ECLECTISM

Roberto Baciocchi is perhaps most famously known as the architect responsible for the modern interior design of the Prada stores worldwide, from Milan to Hong Kong. But in his other work, he does not shy away from an opportunity for the whimsy and playful.

Roberto Baciocchi uniquely blends traditional Italian style with contemporary design and his eclectic style is all about harmony. The combination of disparate styles, differing textures and contrasting colors all working together to create a cohesive, beautifully realized space. Although a master in utilizing existing historical buildings, he doesn’t care for historical renovation per se. He prefers to amplify the ancient while seamlessly juxtaposing it with the new and repurposed.

A seemingly continuous thread throughout all his work is the use of velvet, as seen in this interior: the way the sofa is covered in it, is as though there were a liquid vat of the opulent material poured all over it. Baciocchi attributes his attraction to the material to his close relationship with his mother and his sister.

This mixture between old and new, unexpected use of materials and shapes to create a new and surprising totality that exudes warmth, is why we could perfectly envision our Ambiance Trigger in Pōmum Grānātum here. A luscious, voluminous and sensual fragrance that combines juicy pomegranate with taif rose, mysteriously enveloped in the warming notes of incense and dark woods.

Elements: Pomegranate, Taif Rose, Dark Woods, Incense

vincenzo de cotiis

Vincenzo de Cotiis's Milan apartment
Vincenzo de Cotiis's Milan apartment

BRUTALISM

Brutalist architecture, or Brutalism, is a style of modernist architecture which emerged in the 1950’s in Great Britain. The style is often related to post-war reconstruction work for utilitarian, low-cost social housing influenced by socialist principles. Brutalist design favors function over decorative elements. Brutalist buildings are characterized by their massive, monolithic and ‘blocky’ appearance with a rigid geometric style and large-scale use of poured concrete.

Le Corbusier’s ‘Unite d’Habitacion’ in Marseille is one of the defining architectural feats of this movement. Built between 1947 and 1952, it represented his paradigm of city-living development and is the epitome of his belief that “standardization leads to perfection”. After all, brutalism was often associated with a socialist utopian ideology, emphasizing functionality and the realities of modern life.

Brutalism and the architectural ethic it represent is currently experiencing a comeback as seen in the work of Vincenzo de Cotiis. It illustrates a need for honesty, an uncompromising desire to see and hear it as it is and to provide the perfect, non-distracting backdrop for interior design. De Cotiis’ explains his inclination towards brutalism in the design of his furniture as follows: ‘I always seem to find myself somewhere between de functionality of the object and its abstract presence.’ In true brutalist form, the building or object that appears to be constructed from concrete, glass, wood, brass and steel is, in fact, constructed from concrete, glass, wood, brass and steel.

We imagine our Ambiance Fragrance in Titio to seamlessly blend in and bring warmth to these Brutalist stripped-down structures of exposed concrete, with the clean fresh trail of smoked precious Darjeeling tea, wood and spices.

Elements: Burning Wood, Darjeeling Tea

axel vervoordt

The interior by Axel Vervoordt for Kim Kardashian-West and Kanye West. Photo by Jackie Nickerson
The interior by Axel Vervoordt for Kim Kardashian-West and Kanye West. Photo by Jackie Nickerson

MINIMALISM

It has been said that minimalism is not a style that simply precludes possession, but rather a style that precludes careless possession. The picture above is from the interior Axel Vervoordt created for Kim Kardashian-West and Kanye West. Axel Vervoordt is celebrated for his minimalist interiors and well-known for his whitewashed walls, rustic details and juxtapositions of antiques with modern art.

Minimalism is gaining track, presenting a home décor that is simplified, calm and serene, with a heightened sense of clarity. It is a design alternative to a world that becomes louder and louder. Point of departure in minimalism is the use of pure geometric forms and the use of simple and plain materials. The lack of ornamentation and decoration have as a result that things that would go unnoticed in a cluttered room, suddenly become reference points: the style of a picture frame, the finish on the floor, the kind of cord on the lamp, etcetera.

This minimal interior inspires us at Zenology to revel in the peace and quiet and power down with our Ambiance Trigger in Gossypium. The fragrance wraps you in a comforting warm blanket of powdery musc, the subtle hints of white flowers and anis, with the soft and fluffy staple fiber of the cotton plant.

