Christian Dior Parfums La Colle Noire

ColleNoire_LR

La Colle Noire is the newest addition to the Collection Privée de Christian Dior. A mysterious name for a place dear to the House of Dior.

Gamme_ColleNoire_1_LR

The new sunny composition is in homage to the land of Grasse, which plays a vital role in the history of Dior fragrances, and to its flower queen, Rose de Mai. Located not far from Grasse, the Château de La Colle Noire was purchased by Christian Dior in 1951. It was, for him, a genuine haven of peace lovingly shaped by his own hand, where he grew his beloved flowers that had already become the signature of Dior fragrances.

Fleurs_MG_0011_LR

François Demachy, Dior Perfumer-Creator, drew inspiration from this bountiful place to build his fragrance around an intense, expressive and dense Absolute of Centifolia Rose. La Colle Noire is an incisive multi-faceted floral fragrance.

FDemachyLabo2_LR

«La Colle Noire celebrates Rose de Mai melded with spices, woods, amber and musks. The Grasse Rose is unique, spicy and powerful.
It is not overly sweet, it conveys all the raw and sun-drenched beauty of this region in the south of France
François Demachy, Dior Perfumer-Creator

La Colle Noire

Top Note: Rose de Mai Absolute
Middle Note: Sri Lankan Sandalwood
Base Note: White Musks

Available now for CHF 335.00 (125ml), CHF 480.00 (250ml) and CHF 675.00 (450ml).

LoL, Sandra

Roses_LR

Photos: Courtesy of Christian Dior Parfums

Christian Dior Parfums Fève Délicieuse

DiorCologneFeveDelicieuse_F39

This May, Dior will launch a new amazing fragrance as part of the exclusive collection La Collection Privée, for both men and women. The new scent is centered on Venezuelan tonka beans, named FEVE DELICIEUSE.

Dior_CollecPrivee_Hori_3_RT_1_MatF39 La Collection Privée

The perfume was created by in-house perfumer Francois Demachy as a sophisticated oriental vanilla composition, including notes of tonka bean, vanilla, caramel, cocoa, pralines and woody accords. It’s beautiful and seductive.

The fragrance is available (in Switzerland from May 20, 2015) as Eau de Parfum in three different sizes, 125ml (CHF 335.00), 250ml (CHF 480.00) and 450ml (CHF 675.00).

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Dior

Who Are You, Miss Dior?

Miss Dior Le Parfum Cover

“I create so that each and every woman is the most beautiful“. Christian Dior

Christian Dior was a visionary. Beginning with his first collection in 1947 he rewrote the rules of modern elegance and imposed his style on the entire world. He brought women his vision of beauty and happiness. He showed unprecedented creative originality.

In a dress embroidered with thousands of flowers designed by Raf Simons, Natalie Portman reveals a new facette of Miss Dior – Le Parfum, which I was able to explore in detail before the grand opening of the exhibition at the Grand Palais dedicated to this iconic scent.

Miss Dior - Sandra Bauknecht - 30

Me in my beloved Bambi print neoprene sweatshirt iconby Givenchy, belt by Bottega Veneta and stretch-leather skinny pants iconby Gucci.

Sandra Bauknecht - François Demachy

François Demachy with me

Miss Dior is a green chypre, the world’s first. When it appeared in 1947, its construction was unique, a masterful balancing act of notes: the citric from a citrus fruit, the floral drawn straight from the garden, and then the woody notes of patchouli and oak moss.

Miss Dior Perfume 3

“When Miss Dior was created in 1947, it was a perfume unlike any other. The green chypre was known at the time, but no one had succeeded in developing the green note in the chypre in a way that produced an harmonious result,” explains François Demachy, Dior’s perfumer-creator.

Miss Dior Family
Miss Dior is a family and its various accords depend on the compositions, on the different raw materials with which they’re made. Thus, the citrus is expressed by a neroli (in the Eau de Toilette), a Sicilian mandarin (Eau de Parfum and the Parfum) or a Calabrian bergamot (Eau Fraîche); then jasmine, ylang-ylang and rose alternately form the fragrance’s floral bouquet; with oak moss, sandalwood, vetiver or patchouli writing the woody notes.

Miss Dior Perfume 2

” Miss Dior is a highly codified succession of materials that in themselves have nothing in common. But it’s when these materials are mixed together that the fabled Miss Dior harmony is formed, the one that every woman recognizes,” François Demachy states.

Miss dior 500

Regarding the name, there is a sweet anecdote. Catherine, the little sister of Christian Dior, walked down the stairs when the designer’s muse Mitza Bricard exclaimed “Miss Dior” in her unique way that made him think of the ultimate chic.

Dior Miss Dior Perfume

Very interesting to know is that in the beginning when the perfume was launched, you could only get it if you bought a dress at Dior. Isn’t it funny how the world has changed. Today, you mostly buy into the world of Dior via a fragrance… but as Christian Dior put it: “Perfume is the finishing touch to a dress.” And again, I couldn’t agree more and Miss Dior Le Parfum definitely belongs to my favorites.

LoL, Sandra

Miss Dior Perfume

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Miss Dior Exhibition in Paris

Miss Dior Exhibition in Paris-Sandra Bauknecht

During the last two weeks, the Grand Palais hosted the flagship exhibition dedicated to the spirit of Miss Dior, the house’s famous and first fragrance. To celebrate the opening night, celebrities such as Natalie Portman, the face of Dior, Sophie Marceau, Karl Lagerfeld and many more came to see the exhibition themselves, followed by an amazing after party also hosted at the Grand Palais. I felt very honored to be invited to such an exclusive event.

Sandra Bauknecht - Mary Ma -3

Arriving with Mary Ma, international model and Chinese fashion designer.

Miss Dior Exhibition  Sandra Bauknecht - Paris

Christian Dior himself, a creative and visionary genius, managed to unite couture and perfumes. During my visit to the exhibition, I enjoyed exploring the designer’s life and work plus his artistic influences.

