Venetian native Creative Director Gianluca Zin of the relatively new fragrance house Venezia 1920 knows Venice like the back of his hand, much the way he knows design. His established career as head of product design serves him well in his pursuit of artistic elegance and excellence (he has worked for Patek Philippe and other prestigious companies) – skills which he has brought to bear in his luxurious line – which is currently comprised of five perfumes and opulent skin care. During Esxence Milano 2022, Gianluca and perfumer Roberto Dario approached me (along with perfumer/blogger Tomoo Inaba Profice and former ÇaFleureBon Senior Contributor Danu Seith-Fyr) to meet privately with them and discuss the brand. Had he not done so, I would not have had the opportunity to experience them.
The northeastern Italian city of Venice, with its many canals and fortuitous location as gateway between East and West – has been a source of fascination and inspiration which predates the Hun invasion. During the Renaissance, it was a very pinnacle of international trade, culture and science. In the 1920s, Venice experienced yet another heyday as playground for the rich, famous and talented (think Hemingway, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Peggy Guggenheim, Edith Wharton, Pablo Picasso, several of the Bloomsbury community and many more). The Biennale (an international cultural exhibition, canceled during WW1) reopened in 1920 with a flourish of avant-garde art. It is this buzzing, fertile era which galvanized Gianluca Zin and his partner Michele Cardillo – the image of haunting, mysterious Venice – a catalytic, breathing city which reveals her secrets only to the adventurous and curious; destination on the legendary Orient Express.
Venezia 1920’s first four extraits were composed by perfumer Luca Gritti: Grey Velvet, Lido, Divine, and Oud Royale. The fifth perfume, which I’m reviewing – Venezia 1920 Blanc de Blanc – was created by Italian perfumer Michele Marin and debuted at the Cannes TFWA (Tax-Free World Association Exhibition and Conference: a global gathering of brands held annually on the French Riviera) in 2019. There are three new eaux de parfums in the works as well which perfumer Roberto Dario is creating (each based on particularly Venetian themes) for Venezia 1920, and the modules I smelt in Milan were impressive and impossibly beautiful. One characteristic which each of the extraits possesses: they are potent, refined perfumes with great tenacity and pronounced sillage, each one its own force field. They are gradually becoming more widely available – sold online, in the Venice flagship boutique, in Dubai, and even in Sweden.
1920 Blanc de Blanc sings of secret gardens by the sea, those giardini segreti which flourish behind venerable walls lining the Venetian canals, inner sanctums within elaborately gated passages sequestered from public view. Blanc de Blanc is an aromatic marriage between the exotic and the familiar in the height of summer: a briny salinity which surrounds you, branches heavy with ripening bergamot (one touch of a fingernail releases its intoxicating scent!), stone fruits which enhance the tropical heady plushness of frangipani (please refer to Elise Pearlstine’s column here). The heady magnolia-imbued atmosphere is accompanied by trailing roses and jasmines festooned with coconut pulp, a smidgen of pineapple and lashings of vanilla. A dulcet sandalwood underlines and grounds fruit and flower; sparkling, precious rosewood bridges heart and topnotes. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if aldehydes are in attendance, augmenting the waxy butteriness inherent in several of the aromatic materials already present. Venezia 1920 Blanc de Blanc is an impassioned explosion of white flowers embroidered with marine mist: blissful, ambrosial and poetic. I can’t think of a season it wouldn’t suit – sultry in the summer, chalorous in winter.
Bottle and samples provided by Gianluca Zin – many thanks! My nose is my own…
~ Ida Meister, Deputy and Natural Perfumery Editor
Thanks to the generosity of Gianluca Zin, I am offering a sample of Venezia 1920 Blanc de Blanc to one registered reader in the USA, UK or EU. You must be registered or your comment will not count. Please share with us what appeals to you about Ida’s review of Blanc de Blanc. Draw closes 8/8/202
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