Positano’s Hotel Le Sirenuse and its Eau d’Italie Brand Mark Milestones – WWD

MILAN — Even via a display screen, speaking to Marina Sersale and Sebastián Alvarez Murena is an energizing expertise.
The couple behind the wonder model Eau d’Italie and perfume label Altaia have been all smiles all through an hourlong Facetime name throughout which they shared anecdotes and mirrored on the evolution of their companies.
Their setting possible performed a job of their upbeat temper, too: rays of Mediterranean solar coming via the home windows of the legendary Hotel Le Sirenuse in Positano, Italy, lent them a pure glowy filter (and definitely elicited envy from the opposite finish of the cellphone).
Sersale and Alvarez Murena’s story is inherently intertwined with the the enduring location — an 18th-century palazzo that was become a luxurious lodge by Sersale’s father and his siblings in 1951. Ever since, it has attracted a world viewers of famend intellectuals and celebrities, and, in fashionable occasions, dominates the Instagram accounts of influencers, high-flying vacationers and vogue lovers alike.

As the lodge turned 70 this 12 months, the Eau d’Italie model marked its twentieth anniversary by persevering with its mission to exemplify the Italian life-style in its perfume assortment, which additionally consists of ambiance scents and physique care merchandise.

“In 2001, the lodge was turning 50 and massive celebrations have been to be staged in October with 400 worldwide company in attendance, however 9/11 modified the whole lot. The complete world stopped,” recalled Alvarez Murena. In the next months, the youthful technology of the household conversed and shared concepts on the right way to mark the milestone in lieu of the occasion when Sersale and Alvarez Murena got here up with the idea of making a perfume that might “bottle the sensation of being at Le Sirenuse in summer season.”

Although the couple didn’t have a background strictly targeted on magnificence — with Sersale boasting a profession as a documentary filmmaker and Alvarez Murena with a previous as journalist — the duo stepped into the area of interest perfumery enviornment to develop the juice and packaging of each the celebratory scent and associated physique care line for the lodge.
“We didn’t desire a traditional citrusy perfume, however considered replicating the scent of our terrace in summer season, outlined by the scent of terracotta warmed up underneath the solar,” continued Alvarez Murena, underscoring that the duo needed to draw back from stereotyped representations of the Amalfi coast.
They embraced the identical method whereas designing the minimal packaging. “We are in a baroque palazzo however this place has a up to date high quality in it, reminiscent of our spa designed by Gae Aulenti. So we needed the scent’s look to reflect this enchantment and be fashionable as a way to slot in each home, not simply right here,” stated Sersale concerning the important, white flacon.
The Eau d’Italie perfume bought instant — and sudden — visibility, as requests began to come back via by the likes of 10 Corso Como in Milan and Colette in Paris.
“We thought it was so cool however the demand bought unmanageable, so we had two choices: both let go of this venture or evolve it and open a small firm,” stated Alvarez Murena. The couple went for the latter and since 2004 has been increasing the Eau d’Italie providing, which at the moment counts 10 scents bearing names reminiscent of “Easy to Love” and “Un Bateau Pour Capri.” Drawing inspiration from completely different, Italian experiences, the vary was enriched this 12 months with the latest “Jasmine Leather” scent paying tribute to the nation’s artisanal traditions.

Distribution progressively expanded, too, with merchandise at the moment out there on the lodge’s emporium in addition to roughly 300 doorways worldwide, starting from Bergdorf Goodman to platforms reminiscent of beautyhabit.com within the U.S. The model additionally has a flagship in Rome and e-commerce delivery in all Europe.
Throughout the years packaging underwent three revamps, the newest of which was designed to mark the twentieth anniversary and set the tone for the model’s future chapters. Transitioning to a extra luxe interpretation, the founders maintained the linear silhouettes however revisited proportions. They moreover scaled again on the popping colours that used to differentiate the completely different scents: Now coloured accents simply define the brand new labels that adorn the white lacquered glass flacons and mark the textured paper of the restyled outer containers.
Each bottle is topped by a mirror-polished strong brass cap, which nods to the look of the lodge’s bar counter and is engraved with the 2 mermaids of Le Sirenuse’s emblem.

The Eau d’Italie assortment of fragrances. 
Courtesy of Eau d’Italie

In sync with the picture elevation, the couple additionally adjusted the value positioning to be extra in sync with the model fairness and market situations, which over the past years registered a spike within the demand of area of interest perfumes. Prices for every 100-ml. sized edp switched from 125 euros to 150 euros, or round 170 {dollars}.
Beside Italy, key markets for the label embody the U.S, the U.Okay., Germany and particularly Australia, the place the model is obtainable at Mecca Cosmetica.
“We have had a little bit exposition within the Middle East, perhaps as a result of our look was perceived too Occidental. But over the previous 10 to fifteen years, Middle Eastern customers have modified quite a bit and had such an attention-grabbing evolution, additionally by way of style, so it is sensible that we now discover that market,” stated Alvarez Murena about future plans.
The firm can also be implementing a pilot launch in Japan to check the native market. “Even if Japanese customers don’t have a protracted custom in utilizing perfumes, they recognize the eye to particulars. We seen in our gross sales factors that these prospects bought our merchandise not a lot for the perfume per se however as a form of sculptures to maintain at house,” he stated. “Plus, they love storytelling and we’ve loads of that. So unsure what is going to occur in that market however it’s value a strive.”

Meanwhile, with the expertise gained from the Eau d’Italie venture, the duo additionally launched a second, larger positioned model. In 2012, Sersale and Alvarez Murena found by probability that their households crossed paths in Argentina centuries in the past — the previous is the great-great-granddaughter of entrepreneur James Morrison and the latter the great-great-grandson of General Bartolomé Mitre, who grew to become unified Argentina’s first president in 1862 and opened the nation to international investments, together with Morrison’s.
The ancestral hyperlink impressed the couple to create Altaia, acronym for “A very long time in the past in Argentina,” and have fun their storytelling via fragrances. The model now consists of seven scents, starting from “Don’t Cry For Me” to the latest “Atacama” perfume.

The Altaia assortment of fragrances. 
Courtesy of Altaia

Retailing at 175 euros every, the Altaia scents are distributed through the identical channels as Eau d’Italie’s, however the couple’s final plan for this model is to maintain it strictly targeted on perfumery quite than exploring different classes.


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