Miss Dior-Dress

Sandra Bauknecht - Miss Dior 12

Scetches Dior

To illustrate his passion for art, it also presented the works of fifteen contemporary women artists, who were inspired by the iconic scent Miss Dior. Below you can see my favorite artworks.

Miss Dior Exhibition 56

ALYSON SHOTZ
” I love that idea of there being no surface, no inside or outside. Surface is structure, and vice versa. These shapes are created by assembling a large whole, piece by piece. The observer visually combines all the little parts and when he walks around the sculpture, his eyes and brain assemble these shapes in different ways.”

For New Yorker Alyson Shotz, the rose theme, a flower dear to Christian Dior, also inspired her sculpture Infinite Rose with its reflections of steel and dichroic film, which changes color and shape depending on the movement of light, and that of the observer.

Miss Dior Exhibition 2

MARIA NEPOMUCENO
“I decided to bring the bottle of Miss Dior perfume, which for me is an object related to elegance and delicacy, to my own universe. I transformed the shape of the bottle into an object made of clay, from which tentacles and roots protrude, but also crevices with emerging organic elements.”

Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1976, Maria transcends the Miss Dior bottle to create an organic and sensual installation using different material. Spirals of nylon, rope, straw and woven pearls are rolled up in an endless process, like a living sculpture, moving matter that bonds everyday life, cosmology and genetics.

Joana Vasconcelos-Miss Dior

JOANA VASCONCELOS
“I enjoyed being able to merge with the Miss Dior spirit, and its combination of extremes, that engage the world of couture and playfulness, architectural rigor and cotton candy lightness.”

My avid readers might recognize Joana Vasconcelos from her current solo exhibition at the Gucci Museo in Florence. For Dior, she has imagined a carbon fiber bow some 3 meters wide adorned with almost 1.665 perfume bottles and LED lights. This is probably the most impressive installation of the exhibition.

Sandra Bauknecht-Miss Dior-4

NIKA ZUPANG
“Starting out with a vision of the idealized and somewhat conservative Dior woman, I wanted to shake up her image. I didn’t want to distort it, I just set out to highlight the strengths of her unique, singular character.”

Recognized the world over for her objects midway between fantasy and narration, the Slovenian designer explores femininity from every angle with a series of pieces and collaborations, highlighting sensuality and seduction. Here, she created a fairy-tale pavilion dedicated to women and their aspirations. This was one of my favorite artworks of the exhibition.

Miss Dior Exhibition 40

KAREN KILIMNIK
“When seeing this piece, I would like visitors to the exhibition to want to take a look through the archives of Dior.”

Born in Philadelphia, Karen Kilimnik dramatizes today’s consumer society and the world of images through her paintings and lyrical installations, with a profound sense of romanticism. Inspired by the 18th century Drottingholm Theater in Sweden and the design sets for Alexei Ratmansky’s production of Psyche, but also fascinated by the Dior archives and first models, she has taken a new look at the follies and gloryfiers.

Miss Dior Exhibition 55

CAROLE BENZAKEN
“In Miss Dior, I don’t see a woman, I see colors and landscapes. It is a relationship between skin and veins, heart and heartbeat, music, life.”

With Carole Benzaken, media – drawing, painting, photography, video -, intertwine and overlap each other. She designed a majestic but fragile opalescent glass sculpture spanning one meter, surrounded by seven back-lit vats decorated with wooded landscaped drawings, like the idea of a liquid and immaterial fragrance that takes up and appropriates space.

Miss Dior Exhibition 41

POLLY APFELBAUM
” I decided to create a work that reflected Dior’s audacity and the brand’s tradition of allying the new with the classical.”

It was the houndstooth pattern that inspired the American artist’s large-scale installation, hand-woven in Mexico using the traditional weaving techniques of Oaxaca.

Miss Dior Exhibition 43

LEE BUL
“Smell is the most closely related sense to memory. A sense that appeals to emotions more than a reason.”

An unmissable figure from the Asian artistic scene, she created a dozen monumental sculptures in crystal and aluminum. For this exhibition, she has taken a new look at the olfactive memory of Miss Dior, its light and modernity at the center of an installation designed as a manifesto, standing 5 meters high and weighing almost 500 kg.

I stepped inside this suspended cocoon for a private journey on self-reflection.

Sandra Bauknecht _ Miss Dior-1

Miss Dior 200

CARLA MATTI
“I chose to interpret the theme of Dior’s beloved rose in my own poetical way.”

Under a venomous hybrid appearance, the works of Carla Matti are about nature and reality, the world and its virtual dimension. This young Italian artist scanned then recomposed and computer printed in 3-D the legendary Miss Dior rose which is transformed into a sculpted rose garden full of original flowers taken from a bend of five different floral varieties.

Sandra Bauknecht - Montasar Dumas - Paris Miss Dior Exhibition

At the after party: Having fun with the fabulous Montasar Dumas.

Sandra Bauknecht -Miss Dior 101

It was such a fabulous event and I truly had a blast. If you like my look, here are all the details: Black strapless dress by Prada, pointed leather Mary-Jane pumpsicon by Saint Laurent, skirt belt, feather stole, handbag and pearl necklace, all by Dior.

Vanity Fair Cover

Thank you Vanity Fair for featuring me among the most amazing celebrities!

LoL, Sandra

Miss Dior Exhibition Ambiance

Photos: Courtesy of Dior, Vanity Fair and © Sandra Bauknecht

My Favourite Men’s Fragrance: Dior Homme

Dior Homme

Live free, fast and strong. Live 1000 lives but know that you only have one.

“Dream as if you’ll live forever.
Live as if you’ll die today.”

James Dean

Dior Homme. A composition that rocked the world, daring fresh boldness and surprise. An olfactory shock in true Dior style, changing habits and transcending norms. It is amazing how many interpretations it contains. A fragrance with 1000 faces, a stunning array of possibilities: A masculine Iris, the shock of opposites attracting. A faintly animal iris that expounds a sensual, sexy feel, accompanied by leather and wood to re-orchestrate virile accords. Amber and spices exude but do not invade, as though saying: “Follow me, it’s up to you.” No doubt about it, I will follow. I love this scent so much, it is so extremely sexy on a man.

