“Art imitating life” has taken on a new meaning for Ginori 1735, a leading brand in pure porcelain and artistic design, part of the Kering Group – and through the debut of its first home fragrance collection, LCDC – La Compagnia di Caterina, the Italian legacy brand blends beauty, design, and heritage, fully embracing its mission to “promote a new Renaissance.”
Its LCDC is an embodiment of the brand’s roots in superior craftsmanship and contemporary, elegant design. Through its newly launched “scented works of art,” Ginori 1735 shares the story of Caterina de’ Medici, Queen of France, a Florentine monarch that held a powerful influence in cultural and artistic development in Europe in the 16th century.
Caterina de’ Medici was praised for the visionary fragrances she introduced to the French court made by her personal perfumer, Renato Bianco, who traveled with her from Florence to Paris. Centuries later, the saga serves as inspiration for Ginori 1735’s home collection, designed by Luca Nichetto, an Italian designer that hails from Venice and specializes in a spectrum of design, ranging from products, furniture, and accessories to architecture, exhibition design and branding.
Upon taking a closer look at the collection of scented candles designed in a range of sizes and colors, incense burners, room diffusers and candle snuffers, one could surmise that Nichetto’s expertise lies in creating the extraordinary.
Focused on eight main historical yet mythic characters in the court of Caterina de’ Medici that accompanied the Queen on her journey from Florence to Paris, Nichetto’s scented statues each represent coveted traits and values: L’Amazzone (The Amazon, leadership); L’Amante (The Lover, passion); La Dama (The Lady, grace); Il Letterato (The Scholar, wisdom); Il Seguace (The Companion, friendship); Il Favorito (The Favourite, ambition); Il Frate (The Friar, generosity); and L’Addetto al Fuoco (The Fire-Master, courage).
True to form, each item is differentiated with a distinctive personality, scent, and packaging: but what they all have in common is the overarching theme “Light My Fire,” which the brand says unites the characters under a canopy of human connectedness and said tenets of leadership, wisdom, friendship, generosity, passion, grace, and ambition.
Alain Prost, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ginori 1735, told WWD that the brand’s home fragrance collection represents an extension of its product offerings to the broader category of homeware that fits its modern image of luxury. “Ginori 1735 combines heritage and innovation, exploring the present where fashion and homeware are increasingly intertwined, through the art and design of the home, hospitality, and generosity.”
“The development of LCDC collection is aimed at strengthening our positioning towards the high-end of the luxury and lifestyle international market, as well as being increasingly close to a young and connected public, with the objective of bringing our multi-century history to Y, Z and A generations.”
And perhaps that’s why the design process to make Nichetto’s vision a reality required research into art history, Italian heritage – and the brand’s archives. “Luca Nichetto drew his inspiration from our artistic history and legacy, in particular, from our statuary heritage and historical roots,” Prost said.
“Moreover, Luca mixed these elements with Lucha Libre masks, the illustrations of Jean-Paul Goude and graffiti art. In the designer’s creative vision, the statuesque faces of the characters become the archetypal protagonists of the collection. Blending the classicism of the ancestral statues with rigorous lines, the faces and sculptures take on a mysterious, iconic dimension.”
The scented statues take form in porcelain and depict faces, figures, and the “Light My Fire” phrase, each bearing the de’ Medici symbol and a wick in the center. Scents include Orange Renaissance, a citrusy and woody aroma energized by the favored citrus fruit ingredient during the era of the de’ Medici in Florence; Purple Hill, described as a fresh, light, and floral perfume that bears a likeness to the Tuscan hills in full spring bloom; and Black Stone, an oriental fragrance inspired by the black stone talisman given to Caterina de’ Medici by an astrologer in her court, with top notes of nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon.
Its LCDC collection is part of Ginori 1735’s efforts to modernize its historic roots and become a lifestyle brand beyond tableware, the company explained. “This brand extension supports Ginori 1735’s transition to a global lifestyle design brand, specializing in the highest quality, artisanal porcelain tableware and homewares, celebrating the deep heritage of the company as well as a renewed attention to the evolving tastes and lifestyle of the next generation of luxury consumers.”
The collection is utilitarian, too, which means that several of the scent statues can be refilled, including its diffuser, with a 300-ml bottle and six diffuser sticks.
And as far as personal favorites, Prost said that there are two in particular – l’Amazzone, “The Amazon” and l’Amante, “The Lover” – to which he was most involved in designing.
“L’Amazzone, for the great complexity and the undoubted aesthetic value of Luca’s creation. I also believe that it portrays a woman as a symbol of leadership and courage, who takes charge of her own destiny, is particularly important at this time: proud and domineering, she wears a battle helmet as a symbol of her strength, but also her perceptiveness.”
“The other creation is l’Amante, which in some ways represents the true emblem of the collection, an art object created in a limited edition that exalts the highest degree of savoire faire for Ginori 1735.”
Prost told WWD that the LCDC collection is just the beginning of the brand’s extension into broader lifestyle categories. “We are working on further development of our products both through the vision of our deeply experienced creative team and through collaborations with revered designers as Luca Nichetto, Luke Edward Hall or Constance Guisset.”
“Ginori 1735 intends to focus not only on porcelain tableware and homewares, but on the wider universe of art and design, initiate projects that imagine the future of living and on personalized customer experiences. Many and great novelties await us!”