A Limonaia is the Italian name for a conservatory or greenhouse for Citrus fruit trees… in France, named an Orangery. Inspired by a particular Limonaia in Villa Medicea di Castello outside Florence, we wanted to create a fragrance, which resembles the perfume greeting you as you enter a Limonaia by the end of April, right when the citrus trees – in their big terra-cotta pots – are relocated from the Limonaia to the place in the sun where they have stood for several decades before, in the formal garden of Villa Medicea di Castello. The collection of citrus trees in this garden – even on a day in April, 479 years after its foundation – still has this peculiar aura of being the mother of all formal gardens, and is as stunning visually as the fragrance in the air. Standing there under a deep-blue sky in spring, face to face with the complementary-coloured oranges and lemons, is a breath-taking wonder that awakens all senses!
No wonder that this exotic fruit became a collector’s obsession by all the courts across Europe. It appeals in colour, shape and scents to our deepest feeling of olfactory enlightenment and a watering gustatory sensation. That day in April in the Limonaia of Villa Medicea di Castello became the inspiration to create that unique madetostay citrus fragrance we have named Limonaia. It wasn’t our intention to make a fragrance that is specific for one type of citrus blossoms, but rather to develop an iconic citrus fragrance resembling all the various types of citrus as shown in the paintings of the Florentine still life painter Bartolomeo Bimbi (1648 - 1729).
An Italian proverb says: “When life gives you lemons, build a big Limonaia!”… with our perfumers, we instead created a fragrance that coalesce the hundreds of miscellaneous citrus scents in a classic room fragrance, evaporating a passion and a more-than-400- year-old obsession with that annual repeating moment where the citrus blossom spreads its fragrance far beyond the olfactory mechanics into the limbic system of emotion.
Imagine New York in December. The year is 1947…you are in the middle of an enamoured audience paying a standing ovationto the actors in Tennessee Williams’s “A Streetcar Named Desire”. All your physical and emotional senses culminate into one big firework moment when the standing ovation, after half an hour, never seems to come to an end… Suddenly, the pleasant fragrance of Magnolia seems to vaporise from the stage recalling an inner picture of the French Quarter in New Orleans where the play unfolds to a southern state drama. Some will know that this fragrance is an invisible character in this play that rambles beneath the “perfume of the magnolia trees” after a rainstorm, on the wooden porches of mansions, among the sweat, the Bible, poker games, love affairs and alcohol. It’s called The South.
The fragrance referred to is the Southern Magnolia, also called Magnolia Grandiflora, a medium-to-large evergreen tree. The large, showy, lemon citronella-scented white flower gets as big as 30 cm across. Its fragrance is omnipresent in literary works not only by Tennessee Williams but as well by Mark Twain and William Faulkner, who connected its scents in literature more than any other. We wanted to create a fragrance with a literary connotation, and no fragrance has been an inexhaustible source of inspiration such as the Magnolia.
Our idea was to create a fragrance that would captivate the essence – not only of the Magnolia Grandiflora – but also of the southern-state culture altogether. The essences of a luxurious slow-motion lifestyle of the few and lost opportunities. Summers with extreme heat and a thick humid air full of fragrance from the citronella-like fragrance of the Magnolia Grandiflora.An overtone of extravagances in all life’s matters calmed by a rich and strong erotic fragrance in a jazzy rhythm.
The iconic jazz musician Louis Armstrong born in New Orleans gave us the words that became the essence of the madetostay fragrance Magnolia: “If you don’t feel it, you will never know it!” Our perfumers truly succeeded to balance the intense feelings of a literary drama and the seductive scent of Magnolia.
Sensation and perception are known to be two separate processes which are closely related. Sensation is the physical input about the world obtained by our sensory receptors… and perception is the process by which the brain selects, organises and interprets these sensations, including the olfactory sense among others. Whether you like it or not… perception of the same senses may vary from one person to another because each person’s brain interprets stimuli differently, based on the individual’s learning, memory, emotions and expectations. This is the essence of our approach behind the design concepts for madetostay fragrances in collaboration with perfumers. A perfumer is more than a professional who creates a fragrance; she or he is an artist working with a rich pallet of molecules, each with an ability to stimulate our senses.To create an entirely new fragrance out of the blue is not only an alchemistic juggle with chemistry but also a truly imaginative, emotional and creative process, whose result reveals the class of the perfumer’s artistic skills. The fragrance we have baptised “Sensational” was a spontaneous reaction when we first opened the lid to the sample we got from our perfumer.