Robert Pattinson is the face of the new campaign, shot by Romain Gavras. Below you can find some exclusive behind the scenes photos.

Dior Homme 11

“Dior Homme eschews every masculine cliché. It explores a new virility, immediate yet complex.” François Demachy

DIOR HOMME
Masculine, Woody, Spicy Iris

Top notes: Calabrian Bergamot, Guatemalan Cardamom and Vaucluse Lavender
Middle notes: Tuscan Iris and Absolute Amber
Base notes: Virginia Cedarwood and Haitian Vetiver

Dior Homme 1

Signature

A dimly lit dressing room. Costumes scattered on the floor, sequins and feathers. She has stubbed out her cigarette and removes her make-up, peering at her reflection in the neon-lit mirror. Conceal the shadows, pile on smoky eyes and flaming red lips. Overdo it, wear a mask to make believe it’s not really you, half-naked in this hopeless dive. A sharp intake of breath, she stops her handiwork…

Dior Homme 2

He could be there, just behind the door. Among the fumes of stale tobacco she catches the scent that she loved on his neck, a delicious blend of wood and flowers. Gentle but virile. Tender-hearted Narcissus. This fragrance is her life. Leading her a merry dance.

Dior Homme 5

“Little Bastard” or “Gentleman”: she doesn’t care. His signature is to do as he likes. She fixes her hair, a sad look on her face. Smoothes it listlessly, twists a few curls. Her heart isn’t in it. The tears well. Suddenly, the sillage swells, she smells the scent of spices and lavender in a musk and amber embrace. Her head reels, giddy. He appears, out of nowhere. She smiles at him in the mirror. Life. Goes on.

Dior Homme 4

Dior Homme Fragrance Collection
For every day in your life, for all the lives you have!

Dior_Homme_Bottle

Dior Homme
Wear Dior Homme like a tailored suit. This unique woody, aromatic signature trails in your wake. The surprising notes she loves to nuzzle at your neck. A sexy appeal, rigorous and sharp yet disarmingly casual. Feel effortlessly elegant. Sensual, supple and free.

Dior Homme EDT spray 50ml (CHF 95.00), 100ml (CHF 130.00) and 150ml  (CHF 156.00)

Dior-Dior_Homme-Intense

Dior Homme Intense
The noble sophistication of a strong, potent signature. Giddy with love. Wood and Amber draw you in. Intense Iris joins the fray, exudes her powerful charm. A physical signature whose sillage entices. Shrouding the lapel of a cashmere coat, designed to be embraced. For a Prince of the night with enigmatic charm.

Dior Homme Intense EDP spray 50ml (CHF 104.50), 100ml (CHF 143.00) and 150ml (CHF 172.00)

dior-homme-sport

Dior Homme Sport
A convertible speeds along an empty beach. An outdoor fragrance that plays on perfect jeans and a sexy T-shirt, the perfect fit. Like a rush of freedom, on the road. The vibrant woody freshness of the sillage hooks you in.

Dior Homme Sport EDT spray 50ml (CHF 95.00), 100ml (CHF 130.00) and 150ml (CHF 156.00)

Dior Homme Cologne

Dior Homme Cologne
Clear and radical, it envelops with a musky citrus signature. Sheer elegance. The sillage states the casual charm of a classic white shirt. Unostentatious but stylish. Elegance in broad daylight: a fragrance for the skin, for you.

Dior Homme COLOGNE EDT spray 75ml (CHF 104.50) and 125ml (CHF 143.00)

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Dior

Christian Dior – La Collection Privée

Dior_Collection_Privée

Let me introduce you to Dior‘s exclusive prestige line of perfumes, LA COLLECTION PRIVEE, made of rare noble ingredients. Below you will find my personal favorites along with the house’s newest addition: GRIS MONTAIGNE.

New_look_1947_dior

NEW LOOK 47

February 12, 1947: A major event was held at 30, avenue Montaigne in Paris, where Christian Dior presented his first fashion show. With his flower women and bright colors, the Designer launched a fresh fashion trend. “It’s a New Look!” exclaimed Carmel Snow, chief editor at Harper’s Bazaar, thus christening the Designer’s inimitable style. Today, the New Look has become an explosive, generous, ultra-feminine and floral fragrance.

Top note: Ylang-Ylang from Mayotte
Middle note: Indian Tuberose
Base note: Benzoin from Siam
Eau de Parfum Spray 125ml (CHF 275.00), 250ml (CHF 400.00) and 450ml (CHF 595.00)

Dior_Milly_la_Foret

MILLY-LA-FORET

After his fashion shows, Christian Dior loved to get away from high society Parisian life in order to recharge his batteries at his home in Milly-la-Forêt. “Hidden away from the world and surrounded only by my flowers, my canals and my small pond, I can listen to the sound of the Milly bells in peace.” he writes. Wandering through the surrounding woods, François Demachy imagined this fragrance as the embodiment of a romantic walk in the forest, with a fresh, tender and cottony scent.

Top note: Mandarin
Middle note: Neroli
Base note: White Musk
Eau de Parfum Spray 125ml (CHF 275.00), 250ml (CHF 400.00) and 450ml (CHF 595.00)

Dior_grand Bal

GRAND BAL

Literally fascinated by the excess of the imposing balls that he would not miss for anything, Christian Dior used his fashion to celebrate a certain luxurious and timeless celebratory spirit. A new chapter in the “Christian Dior Collection Privée”, Grand Bal elegantly embodies the intoxication of a summer’s night at the first light of dawn. Like the most beautiful of gowns, its radiant composition, dominated by Grasse Jasmine, conceals noble raw materials. “Grand Bal is an echo of Christian Dior’s great ball gowns, whose full skirts and beauty evoked the petals of a flower in full bloom,” François Demachy.

