Venezia, Venise, Venice, La Serenissima has always elicited sighs of longing, desired outbreaths to voyage, to set foot on canal side paths, to reside and pass a lifetime, several or just to pass by for a few precious days, crowded in on themselves to absorb by osmosis this vibrant and desired citystate apart. For it suspends in it’s fabric the very essence of seduction and secretive attraction.
What is this intensity of attraction that over centuries has lured all manner of pleasure seekers and entrepreneurs, artists, the litterati, the dare-doers and edge walkers, can we define her allure and seductive capacity, could it be bottled so that momentarily we may walk her streets and breathe that rarified air. It certainly can, Gianluca Zin of Venezia1920 has done exactly that, encapsulated her moods and tirades, her implacable taste, her layers upon layers of history, her eternal etching upon all those who visit and her iconic personages and places. Certain locations around the world get under the collective psyche, whispering their call incessantly, urging us to voyage. In the absence of that physical voyage, the collection of Venezia1920 gifts us a nuance, a waft momentarily of those person’s who made her their home, a touch upon Venetian soil to salve the hearts desire albeit temporarily. These two perfumes, from the latest colelction of Venezia1920 were crafted in partnership by Gianluca Zin and perfumer Roberto Dario.
Peggy - Gianluca Zin and Roberto Dario 2023 - What is that irrepressible urge that Venice exerts on so many, and for a few that urging is so insistent that to reside elsewhere is unthinkable. Certain eras played out on her skin attract certain people, indomitable characters and free-spirited souls, layers of personalities to enrich her fibres, perhaps it is the libertine lapping of unconstrained waves on canalsides or the echoes of liberation that exude from her stones. Peggy Guggenheim was one of those for whom the call could not have been stronger and the existence of her museum to this very day attests to that. Housed within the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, that strangely misplaced, unfinished building which therefore stands out, uniquely in a sea of renaissance palazzos, has its own character unashamedly. Just like Peggy herself, a singulary minded woman of elegance and strength, building a legacy in her wake. She was not the only inhabitant of note within those walls, the Marchesa Luisa Casati Amman resided there from 1910-1924, with her tame wildcats and giant boacontrictors, hosting a parade of avant garde luminaries and elaborate parties.
Peggy the perfume is a luminous feminity, both commanding and ethereal, a strength of presence enveloped in a serene elegance, the luminecence of white beyond white that holds all projections of beauty upon galleried walls. A dare to dream and beyond the dream to live.
Nothing of worldly matters diverted this young woman from pursuing her love of art and of its ability to push conceptual boundaries. Roberto has taken her strength of character, fortitude and single minded approach and wrapped in the most eloquent femininty, it is a perfume of immense character gilded in finest textiles. Frankincense, Sandal wood and Cedarwood at first on paper seem a heady combination, full of intensity and seemingly masculine, but this is just inetended to depict the strength of Peggy and is so beautifully presented in a sweeping veil of finest musks, as to have you second guessing its written composition. Extremely feminine yet despite all her flamboyant lovers and suitors maintaining her independance. Venice was for her, the place of liberation, a city with her name written upon it, now and then. Peggy is ethereal and commanding, a true portrait of an adopted Venetian.
Resisting the passage of time and staying true to it s components, I applaud Roberto and Gianluca for this fascinating ode to refined eccentricity, strength of presence, a woman fiercely devoted to all her passions, devoted to beauty in all her forms, both traditional and abstract, an ode to an icon.
Frankincense, Sandalwood, Cedarwood, Musk Accords and Amber
Harry’s - Gianluca Zin and Roberto Dario 2023 - here is a heady dose of those scintillating years, the 1920’s, a period so inspiring for Gianluca. Not just carrying the name of such an iconic location in the city of Venice but encapsulating a time, an era, a joie de vivre unparalled. So much breaking free of societal norms and in places like Harry’s Bar in Venice those who wanted to divest themselves of shackles found their niche. A mecca, a coccon of collective relaxation and discreet encounters, here, there is a place at the bar for all and an atmosphere where all opinions are open for discussion and the gathered artists, writers and celebrities all have their opinions to share and dissect at leisure.
Here in the understated confines of waxed wooden counters and the chinking of glasses amid the cocktail shaker, laughter glides through the smoke shrouded room as women and men in the attire of the day find joy in each others company.
Here is a place where all liberties take wing and fetters dissolve, time dissipates and stills, moments only belonging to those present. This is the magic of Harry’s Bar, a place of discretions, of intimacy and equality.
Harry’s perfume is the scent of consequence, a perfume wooded and elegant, encapsulating all aspects . Not just a perfume of place, Harry’s is the nights passage within these four walls, a progression of aquaintance and intimacy. The bright and lively energy that permeates the shape of the room, filling all the crevices and corners. Introductions, greetings of familiar faces are heralded in with coriander and pink pepper, energised faces with eyes alight in recognition or in anticipated introduction, that first encounter at the bar to order the classic Bellini, manicured fingers alighting on tailored perfection. As the tendrils of spent smoke curl languidly around the bar so the fingers nestle close to the cut crystal glasses and hold them to tinted lips.
Here the warmth and convivality descend when a hallowed place is illumined with the pulse of gaiety and joyful living, the smoke just enough to ignite the burnished cedarwood and frankincense into a graceful incense, sanctifying the mood of the deepening night. Frivolity and good cheer extend arm in arm, all manner of conversations ignited within the sanctuary, overflowing glasses and lit eyes. the tender whims of the night, where time passes yet does not and as a fire dims down to heated embers, the bar slips into something more comfortable, a cosy intimacy of close friendships and even closer relations. Warmed leather creased under human hands, laced with labdanum wrapped about your shoulders and a golden hued amber reflected in the light of the bar in the darkest moment of the night.
Harry’s is a particular concoction, measured into a cocktail glass, a dosage of Venice’s charms, shaken with good company and good atmosphere, it is richly and elegantly attired with a dash of mischief, eloquent conversation and a final flourish of exuberence and joy. An immense pleasure and a permanent piece of Venice to accompany me.
Head : coriander, pink pepper, geranium