Designer Carsten Jörgensen had the idea of presenting the perfumer with some photos of modernist architectural spaces that he has been dreaming about visiting for years, which the perfumer would then be able to take a very personal interpretation of these minimal and ascetic spaces to come up with a sublime fragrance that adds a fourth dimension to these spaces – so to say – with an equal olfactory sensation. A room fragrance with an exact focus on “room” or space as we find it in modern classic houses, which the perfumer – based purely on creative and professional passion – would make for a special space in a home or a special loved one.In other words, an unlimited freedom to the perfumer to create a sensation beyond the ordinary. Yes, so radical and personally expressive that it even wouldn’t find a broad acceptance, but there-fore an entirely new fragrance without nostalgic or romantic references! A fragrance with a personal signature that would be remembered as the madetostay room fragrance.
Architecture is basically about manipulating space, light, proportion, texture and material to fulfil the psychological and emotional needs of the occupants. But modern spaces often lacks a memorable dimension. With the Sensational fragrance, we have added a 4th dimension that will create a place of worship and inspiration that is quietly indulgent. Spaces pungent with vitality! And vast and inspiring spaces! Space and fragrance are very much like music…do you remember the introductory themes of any great symphony? Room themes are experienced throughout the space from within… and a scent makes it memorable!
The Blue Room
“Sunlight in the Blue Room” is an 1891 painting by Anna Ancher. Despite being an everyday subject, the painting is one of Anna Ancher’s most captivating masterpieces with its shades of blue and the sense of tranquillity it conveys. Anna Ancher’s interior paintings are about colour and light. Her interest is not in painting reality of the room or wall or even the light, but rather what is left, the colour and form. With the Blue Room fragrance, it is about breaking moulds for room scents in the same way as Anna painted. It is not so far to say that nobody during her time has come closer to abstraction. A woman occupied with the essence of what colour, space, shape and light do to us as humans, and what we do with colour, space, shape and light in what we call home. Yes, it is as if her paintings only seem to lack one sense...the olfactory sense. But we might not need much imaginary force to recall that “modern” scent, which can disperse in her blue room.It seems it is about capturing the simplicity and the silent comfort of a refreshing natural scent, which, on the one hand, recall the nostalgic and poetic atmosphere of the past, and, on the other hand, can be imagined as a contemporary scent relating to everydaylife. Exactly its abstract essence as Anna painted everyday life... as contemporary and innovative Anna was in her time, she sees a whole universe in a grain of sand... out there, between oceans and dunes, and at home, between the blue walls harbouring comfort from a gusty wind and a foaming, loud and dangerous sea.
The idea behind the Blue Room fragrance was to create a fragrance that would captivate the essence not only of the colours, lights and forms in the painting but the very special atmosphere of Skagen, the most northern part of Denmark – the heart note of Anna Ancher’s artistic oeuvre. It is the essence of the breath-taking dune landscape with the ocean as the slumbering caprice that controls the life of the simple people in the small yellow and red cottages between the dunes. The unstintingly wind shaping the sand dunes and the sparse vegetation that evaporate a sweet fragrance of heather, pine and crowberry, spiced with the salty air from the ocean. Sunshine that finds its flattering way into the blue room of silent concealment through the branches of a dancing pine tree. Its fragrance, carried on a sunbeam through an open window, giving a pause to inhale the homely Skagen scent.
Imagining driving from Phoenix to Santa Fe with the radio playing “California dreaming” – “Mr Tambourine Man” – “Surfin’ the USA”...all music from the “California myth” sending a 1950s generation back into euphoric psychedelic moods of a lost paradise of freedom.
The scent of mystical incense – and the unmistakable fragrance of Larrea tridentata just after a heavy and long-overdue desert rain. A fragrance in rhythm with Janis Joplin’s raspy voice – The girlish sound of The Beach Boys...The poetic sweetness of the Mamma and the Papas and the groovy tunes of the Byrds and their Tambourine Man. A fragrance of...exotic existentialism and love. Desert Rain is the fragrance of the Larrea tridentata or the creosote plant. The oils of the plant become active in the rain, perfuming the air with what the Arizonians have named “eau de desert”.
Our Desert Rain is all about surfing the memory and, with a sanguine attitude, letting the mind go free returning from a long day’s journey in everyday life. Let it go with Mr. Tambourine Man and imagine a cooling breeze with the scent of Larrea tridentata after a cooling Desert Rain… Let your dancin’ mind wander away and be assured that the stiff limbs and every day’s verbal snakebites will be forgotten… in a jingle-jangle Desert Rain.