Top note: Grasse Jasmine
Middle note: Comorian Ylang-Ylang Essence
Base note: New Caledonian Sandalwood Essence
Eau de Parfum Spray 125ml (CHF 275.00), 250ml (CHF 400.00) and 450ml (CHF 595.00)

Gris_MOntaigne_Dior

GRIS MONTAIGNE

And if grey were a perfume? The olfactory signature of the Couture House’s legendary location, 30, Avenue Montaigne, has become a reality. The perfumer’s response to couture, this sophisticated chypre fragrance is a bold interpretation of the Dior Grey. The Couture Grey featured in the collections since 1947, the Grey Emotion of Christian Dior’s family home in Granville, Pearl Grey like the facade of the boutique on Avenue Montaigne. Colour becomes a perfume: a burst of citrus, a floral heart of Turkish Rose and Jasmine Sambac from the Indian region of Tamil Nadu, followed by a woody note heightened with Indonesian Patchouli set against an ambery backdrop of moss.

Top note: Essence of Calabrian Bergamot
Middle note: Absolute of Damask Rose
Base note: Absolute of Macedonian Moss
Eau de Parfum Spray 125ml (CHF 275.00), 250ml (CHF 400.00) and 450ml (CHF 595.00)

Dior_Collection_Prive_Jelmoli

In Switzerland, La Collection Privée by Christian Dior is exclusively available at Jelmoli Zurich, the crowning jewel of the Dior space at the Swiss department store.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Dior and © Sandra Bauknecht

The Scents We Like to Smell on Our Men

Men_Scents_2013

During the last weeks, I have tried many many new scents for men. Here is my list of the ones we would like to smell on our men this summer. The ones I can truly recommend.

Dior_Homme_Cologne_2013

DIOR HOMME COLOGNE
Citrus Aromatic

This new version is absolutely wonderful, my personal favourite. Modern, fresh and warm in one, another hit created by François Demachy.

Top notes: Calabrian bergamot
Middle notes: Grapefruit
Base notes: Musk

Available now for CHF 104.50 (75ml) and CHF 143.00 (125ml).

JPG_Le_Beau_male

LE BEAU MALE by Jean Paul Gaultier
Aromatic Fougère

Eighteen years ago, “Le Male” irreversibly shook up the world of perfume by introducing an unprecedented masculine archetype: the sensual sailor with a soft heart. Today, this object of desire is the leader of a new olfactory generation. The freshness in the new fragrance is as powerful as it is addictive.

Top notes: Mint and mugwort
Middle notes: Lavender, sage and orange blossom
Base notes: Musk

Available now for CHF 81.00 (75ml) and CHF 112.00 (125ml).

Versace_erosVERSACE EROS
Aromatic Fougère

Love, passion, beauty and desire: these are the key concepts of this new men’s fragrance. Named after the Greek god of love and son of goddess Aphrodite – Eros, it celebrates the perfection of the male body. For the passionate man, who is the master of himself! For all heroes among you…

Top notes: Mint oil, lemon and green apple
Middle notes: Ambroxan, tonka bean and geranium flower
Base notes: Vanilla, vetiver, oakmoss and cedarwood

Available now for CHF 90.00 (50ml) and CHF 121.00 (100ml).

Bvlgari_Man_Extreme_PackshotBVLGARI MAN EXTREME
Woody Aromatic

Bulgari unveils a new expression of masculine charisma, a fragrance that melds an intense Mediterranean freshness and a modern woodiness, evoking Rome’s vitality and strength.

Top notes: Calabrian bergamot, pink grapefruit and cactus juice
Middle notes: Cardamom, amber and freesia
Base notes: Woody notes, vetiver and benzoin

Available now for CHF 112 (100ml) and CHF 84 (60ml).

Acqua_essenziale_Salvatore_Ferragamo_Sandrascloset

ACQUA ESSENZIALE by Salvatore Ferragamo
Aromatic Fougère

The nose behind this fragrance is Alberto Morillas. The famous perfumer was inspired by water as the most essential natural element. A signature scent that celebrates a man’s real essence. Perfect for summer!

Top notes: Grapefruit, mint, mandarin and lemon tree leaf
Middle notes: Geranium, cascalone, rosemary and lavender
Base notes: Patchouli, musk, cistus and vetiver

Available now for CHF 59.00 (30ml), CHF 79.00 (50ml) and CHF 109.00 (100ml).

Eternity_men_Summer2013

ETERNITY MEN SUMMER by Calvin Klein
Woody Acquatic Fougère

This beautiful limited edition for 2013 reminds you of the romantic sound of the waves and the summery smell of the sea.

Top notes: Tarragon, bergamot and orange blossom
Middle notes: Seaweed, cedar oil, violet, mimosa and lavender oil
Base notes: Patchouli, amber, driftwood, musk and cashmere

Available now for CHF 101.00 (100ml).

gucci_guilty_black_pour_homme

GUCCI GUILTY BLACK pour Homme
Aromatic Fougère

This scent is one vision of the modern man: Seductive, courageous and witty, for all of you who desire a new sensual experience.

Top notes: Lavender and coriander
Middle notes: Green notes, neroli and orange blossom
Base notes: Cedar and patchouli

Available now for CHF 78.00 (30ml), CHF 100.00 (50ml) and CHF 126.00 (90ml).

Paco-Rabanne-1-Million-Intense-11 MILLION INTENSE by Paco Rabanne
Woody Spicy

The original 1 Million fragrance was launched in 2008. This year, a new intensified, deeper version is hitting the market, an embodiment of extravagance, a wonderful spicy oriental composition.

Top notes: Cardamom, blood mandarin, saffron and black pepper
Middle notes: Cinnamon, neroli and rose
Base notes: Orris root, sandalwood, leather and patchouli

Available now for CHF 87.00 (50ml) and CHF 121.00 (100ml).

LoL, Sandra

Photo: © Sandra Bauknecht, Stills: Courtesy of the brands

With Dior at the Zurich Film Festival

With Dio at the Zurich Film Festival

This weekend, I was invited by Dior to the Zurich Film Festival that is celebrating the art of film in all its facets this year for the 8th time. In a very short amount of time, it has established itself upon the national and international festival landscape.

