Because it’s a perfume that’s quite individual, that doesn’t evoke anything in particular. It’s for a woman who dresses for herself, who doesn’t follow trends but is sophisticated and also maybe a little eccentric.1
That’s Consuelo Castiglioni, founder and designer of the Italian fashion house Marni, talking about the brand’s recently-launched debut fragrance.2 Marni has been around since 1994, but I had never heard of them — not unusual given how little attention I pay to fashion, and if the fragrance takes off, it won’t be the first time that a luxury designer is best known for an affordable perfume — Viktor & Rolf, anyone?3 The thing that caught my eye right away was the packaging, which is sophisticated and also maybe a little eccentric, and which is also excellent good fun; plus, it doesn’t remind me of any other bottle I can think of — how often does that happen now that we’re getting 1000+ new fragrances a year? Also a plus: Estee Lauder holds the license and the perfumer is Daniela Andrier. Double bonus points: Consuelo Castiglioni apparently doesn’t like fruit, flowers or sweet. I don’t dislike any of those, mind you, but we get plenty enough of them on the fragrance counters already.
Despite Ms. Castiglioni’s preferences, Marni starts with a little whoosh of fruit, tinged green and mingling with bright citrus, but it’s not sweet, and neither the fruit nor the flowers take over the proceedings…
Luna Rossa is the new woody citrus for men from Prada. It’s named for the the brand’s America’s Cup Challenge team, and is supposed to be an “unconventional marine fragrance” featuring lavender. Marine fragrances, unconventional or otherwise, are rarely my sort of thing — I do still adore Comptoir Sud Pacifique Aqua Motu, and I have a sort of soft spot (theoretical more than practical) for the old classic New West, but that’s about it for me on the marine front. On the sporty front, well, the less said the better. There are surely perfumistas who are fans of sporty fragrances, but they’re not exactly a majority contingent.
In its favor, Luna Rossa is by perfumer Daniela Andrier for Prada, and as a general rule, I like their style, even if I don’t uniformly love all of the fragrances. So I was at least mildly looking forward to Luna Rossa.
Lavender is the star of the show early on, but it’s a billowy and mild sort of lavender, with all the spikiness of natural lavender smoothed over — lavender haters probably won’t be unduly bothered…
“I do think it takes a creative soul to make fragrances,” she said, “but I don’t think it makes us artists.”
Nonetheless, she continued, “museums are filled with things that I don’t see as art.” And in an era where some of the most successful artists are those who are good at marketing, she added, “I do think Untitled is more interesting than a lot of the stuff you find in museums.”
— Perfumer Daniela Andrier, quoted in Fragrances as Art, Displayed Squirt by Squirt at the New York Times. The article is about the the new The Art of Scent exhibit at The Museum of Arts and Design in New York City.
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