The initial spark of inspiration for the perfume that became Essenza dell’Ibisco came as a flash of vibrant color while on a trip to Italy in 2003. We had been staying in Venice (my favorite place!) and were visiting Murano and Burano. I was struck by the wonderful colors…the combinations one against another; each revealing a new beauty from the juxtaposition. I noticed it first with the buildings on the islands: orange then bright pink. Again in the gardens, and again in a blown glass gallery, and once again a glorious fabric shop filled with silk scarves. I loved the vibration; the energy and excitement of the two colors together. It was happening: a perfume “feeling” was forming. Something lush, rich, opulent, and maybe a bit over the top. We visited another garden thick with hibiscus flowers and there it was again: those COLORS! Bees were buzzing everywhere, swooning as they dipped into the calyx of the flowers coming out dazed and covered in sensuous pollen. I knew this was it.
Although hibiscus flowers have a scent (and flavor), the flowers are rarely used in making perfume. The idea to create a fantasy fragrance based on the visual experience of hibiscus flowers and their intense colors came rushing in. I felt immediately that tuberose should be the focal note and to build a perfume out of its intensity and multifacted-ness. To balance the feeling with the visual imagery and the intense emotion that came, it seemed perfect to work in beeswax and ambrette seed (botanical ‘animalics’) to bring the magical creatures into the design, as well as the luscious sensuality of stone fruit (apricot, peach, and plum). The final key that made the entire design balance perfectly was the addition of rare boronia absolute. Its fruity – freesia – floral multiplicity gave support to all of the other parts within the design.
We originally launched Essenza dell’Ibisco in 2006 as a part of our “Italian Journey” series of limited editions. We stopped producing the edition in 2010 when a number of the materials in the design became scarce or completely unavailable. Fast forward to today, and I am thrilled beyond belief to re-introduce Essenza dell’Ibisco, with some slight re-formulations to make it all come together again. (And yes, we did source some wonderful boronia to perfect this version). In today’s niche fragrance climate, with so much interest in tuberose perfumes and unusual ways of expressing it, I think that Essenza dell’Ibisco will have an entirely new life. I, for one, am delighted to wear this beauty once again.