The natural perfumes of Italy
Ever realised Italy smells insanely good? Italy has mastered its long tradition of Italian perfumery through its roots in the flora of its natural and unique landscape.
Walk down the street in any Italian town, close your eyes, and breathe in. Coffee, vanilla, citrus blossoms and fruits, figs, pine, incense – the blend is delicious, timeless and unique. The natural world of the Mediterranean permeates not only the rich art and culture of the region, but also its world-famous cuisine and Italy’s outstanding tradition of perfume making. In fact, this is where European perfumery began.
In the late Middle Ages, Venetian merchants brought back precious spices, fragrant oils and exotic resins from their long trips to Asia, the Middle and Far East, and North Africa. It was here that master craftsmen started to create their “sweet waters”, inventing new production techniques to blend the delicate substances, and opening perfume boutiques in the city. Venetian perfumes and cosmetics became sought-after products in the royal courts of Europe – indeed, the original Eau de Cologne was created in the late seventeenth century by an Italian perfumer, Giampaolo Feminis, during his stay in the city, blending Italian essential oils such as lemon, orange, neroli and rosemary into the timeless scent we know today.
An innate sense of beauty, elegance and refinement
Those same essential oils that Feminis used in Cologne still form the basis of many of the world’s most loved classic perfumes. The wonderful scents being created in Europe today have grown out of the long tradition of deriving inspiration and ingredients from the lush natural landscape. Indeed, the innovative creations of Italy’s new generation of perfume makers are reshaping the dynamics of European perfumery, capturing the same spirit of exploration and innovation that made Italy great during the Renaissance.
Italian women have an innate sense of beauty, elegance and refinement, a relaxed approach to life that influences their stunning sense of fashion as well as their approach to cookery and personal care. As author and journalist Adria J. Cimino writes, “There is no reason for verbosity in the olfactory world. Less is more.” Timelessness and tradition, simplicity and natural ingredients: above all, Italian women value what makes them feel good, to enjoy la dolce vita!
Scents that make Italy
The first scent that springs to mind when we think of Italy must be citrus, in its multiple varieties. The orange blossom that permeates the air of the Italian Riviera is not only used in desserts like pandolce and cassata, but distilled into orange blossom water and the precious essential oil neroli (check N.A.E. Delicatezza Liquid Hand Soap); Amalfi lemons, bursting with life and vitamin C, add zest to traditional dishes and are used in skin care products to soften the skin and keep it clear. And the sweet mandarin with its sunburst of colour has a citrusy fragrance that’s tart and tangy, with a green coolness.
Citrus oils have been blended for centuries with fragrant rosemary and thyme in Italian perfumes. In Renaissance Venice, almost everything – from shirts and gloves to shoes and stockings – was perfumed: water in cities was scarce and most people preferred to mask their natural odours rather than wash themselves. Nowadays, the fresh, relaxing smell of these herbs still forms a clean base for many Italian bathroom products In N.A.E. products, you’ll smell the lush Italian natural landscape.
Close your eyes and sink into the gorgeous scents; breathe in the natural fragrance of fruits and herbs, all soaked in sun and sea (see more of N.A.E. Idratazione Moisturizing Deodorant). At least 97% of all N.A.E. products are made from natural origins and furthermore to this, N.A.E. ensures all its products do not contain synthetic fragrance. Instead, you will only smell the natural ingredients of Italy and especially be reminded of its lush and diverse landscapes.