Stars in Dior Vernissage

We started in the afternoon with the vernissage “Stars in Dior”, a beautiful exhibition of photographs featuring celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren and Sharon Stone, who have often worn creations by the house of Dior, whether they were designed by its founder or his successors, on the set, at cinema-related events or simply in their everyday life.

Manuela Pastore, Sandra bauknecht, Sonya Burch-Baumann

At the vernissage framed by Manuela Pastore (Sales Manager Parfums Christian Dior) to the left and Sonya Burch-Baumann (PR Manager Parfums Christian Dior) to the right.

Allyouneedislove

Later, we went to the screening of “Love is all you need” (Den skaldede frisor), a film directed by Academy Award Winner Susanne Bier and starring Pierce Brosnan plus a famous Danish cast, among them Trine Dyrholm and Kim Bodnia.

The heartwarming story is very moving but at the same incredibly funny with a hint of absurdity. A hairdresser (Trine Dyrholm) who has lost her hair to cancer finds out her husband (Kim Bodnia) is having an affair, travels to Italy for her daughter’s wedding and meets a widower (Pierce Brosnan) who still blames the world for the loss of his wife.
Of course, nothing goes according to plan and yet everything works out in the end. The film was shown in Danish/English with German subtitles and I have to admit that the original soundtrack added even more charm to it.

Frauenbadi Dior Party 2

The Dior after party took place at the Frauenbadi that was beautifully decorated.
What a great night!

Zurich Film Festival 10

My look: Black belted gown by Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti, cropped fur jacket by Prada, feather stole, handbag and pearl multi-strand necklace by Dior, pumps by Yves Saint Laurent.

Zurich Film Festival-1

Dior Accessoires

Dior Book and Fragrance

In the end, Dior spoilt us even more with the wonderful coffee-table book “Stars in Dior” (Available in stores for around €45.-) and a bottle of the house’s recently launched fragrance: MISS DIOR – Le Parfum.

The scent is announced as elegant, sensual and intoxicating nocturnal perfume extract. The nose behind this fragrance is François Demachy who said he “wanted to bring something precious and luminous to the composition of Miss Dior Le Parfum, like an oriental jewellery set or the reflections of shimmering fabric.” Yet again, beautiful Natalie Portman is the face for the campaign, formerly she presented Miss Dior Cherie.

MISS DIOR – Le Parfum
Oriental – Chypre

Top notes: Mandarin
Middle notes: Bulgarian rose absolute and Turkish rose absolute
Base notes: Patchouli, amber and vanilla.

Available now for CHF 129.50 (40ml) and CHF 179.50 (75ml).
My new favorite, such a warm, beautiful and very feminine perfume. A must for all lovers of oriental fragrances.

LoL, Sandra

Miss Dior ParfumPhotos: Courtesy of Dior, IMDB and © Sandra Bauknecht

The World of Acqua di Parma

Acqua di Parma

Welcome to the world of Acqua di Parma

Indulge yourself in Italian grandeur and explore the brand that stands like no other for understated luxury, sophistication, elegance, exclusivity and authenticity. All those pillars that are synonymous with being “Made in Italia”. The lifestyle brand, that is also known as a celebrity perfume classic, has existed for almost 100 years.

Colonia Italiana

Its history began like an alchemy in 1916 in a small Italian factory with the creation of Colonia, the origin of the legend. The refreshing, crisp and subtle fragrance that was so different from the perfumes that were the vogue in those years. Until today, Colonia has got cult status.

In 1993, Acqua di Parma was bought by three famous Colonia-lovers and entrepreneurs, Luca di Montezemolo (Chairman of Ferrari), Diego della Valle (CEO of Tod’s) and Paolo Borgomanero (Shareholder of La Perla), who were eager to reinvent the brand.

A very important chapter opened in the company’s history when LVMH bought into the hundred-year-old Italian house in 2001. Today, Acqua di Parma offers a huge selection of luxury goods, from the famous Home Fragrance Collection (scented candles for the home) to the Home Collection (linen and terrycloth products), the Collezione Barbiere (shaving products and accessories) and the Tournée Collection (leather accessories). Fragrance aficionados love the Blu Mediterraneo and Blu Mediterraneo Italian Resort ranges (fragrances and cosmetics inspired by the most natural and exclusive locations on the Italian Mediterranean) and sophisticated ladies around the globe buy Le Nobili from Acqua di Parma (feminine fragrances inspired by the “noblest” flowers of Italian gardens).

Acqua di Parma also supplies the suites of the most beautiful and luxurious hotels in the world with its Luxury Hotel Line, which embodies the inimitable Italian style of Colonia.

Gabriella Scarpa and Sandra Bauknecht

I had the huge honour to meet and interview Acqua di Parma’s CEO and President, Gabriella Scarpa, in person. The Italian lady, “una bella bionda” is what you would call a “power woman”. Holding multiple positions, she is also the Country General Manager of Christian Dior Couture and LVMH Perfumes and Cosmetics. After LVMH had bought Acqua di Parma, Scarpa took over the reins of the company in 2003 and brought it to success. Keeping up with Gabriella is hard, she is full of dynamite, a very passionate and feminine lady.

She is proud of her country’s heritage values and its craftsmanship. “The way the Italians make their products has a lot of tradition and Acqua di Parma’s roots are all very artisan. We are inspired by these regions with their own characteristics, such as Tuscany or Sardinia. Italy is a wonderful place to live.”

Jelmoli Opening Acqua di Parma

She was in Zurich for the opening of the new Acqua di Parma corner at Jelmoli which brings us this iconic Italian style, the atmosphere that is loved around the world to Switzerland.


Do you like to travel?

I travel a lot for business reasons and  I love to travel ! This is part of my lifestyle. I travel around the world and my favourite cities are New York obviously, London, Paris all these cities that have excitement in them. And of course China now. Asia is giving you  lots of energy and excitement! And travelling for Acqua di Parma, I enjoy seeing how the brand is sold in those countries and to meet people who really enjoy our Italian style.

