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How Positano’s Most Iconic Hotel Inspired This Line of Fragrances
Le Sirenuse is one of Amalfi Coast’s most beautiful properties.
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If you’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting Le Sirenuse Hotel—the iconic family-run luxury hotel perched above the sea in gorgeous Positano and American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property—then you’ve probably spent a significant amount of time at one of its beautiful terraces draped in fuchsia-hued bougainvillea overlooking the town’s pebble beach and the glistening Tyrrhenian Sea while enjoying the citrusy smell of lemon trees that the breeze carries at sundown.
It is exactly that heavenly unmistakable bouquet of aromas that fills up the air in Positano in the summer that inspired Sebastián Alvarez Murena and his wife Marina Sersale, owners of the famed property, to create the first Eau d’Italie fragrance 15 years ago.
“The most difficult part was creating a sort of ‘mineral’ scent, something that would transmit the earthy note of terracotta tiles warmed up by the sun,” said Sarsale.
Once they had that nailed down, they added notes of fresh bergamot and blackcurrant buds and a note of frankincense for depth.
The couple has now released 15 Eau d’Italie fragrances, with the last one being Easy to Love—“an intriguing subtle melody of fig and flowers, seductive and timeless—just like Italy,” they wrote on their website. They have teamed up with some of the world’s most prolific perfumers such as Bertrand Duchaufour, Alberto Morillas, and Daphne Bugey. For Easy to Love, Murena and Sarsale worked with Dora Baghriche, the “nose” behind perfumes such as Yves Saint Laurent’s Mon Paris, Versace’s Vanitas, and Giorgio Armani’s Gardenia Antigua, to create the scent which includes a Tonka bean and Ambrette seeds base and middle notes of white peony and honey. For the packaging, they again looked to Le Sirenuse. All Eau d’Italie fragrances come in white bottles inspired by the white houses of Positano.
“The interesting thing is that, although Le Sirenuse is a Baroque, 17th-century palazzo in Southern Italy, it has never felt “old”, in any way. It's actually always been very avant-garde, all along the years,” explains Sarsale. He mentions that ever since her uncle Franco asked his friend, the renowned architect Gae Aulenti, to create a spa and fitness center more than 20 years ago which wasn’t something most boutique hotels had at the time, Le Sirenuse has been looking to the future instead of holding on to its past.
“All this led us to design a very contemporary packaging for Eau d’Italie, in which the white lacquered bottle—at the time it was absolutely unique and mold-breaking to have a fragrance in a white, non-see-through bottle—echoes the white houses of Positano, the light green of the box and label are those of the hand-painted tiles of Le Sirenuse’s terrace, and the rich burgundy of the details was directly taken from the color of the façade of the hotel,” explains Sarsale.
The duo has now expanded the line to include home fragrances and skincare products such as body milk and bath salts. So if you feel nostalgic about the warm days of summer, we rounded up our favorite Eau d’Italie products below: