The Francesca Dell’Oro brand was founded in 2011, and Francesca is its soul and creative director. Her experience in the fields of communication and high fashion has led her to pay utmost attention to every single detail, in terms of both the quality of the raw materials and the presentation of the perfume. This has led to the iconic bottle, sculpted from crystal, inspired by the figure and art of Tamara de Lempicka, an emancipated original woman, and an unmistakable synonym for elegance. As are her fragrances: refined, modern, cherished, and Francesca is not just the creator. She personally plays an active part in the selection of raw materials, creation and production, thanks to her expert training and professional development. The public at Smell Festival will have the opportunity to meet Francesca Dell’Oro on Friday, May 26 at the Perfume Showcase, the exposition event dedicated to artistic perfume held at the Grand Hotel Majestic “già Baglioni” in Bologna.
We had to opportunity to speak to her and asked that she tell us about her view of perfumery combined with her experience in the world of fashion.
The topic of Smell Festival 2017 is “Roots”. Do you think your past, memories, and origins have some influence on the creation of your perfumes?
I am convinced that memories and origins are an autobiographical signature in the creation of a perfume. It is a well-known fact that the main inspirational and creative principles are guided by what you have breathed in the past and what you discover in the future. My perfumes are definitely bound to the evocation of memories and I am not surprised because the idea of each creator is to filter our emotions, our lives, or specific facts that in some way inspired me to transform them into an olfactory composition. This reminds me of one of the most emblematic perfumes, Page 29, because more than any other, it represents a very special tough period. In fact, even the choice of the raw materials that make up this fragrance was influenced by the desire to communicate this scared fabric, this almost live element, very strong and intense within the composition.
Without a doubt you have been asked this question hundreds of times, but would you share it with us? Why is the seal of your fragrance brand an ouroborus snake, the symbol of infinity and the eternal return?
In reality, my brand’s symbol has two meanings. Without a doubt, the ouroborus snake recalls the symbolism related to infinity and the eternal return, in fact it that is the leitmotif of what my vital elements are: nothing is created and nothing is destroyed; there is an infinite circle the encloses all elements inside which everything adheres like resins that are bound, based on my experience both in terms of chance and sense. The other meaning is more intimate and hidden. It is not by chance that I come from a family of jewelers. The “O” is also a symbol of gold and one of the first rings I was given by my father when I was little, about 6 or 7, was a small snake with a ruby eye and it has always represented in some way the strong bond with jewelry and my family. This is why with my brand I wanted to celebrate my beginnings, my supporting belief, and therefore a very strong symbol that represents the bond with my last name and everything it represents.
The bottle of the Francesca Dell’Oro collection recalls modern lines, cubist decomposition, the works of Tamara de Lempicka. An almost adamantine beauty in which compositions that impress for their sensuality, the use of gourmet notes, for the attention to the selection of “beautiful materials” that immediately involve you on a physical, vital plane. How much of this belongs to the fusion of contradictory elements, this love of facets and diversity?
This is a question I love answering: it is the contradictory element in Francesca. First of all, the project related to the bottle was performed in collaboration with a very careful designer, sensitive to what I wanted to communicate with the project: the idea was exactly that of working with edges and curves. The curves are bound to the part of the bottle that is held and this gives it an ergonomic aspect, dynamic comfort that you experience when you hold the perfume in your hand. While the faceted part represents the sensitive shading that exists inside a composition: remember that perfume is a family and that the facets in some way represent the aspects of being human. All of us have an imprinting that represents our family, and it is the immediately recall that we give to others, but the facets are the details, the elements that define us and make us each different. So I wanted the bottle to encompass these two aspects, to play with it and to live it through different perspectives. It is very interesting that the project created a bottle that is becoming an icon in its genre thanks to this play of edges and reflections created by the rounded lines in the remaining part. This allows the light to be captured and refracted; creating a beautiful, structured element that can exist on different focal planes, too. In fact, it can be inclined on its front plane or even positioned on its back. This is a very important work, which was to represent structure and beauty, the great research and sophistication that are also found inside the vial.
Which fragrances in your collection do you believe in most? The ones that have given you the most satisfaction?
Let me say that I have never believed in one fragrance more than the others. Perhaps in a few I have taken greater risks with the olfactory notes that could be hard and particular to metabolize. This is the case of Francine, for example, which in reality has proven to be a perfume that many like exactly because it hides this very strong dualism between the austere dryness and the harshness of Galbanum, but that is softened by amber and absolute flower infusions, giving an airiness that in some how pure and green to the entire fragrance. Perhaps Ambrosine, the forefather, has given me the greatest satisfaction, truly personal satisfaction, as it is the first perfume I created and it gave voice to this wonderful project. It has definitely been recognized as a special, particular perfume with great potential. Lullaby is another perfume I am quite fond of, for its Lolita-like personality, fruity, irreverent, and mischievous, yet at the same time highly structured. It is has a harmony tied to the raw materials which make it pleasing to a very wide audience and it is definitely one of the best-sellers in the collection. Finally, the launch of two new fragrances, Voile Confit and Rubia Sucrée, has further confirmed my olfactory choices because for the first time I have presented a contrast, playing with Hesperidian fragrances that in turn flirt with gourmet notes of high impact. Nothing sickeningly sweet, nothing that recalls the artificial gourmand world, excessively sugary, rather a very exclusive project that gives live to something candied, something softer, highly evocative yet sensual and embracing.
Like a dress, perfume contributes to creating an image of one’s-self, which changes based on the event, your feelings, and season. But while fashions fade, some fragrances remain, like indelible classics in our mind. What is the perfume you would never stop wearing?
This is true, fashions change. This is why I feel like a free pitcher, both in fashion and olfactory creation. I like to follow trends and I am without a doubt tied to the world that I have breathed and from which I come. But I have always tried to build myself a style that was as tailored as possible, cut for me. This is what I have also done in my selection of olfactory compositions. I aim for something to feel good in always, something that becomes a classic for itself, something that may be put aside but picked-up again later, that represents a trusting life companion within your beauty ceremony. I thing that the perfume I would never stop wearing is definitely Fleurdenya because with its cleanliness and sensuality, so neo-romantic, it takes a bit from Vintage yet at the same time is very modern. It represents one of those basic accessories for all seasons, the seasons of life.