10001550

Do you have a favourite fragrance from Acqua di Parma?

Yes! I did  the Iris Nobile actually for myself. Since my early days, I had been a fan of Miss Dior 1947. I only used extract because I preferred the higher concentration. After a while, the original Miss Dior 1947 perfume was discontinued and I was all of a sudden without my favourite scent. This was the moment for Acqua di Parma to enter the female world. Women had been asking for such a product for a long time.

Personally speaking, I knew that our first fragrance had to be a chypre floral scent, very elegant and modern. Obviously I thought about iris, which is also the emblem of the city of the Florence and a symbol for aristocracy. For Le Nobili, I wanted to create a world in which sophisticated women can recognize themselves. This concept represents also the world of the Italian villas with their famous gardens, another Italian tradition which has inspired us. We travelled around these beautiful villas and identified the flowers, the plants which were mostly used and beautiful to see. Iris is a very delicate flower, they only bloom fifteen days a year from 1st to 15th of May. In Florence, behind the Piazzale Michelangelo, there is this garden of iris, which is open for tourists, too. Moreover, there is a contest in which participants around the world compete to create the most beautiful and newest iris. In that particular year, the winner was an Australian who grew a very special blue flower that we used. Interesting to know is that we use the concrete of iris for the fragrance which takes three years. Once you have the concrete, you have to wait three years for it to dry and from a ton, you just get a few spills of fragrance. So it is extremely expensive. In fact, nobody in the perfumery used the extract of concrete because of its value. We launched it in 2003 and it was immediately a big success. After a few years, in 2009, I created Magnolia a very refined and wonderful plant which is different from iris.

Iris Nobile Sublime Ambient 1

New this fall! Iris Nobile Sublime – The new fragrance for women that is a flanker to 2004′s Iris Nobile. The notes feature mandarin, neroli, ylang-ylang, orange blossom, rose, jasmine, iris pallida, wood, cedar, acacia, birch, patchouli and musk. Acqua di Parma Iris Nobile Sublime will be available in 75 ml Eau de Parfum.

Acquq di Parma Gelsomino

How are you involved in this creative process?

From the very beginning, the concept is always mine. After that, I transfer the idea to the marketing team, they transfer it to the fragrance people. Luckily enough, we have François Demachy, one of the most famous nose in the world, working for us. He is the creator of all our LVMH fragrances. He loves Acqua di Parma and because of his connections, we got to the famous fragrance houses to create the ingredients exactly as we wanted them. Now with François Demachy, we work with Italian producers, many of which are in the South of Italy with their own plantations working almost exclusively for us.

And for example the story of Gelsomino is very bizarre in a way but also very significant, because the “gelsomino” (jasmine) for fragrances didn’t grow in Italy anymore. Three years ago, we decided to create the Gelsomino fragrance and to get a new plantation in the South of Italy where it is more sunny and easy to grow that beautiful plant now used for Acqua di Parma and Guerlain, only for these two brands. I am proud that we revived the tradition of gelsomino for the fragrances.

Where are you from originally?

I’m from Milan and my family is from Venice.

Do you feel more Northern?

Yes, I’m more Northern, but the South is giving us all these amazing products like the oranges, the mandarins, the cedars, the bergamot among many others. All these fragrances derive from a fantastic, unique cultivation. All our ingredients are coming from Italy.

Everything from Acqua di Parma is produced in Italy?

Yes, everything is produced in Italy!

How is it for you to head a French haute couture company and in the same time an Italian brand. What’s the biggest difference regarding the mentalities for you?

It’s actually not very different because at the end of the day, we talk to the same people. The difference from Dior, obviously it’s a big brand and so it’s more commercial in a way, more international and more decisive. Both brands have different means but their quality is the same. For Acqua di Parma, it is very important to keep it Italian which is sometimes hard, because you cannot find everything in the country. This is why we adapted our production to our original produce of Italy. So this is the main difference.

Looking at our communication, it is also standardized on a model, that only changes the name of the product or the flowers. It is very simple. So another big difference is that we are not a fashion brand, we don’t have a designer and a fashion show. We are selling what we are very basically.

PH Massimo Listri

On the website, there are five words to describe Acqua di Parma: Quality, creativity, elegance, exclusivity and selectivity! If you could add three more, which ones would that be?

The real thing, emotion and fashion!

Line

How strong is the Asian market for you?

We waited with the launch quite a while because 80% or 90% of the market is skincare and make-up, so the fragrances are not so strong depending on the countries, mostly 5% maximum 10%. Asia is not a fragrance market. Therefore for us, it was very important to enter in the right way, to make a difference.

We started in Korea because the Korean’s are very much attracted by the Italian brands and European heritage. We had the opportunity to create the first counters in the middle of the cosmetics so even that we were just fragrances, we were very successful from the very beginning. In Japan, we launched at Isetan, a famous chain, that had asked for the brand many years ago. China was completely different. The Chinese were building up new cities, new shopping malls which became the most luxurious in the world. I have to say they are copying a bit the American model but in the highest way. When we negotiated with them, as we were interested in opening so many stores, they were also interested in getting the brand. We got fantastic spaces from the very first beginning.

Many Chinese celebrities and VIPs knew Acqua di Parma from their travels around the world. Everybody came to visit the first counter in Beijing at Mitsukoshi, which is the most luxurious department store, with all the high end brands having their own boutiques. Being attracted by our tradition, the men began to use the Collezione Barbiere which is fascinating. Chinese men don’t shave, they don’t have a beard, but they like the texture, the presentation, the packaging, the fact that it is luxurious, that it is Italian and they adore the atmosphere.

In fact, we sell a lot of Collezione Barbiere and skincare because it’s different from many others. Of course, a lot of our iconic Colonia, along with Magnolia, Iris, honestly we sell everything. The Asians have become friends of Acqua di Parma and are more into fragrances now. Moreover, the young generation is more occidental than oriental.

