa
In 1853 this perfume was created by Stefano Frecceri for Vittorio Emanuele II. Virginia Oldoini, Countess of Castiglione, one of the most beautiful and elegant women in Europe, was literally enchanted by it.
Satinine Officina Odoraria
In Milan Lorenzo Usellini founded in 1883 a company for the import and distribution of toiletries. In the 1930s arrive perfumes like “Orchidea Nera” and “Caccia alla volpe”. Even the fragrance bottles were strictly Made in Italy by Vetrerie Bormioli. At the outbreak of the Second World War, Usellini gave way to what has today become a real fashion: the “loose” perfumes. The small bottles could be filled comfortably in perfumery once the perfume had finished. Avant-gardist.
Succeeding in a bottle all the beauty of one of the most famous islands in the world seems impossible, but Carthusia make it very well for years. In the list of Italian perfumes you cannot miss the fragrances produced in Capri, in the beautiful gardens overlooking the sea. The birth of the Carthusia brand is shrouded in legend: it is said that in 1380 the prior father of the Certosa di San Giacomo prepared a bouquet of flowers of Capri to welcome the Sovereign D’Angiò on the island. The water that kept these flowers for three days absorbed the pleasant scent, the “Garofilium silvestre caprese”. The recipe of this essence, along with others, was kept inside the Certosa until the discovery of the prior in the twentieth century and the consequent realization of a small perfumery laboratory by a young chemist, “Carthusia” that means “Certosa”. The strong point of Carthusia products is the possibility of personalizing at 360° the fragrance. The customer can decide every single olfactory note. More than a perfume, a signature.
Acqua di Parma
One of the most famous Italian perfume brands in the world that preserves the tradition of craftsmanship. Acqua di Parma’s colonies are intense, original, unique. Bergamot affects the sense of smell accompanied by shades of leather, amber, ebony, myrrh and oak. Those who say Acqua di Parma say Italian fragrances for men of high class and luxury: the price of Acqua di Parma also reaches up to 400 euros.
In Florence there is a laboratory where you can build your personal perfume, according to your personality. Men’s perfumes, feminine scents or unisex perfumes that are inspired by the smell of the sea. Mare Nostrum Aura Maris. Bergamot and mandarins on the head, patchouli, narcissus, and jasmine a moment later.
In Sicily born an artisanal perfumery that uses only ingredients produced on the island. Among the most requested men’s perfumes there is the Ambra Nera, with the aroma of resin and spices on a base of labdanum, musk and galbanum.
Italian niche perfumeries: the choice of a unique fragrance
Italian luxury perfumes increasingly focus on personalizing the product: the perfumeries scattered throughout the Peninsula offer the exclusive possibility of mixing fragrances to your liking to create an essence sewn on, like the most natural of clothes. There are many niche perfumeries that have understood the importance of uniqueness. In Milan, from Profumo di via Brera 6, among the sparkling shop windows, carefully selected classic brands alternate with absolute novelties. Sacro Cuore in Bologna, on the other hand, is an obligatory stop for those who like to taste aromas of an author in a real living room of other times. And then again Gambarini in Arona and the perfumery Gabriella, in Ravenna, which present to customer a wide choice of historical and avant-garde perfumes. Even Mariabruna, in Brescia, is a temple of artistic fragrances for over thirty years.
Head notes, heart and background: at every moment its persistence, to every essence its shining packaging, to each one its own perfume, chosen among many, carefully selected. In those precious drops that we wear every day are trapped memories, dreams, lost loves and loves to be conquered, days to forget and unforgettable journeys. In addition to the good smell, Italian perfumes try to leave a lot more on the skin: the beauty of a land that cannot be told, but only live.