Elements: Cotton, White Flowers, Musc

piero portaluppi

The Villa Necchi Campiglio kitchen by Piero Portaluppi
The Villa Necchi Campiglio kitchen by Piero Portaluppi

RATIONALISM

Following the believe that architecture is a science that can be comprehended rationally, the architectural current of rationalism developed in Italy in the 1920s and 1930s. There is a strong emphasis on geometric forms and ideal proportions, as well as the idea that structure itself could create space without the need for decoration.

Villa Necchi Campiglio, build by the architect Piero Portaluppi for the Necchi family, is a perfect representation of this particular movement. The exterior features the strong lines of rationalist architecture while the interior harbors influence of Art Deco.

The Necchi Campiglio family had amassed their fortune as producers of cast iron and enameled sewing machines and were known for their elegant parties that often counted with European royalty. The villa itself serves as a representation of the Milanese bourgeoisie’s obsession with perfection and details, a minimal and almost severe counterpoint to Milan’s ornate palazzos. It conveys both an air of grandeur and a strict sense of discipline. The family wanted above all to distance themselves from the traditions of their day, and planned ample areas dedicated to the reception of guests and socializing: the dining room, the smoking room, the library and the grand salon.

Modern yet classic, poised and grounded our Ambiance Trigger Ebenus combines bergamot with cedar wood, leather and cashmeran to a comforting, calming and relaxing fragrance. We couldn’t think of a better fragrance to match this classic yet timeless interior.

Elements: Cedar Wood, Incense, Leather

john lautner

The Schaffer House by John Lautner, Los Angeles
The Schaffer House by John Lautner, Los Angeles

ORGANIC ARCHITECTURE

The beauty of organic architecture is how it either melds with the landscape or arises from it as if the surrounding spaces had given birth to them. In organic architecture, the aim is to find the perfect balance between a space and its natural surroundings. There is harmony between the natural world and human habitation.

A perfect example of this philosophy of architecture is the Schaffer Residence. Created in 1949 by John Lautner for the Schaffer family, it was designed around the existing oak trees on the site that the Schaffer family used as a picnic ground. The focus was placed on “the rhythms of light in the grove of live oaks, building between the trees in two vertical layers, one of redwood boards and the other of mullioned glass planes, to create the sense of an unbroken transparent screen.” The construction of its ceiling, along with the use of glass, provides a light feeling to the house, which results in a “floating environment.” The house’s relationship with its surroundings further integrates the space into an organic landscape.

Reminiscent of other times, of the comforting feel of slow and hazy days: our Ambiance Fragrance in Tobacco Lignum is a true classic. A perfect match with this classic interior, the fragrance balances beautifully between sweetness and spice. There is the warm woody accord of dry tobacco with hints of vanilla and cacao and the powdery facets of orris and saffron. It immediately creates a sense of warmth, security and belonging.

Elements: Tobacco, Orris, Saffron

Watch movie impression here: A SINGLE MAN (directed by Tom Ford, USA 2009)

dimore milano

Dimoremilano by Dimore Studio. Photo by Courtesy of Dimoremilano
Dimoremilano by Dimore Studio. Photo by Courtesy of Dimoremilano

DECADENCE

In all their uniqueness and beauty, the five previous interiors have been fairly straight-forward inspirations. But what if we were to forego the straight lines and think outside the box? I couldn’t resist and simply had to share a very personal favorite: 2 sprays of Ebenus & 1 spray of Pōmum Grānātum. To me, this is the ultimate scent of opulence and luxury. Both fragrances are unique and incredible in their own right, but by combining the calming woody, balsamic scent of Ebenus with an injection of luscious, sensual and subtly sweet Pōmum Grānātum, an entirely new world opens.

The interior that comes to mind is one of decadence, much like presented by Dimore Milano, the studio headed by Emiliano Salci and Britt Moran. No subtleties or calmness here, yet there is true art in the placement, the confidence the design exudes and the way it is sourced and layered.

In interior design, decadence finds a lot of common ground in maximalism, although decadence differentiates from maximalism’s particular style in its sheer opulence, exuberance and the dramatically daring. A re-invention of what renaissance style could be in our current world, while serving as an antithesis to conservatism. There is a clear element of rock and roll in the lighting and use of color in the wall-paneling. The embellishments are rich and shiny, the proposed idea is a feast for the eyes in the materials used, the placing of the lighting and the surprising coherence the interior exudes. The entire feel can perhaps best be described as retro-futuristic: there are elements that seem reminiscent of the sixties, seventies and eighties, combined with shapes and materials that refer to an imaginary future.

Elements Pōmum Grānātum:
Precious Woods, Incense, Leather, Pomegranate, Taif Rose

Elements Ebenus:
Cedar Wood, Incense, Leather