Nowadays we have eleven counters, one boutique, another one to be opened this year, and people are really passionate about the brand and very much loyal. They buy all the line, and I mean all the line!

Colonia Intensa

Do you have a bestselling product that is successful around the world?

Yes, it is definitely Colonia.

Speaking of fragrances, it’s always Iris or Magnolia. In Asia, the Blu Mediterraneo collection is stronger than in Europe, because those scents are less complex in terms of structure and ingredients. The candles are very strong in the U.S. followed by the UK and also Asia.

Acqua di Parma Maserati

You have collaborated with Maserati among others. Why them?

Our partnerships are very much authentic, we want to live the Italian myths – and Maserati is one of these. They exude the same elegance and heritage. Ferrari, for example, is different – it’s wonderful but it’s more show. So we did many projects with them.

How can I imagine such a collaboration?

For example when we do events, we use a Maserati to shuttle our guests.

Have you ever thought of a special scent for Maserati?

We were actually thinking about it. Could be that one day we are doing something special.

Have you done bespoke scents?

No, we haven’t done bespoke scents yet!

Do you offer other personalized services?

Yes, you can have your initials on the bags as well as on the fragrance bottles which will be done in Italy. We even have a special cap to conserve the personalized cap which is really unique. It takes like three hours to produce just the lid, all handmade. People want to keep it. This has happened very often with our products, even with the candles.

Acqua di Parma candles

Are the candles all handmade?

Yes, absolutely and it takes hours and hours to do them. They burn only inside, the outside remains beautifully intact. Therefore, people like to keep them for decoration.

Do you sponsor certain events?

We are sponsor of the FAI, which is the Fondo Ambiente Italia, a fund also of ancient villas and cultural things and of Mille Miglia, the very famous antique car race. This is our world, because obviously the owners of these cars are very sophisticated and  love culture. Funnily enough, they all love Acqua di Parma, it may be surprising, but when we go to the Mille Miglia, everybody comes to our lounge and says: „ OMG! I use Acqua di Parma since ever, you are here, I love this brand, please don’t change it – it’s wonderful, I love this!” It’s really a tradition.

Acqua di Parma Celbrities

Would you say that the American perception of the brand is different?

Yes, in the U.S. it’s different, Acqua di Parma is known as the brand of the celebrities. The story behind it is very funny; in the ’30s, ’40s, ’50s, the American actors came to Cinecittà in Rome to exchange movies. They used to come to Italy and get their clothes made, especially the men. They went to the famous Italian tailors where Acqua di Parma at that moment, was distributing its signature Colonia. This is how they met the brand and brought it back to America. So it became immediately the fragrance of the stars. Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn among other very famous names were using Acqua di Parma. And even today, it has still remained the product of the stars – in the U.S. everything is about celebrities.

Sicily

Have you ever worked with an ambassador?

No, but we have some agents working for us on different initiatives in Los Angeles because of the Italian Film Festival in California. We have contacts with some actors: Jude Law or Al Pacino for example is someone who comes to Italy very often and has bought a lot of Acqua di Parma, really a lot…!

Elton John buys huge amounts of Blu Mediterraneo, like a hundred pieces and puts them in all of his houses. This is happening very often. People are buying for all their houses, for their boats and so on – they want to have their property fragranced.

If you wished for an ambassador, who would that be? Probably someone Italian…

It’s evident. Once, the owner was Montezemolo (Luca Cordero di Montezemolo is an Italian businessman and Chairman of Ferrari. He is aristocratic and widely regarded as a stylish, classic dresser). He is the Italian successful, elegant, aristocratic man. He can impersonize the best what we are representing. If you look at our communication for the Colonias, we are representing a very elegant man, either with a tuxedo, either with a suit – it’s a very elegant man. And he is successful because he has a capability, a character. It’s transmitted character – that’s very important.

Another guy, who represents Acqua di Parma very much, is Giovanni Gastel, the famous photographer who shot a lot of campaigns for Guerlain, Dior, Tod’s in the past and who is the perfect gentleman. You see in the manner, in the education, in the physique, in the way he dresses – he’s the face.

Blu Mediterraneo Groupage

Would you say that Acqua di Parma is still more a male company? Or has that changed?

No, it is the same, regarding the style, we can have the same for women, obviously. And when we talk about women, you can have Lavinia Borromeo, who is very much similar to you, very elegant in a sophisticated way. She is not bourgeois, she is not putting on many many things just to show off. It’s the real elegance, the real aristocratic. It is the manner, it’s the way they act while being very simple people. They don’t play the role of the sophisticated, but they are sophisticated, because they don’t play. So it’s something that they have inside. Something that is difficult to express, something that comes from the class. The class, that is important.

Acqua di Parma spa

You have one Acqua di Parma SPA in Porto Cervo. Will there be more?

For the moment being, that is the only one. Our Acqua di Parma SPA is located within the exclusive Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. This represents the selectivities like nowhere, because they only have five hundred members which are chosen by the club and not chosen by the fact that they are rich. It’s a club of selected members depending on their origins and their class. And so this is the preferred place for us to be. Finding another place of the same level is difficult, as we want something special!

Do you have any special products in the SPA?

Yes, we have a line of products which are used for the therapies and methods, a range of 22 products which are specific for the SPA.

Ph Walter Leonardi - Riserva dello Zingaro - Sicily

What are your future plans?

The advantage of Acqua di Parma is that this brand can go everywhere. It can go into the spa, into the hotel, into the leather goods, into accessories, it can go everywhere. We could build a hotel of our own, I don’t know. That brand has such a personality today, such a recognition and a reputation around the world. We can do whatever we want but we have to be authentic and pay attention not to lose our originality. Everything has to be made in Italy, so this is another limitation for us.

Look at our boutiques for example. The concept is very unique, very Italian from tip to toe in the sense that we use only Italian materials, only Italian artisans. It’s proof of the Italian capability to do wonderful things, to produce real handmade things of a certain quality. The brand is a way to promote Italy in the world.

Acqua di Parma Ambiance

How do you create the amazing ambiance in your stores?

