Message in a Bottle

Published November 3, 2014

Brioni, the Italian luxury menswear label best known for its bespoke suits favored by Hollywood legends and well-heeled businessmen alike, is launching its first fragrance. According to creative director Brendan Mullane, the scent, simply called Brioni, is “an organic extension of the brand’s made-to-measure business.”

“The Brioni man is not a facet of someone’s imagination—he exists,” shares Mullane. “He’s becoming more global, and this parfum is a direct link to his world: sensual and sexy, yet warm.”

The scent is packaged in a weighty rocks glass of sorts, topped off with a luxurious patinated brass and aluminum oversize cap by London-based furniture design collective Fredrikson Stallard. A light amber liquid swirling against thick crystal, the fragrance’s aesthetic is intended to echo the type of beverage a gentleman of distinction might prefer, say James Bond. The design duo, who previously created a line of accessories including cufflinks and ties bars for the house, was inspired by 20th century Italian sculptors like Boccioni, and the wave-like motion fabrics makes across atelier cutting tables.

While Brioni previously collaborated on a limited-edition scent for men, this is its first dedicated in-house effort—a joint creation from famed nose Frank Voelkl of Firmenich, overseen by Raymond Matts.

“It was important for us to capture the essence of Brioni and the Brioni man,” Matts explains. For inspiration, Mullane had the creative team smell the house’s signature textiles—luxurious cashmere, fur, and supple leather—and translate them into the various notes that compose the heady fragrance. Sicilian lemons and Italian mandarins mingle with Bergamot and lavender, while touches of Magnolia and oud wood add depth and a quiet air of masculinity to the otherwise citrus-focused blend.

When Matts recommended adding black licorice to round out the fragrance, Mullane panicked. “At first, I was almost certain I wouldn’t like the smell of licorice, especially for our signature scent, but now I love it,” he admits. “Much like the evolution of my personal style,” Mullane continues, “Brioni has the power to change the way we see and feel things, but in a subtle way that’s confident, but not overpowering.”

BRIONI’S FRAGRANCE IS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE AT NEIMAN MARCUS AND BERGDORF GOODMAN.