The scent of Marni: Italian label launches its first fragrance

The enigmatic Italian fashion label has launched its first fragrance, and it's worth sniffing out, says Naomi Attwood

Marni isn't a fashion house like any other. Although the collections by its founder and creative director, Consuelo Castiglioni, have a strong identity – beautiful clashes of print and texture, from Bauhaus geometric motifs one season to tribal patterns the next, with dots, scribbles, flowers and grids along the way – in many other respects it's quite an enigmatic enterprise.

Despite a global presence, with nearly 100 standalone stores worldwide, the label remains a family business and not part of any luxury conglomerate. Marni doesn't advertise its clothes. It doesn't court celebrities. Last year it collaborated with H&M and pieces were snapped up with all the more enthusiasm by fashion fans who could never have predicted its participation in such a project.

Now Marni is again reaching out to the market section not normally able to access its wares, by releasing its first fragrance. It is labelled simply Marni, the logo depicting the same label you'll find inside the collar of any of the quirky garments from the ready-to-wear ranges. It's a grown-up scent, rather masculine on first sniff, with spices such as cinnamon bark and cardamom, tempered by black rose with bergamot, pink peppercorn and ginger. It's testament to the Swiss-born Castiglioni's love of unexpected combinations.

“My mother doesn't like sweet fragrances,” says Carolina Castiglioni, Consuelo's daughter, who launched the fragrance in the European capital of cool, Berlin, last week. “We spent two years creating the scent, first trying out all the possible raw materials, saying 'yes' to this and 'no' to that until we have narrowed it down – which took a long time.”

The pair worked together on the bottle, a cute, vintage-inspired flacon, minimally packaged: “We wanted the fragrance to be timeless, not seasonal. And we wanted it to be unmistakably Marni, so we took a clean, simple shape for the bottle, then we added the polka dots, because they are our signature,” Carolina says.

The brand began life in 1994, when husband-and-wife team Consuelo and Gianni Castiglioni launched ready-to-wear items based on prints, texture and modern, architectural shapes. Celebrity fans of the upmarket label are found at the more cerebral end of the spectrum – the art photographer Cindy Sherman and actress Maggie Gyllenhaal are devotees, while the likes of Carey Mulligan, Elle Fanning and Rihanna are also partial. Fashion editors sport Marni's oversized necklaces and the chunky flatform shoes that have become so recognisable to those in the know.

Annalise Quest, general merchandise manager for beauty at Harrods, which is stocking the fragrance, explains the brand's appeal as: “Synonymous with an effortless and cool chic style.” She adds: “Marni's first foray into fragrance is the perfect reflection of the iconic fashion house's DNA. The scent exudes sophistication, yet captures the essence of the quirky individuality that defines the Marni woman.”

Ah – the Marni Woman, much remarked upon in any discourse about the brand. Carolina, the 31-year old heiress and the brand's Special Projects director, embodies this elusive spirit as much as anyone can. She regularly features in fashion cool lists thanks to her low-maintenance glamour.

“I'm not someone who wears a lot of make-up – or any make-up,” she says with a shrug.

“I don't often get changed into eveningwear when I go out. I like to mix different styles together, that's what interests me, not a [gestures to self] – a top-to-toe look? I like casual clothes, or men's clothes mixed with something more special.”

Does Carolina think her approach is typically Italian?

“No,” she says, after an infinitesimal pause. “It's typically... Marni.”

 

Marni eau de parfum, £95 0870 034 2566; harrods.com

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Account Executive/Sales Consultant – Permanent – Hertfordshire - £16-£20k

    £16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

    KS2 PPA Teacher needed (Mat Cover)- Worthing!

    £100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...

    IT Systems Manager

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

    IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

    £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

    Day In a Page

    Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

    Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

    ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
    Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

    Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

    Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
    'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

    The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

    Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
    BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

    BBC Television Centre

    A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
    Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

    My George!

    Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
    10 best rucksacks for backpackers

    Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

    Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world