Some of the furniture for our boutiques is made by a very small family-owned Italian company. In addition, we work for example with Poltrona Frau, which re-edited a chair from the ’50s for us – and we covered it with the same leather of our leather collection. So everything is very unique. We have tables covered in leather, glasses that are handmade, the mosaics made one by one, it’s amazing!

First of all, we want our customers to sit down and relax. For that reason, we have different chairs, sofas and so on. It is a different situation to pay while you are seated and comfortable. We want for them to live an experience and they are all so amazed that they buy everthing you propose them. In this way we gain the loyalty of our customers, the respect and they talk about us, so it’s all about word of mouth in the end.

What do you think is like the entrance product for the brand ? Personally speaking, I started buying the candles and explored the brand from there.

It depends a lot on the customer’s interest and taste. Obviously the candles are very much the entry for countries like the Anglo-Saxons. It is depending on the culture.

Soon the company will be celebrating its 100th anniversary, in 2016. Are you preparing a special celebration already?

Yes, we will have a celebration, I am already thinking about that! But cannot tell you more.

Do you have one baby in the company that you’re so proud of, like “your baby”?

They are all my babies. I have been with Acqua di Parma for many years and helped to create a whole universe.

Acqua di Parma Gabriella Scarpa

You are such a powerful woman and you also have children. How have you balanced both, professional and family live?

Yes, I have two children, but I have no time to follow them. They grew up with nannies but as I’m a good cook, whenever I was at home, I organized these big parties for our friends with their kids. I cooked a lot in my life, actually whenever I could. And this was a way to keep them very much linked to me. We have a very fantastic relationship. I have to say I owe very much to them, because I was never there. I travelled a lot.

Did they go to boarding schools or did they stay at home?

They stayed at home. My daughter is a nuclear physicist, something very different. She studied in Italy, and did after her doctorate an MBA. Today, she works for the Bayer Group – after five years in Berlin, she’s now in Pittsburgh. She has a fantastic life travelling around the world.

My son is studying marketing communication in Italy, and he will graduate in the end of the year. Afterwards, he will go to the U.S. to get his MBA. And probably he will live there too, because he is very American.

I have pushed them a lot to go outside, obviously I love my country but for young people at this moment in these years it’s not so exciting and not so promising. Outside, there are plenty of opportunities. It’s also an experience they have to do, learn languages, learn how to live with other mentalities and after that they could come back with all their experience. I think it’s good for them.

So I’m not a real good mother, but I love my children.

I wouldn’t say that. There are some mothers who are always there physically but they are not there for their children. It is more about quality time.

This is what my children always told me, when I excused myself during the years, saying: “I’m so sorry that I’m never here”. They answered: ” But you have no idea: Many mothers that are staying at home, are always depressed, always crazy, always shouting. Our friends admire us because we have a brilliant mother who is always happy.” That is true, I’m always happy and very optimistic. I have always talked to them about respecting their job and finding a profession that lives up to their own expectations. We love to work, even that you have to make sometimes sacrifices regarding your personal life or even physically. Obviously, travelling a lot has an impact on your body that you have to resist. Most importantly in life, you have to learn how to manage stress. There are so many people stressing themselves just for nothing. People that have crazy lives are not stressed. Personally speaking, I think that it depends very much how much you love what you do. If you are passionate and satisfied by what you do, you don’t feel stressed.

Ph Massimo Listri - Capri

How long did you stay home when you had your children?

For example, when I had my son, I stayed home three days. It was Saturday, Sunday, Monday… The morning I had to go to the hospital, my boss called me and asked: “Where are you?” I said, “I’m in the hospital, sorry but I am in labour.”  I had worked until the last day and had been travelling with a certificate of the doctor. This might be the reason why my son is a bit nervous sometimes. But in the end, I had responsibilities, I was number two in the company at that time, I couldn’t stay home. My son never knew a different system because when you stay at home for the first three years and go back to work, it’s a trauma for the children.

An intimate question. Where you with your husband all the time? Have you brought up your children alone?

No. My first husband used to travel a lot like me. But we tried not to be gone at the same time. After I had divorced him, I married the man that has been by my side now for thirty years. He is a finance guy and more organized than me in terms of life. He’s very good with the children and has two of his own, so we have four children alltogether.

Ph Walter Leonardi - Capri

It is amazing what you have achieved. Congrats on your success!

The fact that I am here to talk with you about Acqua di Parma is a success for me, because it means that you are interested.

Yes, I absolutely love it!

So it is a success for us, because it means that people like you really appreciate the job we have done. So thank you very much !

Thank you! We could go on and on and on…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Acqua di Parma, © Susanne Riz and © Sandra Bauknecht

Mark Ronson for Fan di Fendi Pour Homme

Fan di fendi Pour Homme Mark Ronson

Fan di Fendi pour Homme is the first ever Fendi men’s fragrance. And great news is that the famous English DJ, musician and music producer Mark Ronson is the face of the ad campaign.

This masculine scent aims at mysterious, sophisticated and urban men who radiate charisma and modern elegance. Therefore, the composition tends to be both fresh and modern, as well as classic and refined. Created by perfumers François Demachy, in collaboration with Delphine Lebeau and Benoist Lapouza, its character is fresh woody-aromatic.

Top notes: Sicilian mandarin, bergamot and basil
Middle notes: Pink pepper, cardomom, gardenia and Texan cedarwood
Base notes: Leather accord, tonca bean and patchouli

Ad Fan di Fendi

In the ad campaign, Anja Rubik and Mark Ronson are actually snuggling up in the back of a car. Probably you should be asking yourself if buying this scent for your better half might be dangerous because an array of women will be all over him…

CHF 83.70 (50ml) and CHF 116.10 (100ml)
Available in Switzerland from September 14, 2012 exclusively at Marionnaud.

LoL, Sandra

Mark Ronson Fendi Pour HommeMark Ronson with me at the Versace for H&M launch party in NYC
Photos: Courtesy of Fendi and © Sandra Bauknecht