Eau d'Italie Eau de Parfum as seen on Thrillist.com...
and available online at Beauty Frontier
How Perfumers Put Vacation in a Bottle
Aw, the scent of travel.
There are many types of souvenirs to buy on vacation. But for Kimberly Waters, it’s all about the perfume. An earthy vetiver scent she bought in Cuba still makes her reminisce about dancing down cobblestone streets with friends. A Grenadian bay leaf fragrance reminds her of the island's lush plants and flavorful food. When she sniffs the amber notes of Midnight Call by Les Soeurs De Noe, she remembers purchasing it on a summer trip to Greece. Waters, who is the founder of curated fragrance company Muse (Modern Urban Sensory Experiences), which she describes as “art gallery meets fragrance,” sees scents as having a direct connection to places and experiences—hence her inclination to add to her collection on trips.
“The scent becomes tangible,” she explains, “allowing you to relive the moments, recall the landscapes, and revive the emotions associated with that specific place. It's a way for individuals to carry a piece of their favorite destinations with them.”
Whether it’s a vetiver perfume acquired in Cuba or a bay aroma from Grenada, there’s no denying that scents are heavily linked to how we make connections to everything we’ve seen or done. A 2021 study highlighted how the brain’s hippocampus (the memory hub) works with our olfactory system.
It comes as no surprise, then, that many hotels have taken note of the feeling that scents can evoke and come up with their own custom fragrances. Take the Le Sirenuse hotel in Positano, which created its Eau d’Italie signature scent (Eau d'Italie Eau de Parfum) in the wake of a canceled 50th anniversary celebration. The scene of the Amalfi Coast typically brings visions of lavender, citrus, and an ocean breeze to mind, but “we didn’t want to be obvious in our way of portraying Le Sirenuse in a fragrance,” says Eau d'Italie Fragrances co-founder, Sebastián Alvarez Murena.
More than two years of development later, the resulting scent—which Murena says is meant to embody “the sensations experienced on the terrace of Le Sirenuse”—certainly has a sea-salted breeze, but also some less expected notes that truly make it a signature for guests who’ve visited the nearly-hundred-year-old property. Lemon, black currant, and sea salt highlight the airy freshness of the Amalfi Coast, while terracotta and frankincense call attention to the hotel’s handmade tiles and the church that sits below the property. People have responded well to the fragrance, which has expanded to an entire line of scented diffusers and body lotion, with bottles designed to mimic the colorful homes of Positano.
Still, while the packaging is appealing, Morena says, “More than images, more than any other thing, fragrances take us directly to a place, moment, to a person.” When guests purchase Eau d’Italie, they’re transported back to the sun-drenched Sirenuse with every whiff.