The Italian firm of Alessi recently entered the field of home fragrances with The Five Season, a collaboration with famed Dutch designer Marcel Wanders introduced at the Milan Design Fair. The idea of the home fragrance and its possible reinterpretation through the language of design has fascinated Alessi since the mid-1980s. It is an interest that was sparked when the maestro Andrea Branzi suggested the imaginative but impossible idea of reproducing the pleasure of outdoor life through fragrances based on the fresh air of the Dolomites or inspired by sea cliffs.
“The Five Seasons – explains Alberto Alessi – is a collection of objects that creates a multisensory experience: sinuous organic forms that are aesthetically pleasing; natural materials that delight our sense of touch and enveloping scents dedicated to our oldest and most instinctive sense – our sense of smell.”
The collection is a love song to nature, which is celebrated through the domestic recreation of the cyclical experience of the seasons: from the regeneration that follows the cold winter and the blossoming of nature in the spring, to the full flowering of the summer and the harvesting of the autumn fruits. These four traditional seasons are joined by a fifth: Transcendence, enigmatic and cloaked in black.
Marcel Wanders explains: “The Alessi collection of home fragrances invites us to discover the immensity of nature and to embrace its spirit in our home. The intensity and vitality of the scents hang in the air day and night, immersing us in an experience of continual transformation. The natural changing of the seasons perfectly mirrors our life cycle: this is why we have created fragrances that speak to our souls and involve us in a transcendent and transformative way.”
The scents were created with the advice of one of the most important perfume makers in Grasse. The personalities of the fragrances are suggested by their highly evocative names: “Brrr” (Winter), mature, fresh and bright with notes of bergamot, lily of the valley and musk; “Ahhh” (Spring), young and delicate with the freshness of a mystical garden and with notes of cardamom, hyacinth and vetiver; “Hmm” (Summer), vibrant and hearty, warm and inviting with a bouquet of figs, red fruits and mixed woods; “Grrr” (Autumn) complex, dense, smoky and sensual with a mix of incense, cedar wood and moss; “Shhh” (Special) mysterious, spiritual, obscure and enveloping, with hints of eucalyptus, rose and patchouli.
“The Five Seasons” is completed by a diverse range of small accessories for the home. These include the Leaf fragrance diffuser, Scented candles, Room Spray, a Lava stone fragrance diffuser, a Bottle candle holder and a Candle snuffer. Precious materials, like porcelain and mahogany wood, and elements inspired by nature, like twigs, shape the design of the entire range.
The mahogany leaf fragrance diffuser is perhaps the piece that best captures the spirit of the collection. The porcelain bowl, white for the Four Seasons and black for the season of transcendence, is circular with a slightly rounded base. The leaves used to diffuse a different scent for each season, are made from sapele mahogany, chosen for its porosity and color, which enhances the silhouette of the design. Only three twigs come into contact with the fragrance: for a more intense scent the elements can be moved around so the dry twigs also absorb the perfume. The leaf fragrance diffuser is sold together with a 5 oz. bottle of essence. The scent lasts for two to three months depending on the temperature and the level of humidity in the home. The design of the rounded base of the diffuser enables the bowl to rotate: a little push and it begins to spin, allowing the air to circulate among the leaves and the fragrance to disseminate more widely throughout the room.
The candles housed in a porcelain bowl closed with a decorated ash wood lid, which can also be used as a base. The candles are made from an entirely vegetable-based wax and have a cotton and linen wick. They come in two sizes, 8 oz. and 21 oz., and last for around 40 hours in the smaller size. The wax and porcelain bowl of the scents dedicated to the four seasons are white, while the fifth season dedicated to transcendence comes in black. The ash wood lid is made by artisans from the Valle Strona, an area of Lake Orta close to Alessi’s headquarters. This area has been known for its wood craftsmanship since the early 1500s.
The room spray is an elegant cruet inspired by an age-old ritual, a chance to treat oneself to a wonderful moment of calm during our hectic everyday lives. The name of the scent is applied with a decal on the glass container. Zamak and white details for “Brrr”, “Ahhh”, “Hmm” and “Grrr”, black trim for “Shhh”.
Exclusively for the “Shhh” is a a small ash wood tray accommodates a fragment of black lava stone and an essential oil and dropper. The fragment of black lava stone chosen for “The Five Seasons” comes from Sardinia. The material’s characteristic porosity makes it very effective at absorbing and pleasantly releasing the scent.
Completing the collection is the “Smack” Bottle Candle holder/stopper and “Bzzz” candle snuffer, made from chrome-plated zamak. Smack reveals its dual function on the table or in the kitchen: as a highly effective bottle top for wine bottles or as a candle holder for romantic meals. Smack’s double cavity enables it to hold both taper candles and tea lights. The “Bzzz” candle snuffer is an adorable little bee with a long stinger that acts as a handle.
The collection is available at Amusespot.com with delivery beginning in June/July 2018.