The luxe Swiss skincare brand, Valmont, embarked on a new journey in 2018 with the launch of its premier fragrance collection – ‘Storie Veneziane.’ Power couple Sophie and Didier Guillon collaborated to create the opulent collection that, as its name suggests, is inspired by Venice. Narrating the story of five Venetian neighborhoods, the collection is an olfactory tribute to the Italian city’s culture, music, and art.
After its initial success, Valmont fragrances now welcomes a unique new extract – The ‘Mica d’Oro I.’ The unisex extract is housed in an iconic bottle – which is handmade using the age-old Murano glass-blowing techniques – gilded in 24k gold. The Valmont group is also launching two new perfume collections – ‘Collezione Privata’ (three Eaux de Parfum) and ‘Palazzo Nobile’ (five rare Eaux de Toilette).
Curious about the making of Mica d’Oro I extract and the remarkable bottle, we sat down with Sophie Guillon to discuss Valmont’s exquisite perfume line. Here’s what she had to say.
Valmont’s premiere fragrance line – ‘Storie Veneziane’ – was inspired by Venice. How does the fragrance collection capture the Venetian essence?
Through ‘Storie Veneziane’, Didier Guillon and I wish to reveal our vision of a modern and captivating Venice that reinterprets the codes of the city’s past. In the Middle Ages, Venice had a monopoly on the trade of spices, and thus perfumes. Venice – which was a perfume capital in the Middle Ages – is revisited today through Valmont’s fragrance collection.
How would you describe your journey of expanding into the fragrance world?
A fragrance is much more than a scent we wear. It is also the reflection of a lifestyle, an ideal, the value of savoir-faire. We wanted to be sure that our creations would meet the expectations of our customers – that was a challenge.
Can you please walk us through the new ‘Mica d’Oro I’ extract?
Mica d’Oro I is an olfactory interpretation of the decadence of Il Ridotto. Inspired by the flamboyant behavior of sailors ashore in Venice, the extract is an homage to the splendor of the oldest Casino of the lagoon. The scent features a blend of rum and Chantilly cream, complete with immersive notes of soft, woody Vanilla. As the ultimate symbol of opulence, its bottle features a mask motif adorned with a 24k gold leaf.
What was the inspiration behind the iconic 24k gold bottle? Can you please walk us through the process of creating it?
Created using the ancient Murano glass-blowing technique, each bottle of the ‘Mica d’Oro’ extract is a hand-made work of art. The bottle is adorned with an authentic Murano glass mask designed by Didier Guillon and fashioned by master glassmaker Leonardo Cimolin.
From Didier Guillon’s perspective, modern art is a descendant of primitive African art, an art form in which masks play a central role. He drew inspiration from this tradition to design the mask featured on the bottles. The mask is created with simple, almost coarse, lines used by various African tribes and is the polar opposite of gilded Venetian masks with their arabesques and feathers.
Can you please walk us through your process of creating a fragrance? How do you select the blends that go into an extract?
At Valmont fragrances, we believe that the best creations see light when the passion of their creator comes to life. For Mica d’Oro I, not one, but three creators of great talent united their vision and artistry.
Didier designed the bottle and the mask that adorns it. I imagined the fragrance and the story behind it. As the choreographer of scents, I selected ingredients that I believed would stir emotions. Further, Nathalie Lorson, the master perfumer at Firmenich, was appointed to create Mica d’Oro I.
Fragrances hold the distinct power to instantly transport you to a different place and time. How do you think perfumers can tap into this potential, especially at a time when traveling is (almost) impossible?
We need to dream and escape, now, more than before. Perfumes are an opening to the impossible journey. We always create a story with our fragrances, like a tale to imagine a perfume. Perfumers often use exotic ingredients; I mean, they are far from what you find at home. For example, if you use roses or jasmines from Grasse, the scent encompasses the magic of the town and insists on the visualization of the French Riviera.
Sustainability is increasingly shaping the buying behavior of younger generations. What are the sustainability measures that you follow at Valmont?
We are not only working to make our packaging more sustainable, but we have also created UHT formulas to limit the use of preservatives.
What have been the biggest challenges of running a luxury skincare and fragrance business during the pandemic? Have you observed any consumer demand shifts?
The challenge for us has been to stay in touch with our customers. We had to set up a video consultation service for our skincare products, which was a success. For perfume, it is impossible to sell it without physical contact, but the future of skincare is definitely not in danger.
Valmont fragrances are now exclusively available at Galeries Lafayette, Dubai Mall in Dubai, and Tryano, Yas Mall and Aldo Coppola in Abu Dhabi.