A calm, sensual and luxurious room fragrance is like an exciting journey. It whispers quiet stories and awakens positive emotions. Home fragrances that create an olfactory experience are the stylish expression of a personal signature. Scented candles and diffusers that work invisibly and contribute to the creation of a sophisticated environment are particularly popular. As we followed our noses through Ambiente 2015, we discovered many new products and entered the world of stylish flacons and flickering fragrance temptations.
As German poet and author of Faust, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, once enthused: “… this fragrant addiction”. Goethe wrote his most beautiful poems with the scent of eau de cologne in his nostrils. He is known to have kept the formulation with its hints of orange groves and the Mediterranean in a Rosolio glass flacon, sprinkling it frequently on his handkerchief. In the writing room of this most famous native son of Frankfurt there was a constant scent of orange and lemon blossom. The fragrance of his beloved Italy hung in the air.
Fragrance and art
And as we gave free rein to our olfactory receptors in the Ambiente Luxury Scents area, we felt what Goethe must once have experienced. We were guided to delightful room fragrances suitable for all rooms and living spaces – here the aroma of mint and grasses, there a Mediterranean potpourri of pomegranate seeds, roses and water melons. Can Paradise smell more exquisite? Warm and fresh like a promise. It was all very pleasing on the eye, too, as these luxurious fragrances emanated from stunningly beautiful flacons and wax jars. We were seriously impressed. Essence containers seem now to be designed as standalone works of art rather than purely functional interior accessories. They are clearly following in the footsteps of the perfume flacons that have long been an expression of the desire for individuality, both internally and externally.
Two main trends are in evidence. There are new flacons that are informed by a sense of history: for instance, the containers of Italian perfume specialist and pharmacist Dr. Paolo Vranjes that clearly reference the dome of Florence Cathedral, or the diffuser bamboo sticks upright in restrained flacons that could have come from the Bauhaus era. By contrast, original classic flowers are the inspiration for a decanter flacon that releases the fruity aromas of its wine-red, vine-infused essence into the room.
“Exclusive special editions such as ours that are produced in cooperation with the sports car company Maserati are on trend”, says fragrance expert Hans-Peter Lorenz, the exclusive distributor of Dr. Vranjes products in Germany. “Two brands – an Italian lifestyle and a captivating fragrance.” We let our noses be the judge, and what they experienced were notes of leather and musk – an olfactory six-pack in Maserati blue.
When asked about discernible trends in terms of sales, Hans-Peter Lorenz gave a surprising answer: “We have been operating for 30 years in 90 countries. Our customers in the sunnier regions tend to like the stronger, spicier aromas irrespective of season, whereas in the North they go for products that are fresh and airy. In Germany the North in terms of fragrances starts precisely at the level of Hanover, which we ourselves find quite surprising.” As the Northerners snuggle up in front of the fire during winter, they tend to go for somewhat sharper citrus notes and light aromas of wood.
The new fragrance generation
Another trend we discovered were the ‘young wild things’, as we call them – flacons with a unique handcrafted character and scented candles designed to create spectacular effects. We were fired with enthusiasm at first sight by the giant, decoratively shimmering vases from Izaio Fragrances with candles that burn for 500 hours. This sea of light needs plenty of space for its full ‘wellness effect’ to unfold and is therefore ideal for showrooms, spas and hotels.
Another highlight at the fair was the outstanding German premiere by Italian designer furniture specialist Kartell of its new ‘Kartell Fragrances’ brand. Based on its established range of furniture, the company presented energy-charged room fragrances with opulent decorative elements, as well as new diffusers and a sophisticated electronic capsule system. In collaboration with some of the world’s best ‘noses’, designer and architect Ferruccio Laviani has certainly succeeded in setting a new benchmark for form and function. Tall vases with holes to let the light shine through create an organic, surreal and dramatic setting – brilliant when integrated in a complementary interior design. By contrast, we also loved the simple scented candles with base and cover – almost religious objects. We are interested to see how this Kartell series of 70 individual items will revolutionise the room fragrance product segment – it certainly has the innovative energy to do so.