David Beckham has his underwear collection, singer Jessica Simpson has a wildly popular fashion label, and Italian ballerina Carla Fracci has her perfume collection.
Yesterday, in Milan’s chic 10 Corso Como, the seventh fragrance in the collection was launched: Aurora, named after one of the étoile’s favourite roles. In fact all the collection’s perfumes are named after roles she has played: Medea, Salomé, Odette, Giselle, Hamlet (yes Hamlet!) and the role she plays best, Carla Fracci, which was the first in the series to be launched.
Of course there’s nothing new about celebrity perfumes. Elizabeth Taylor was the first off the mark with Passion, and her 1991 White Diamonds is still one of the most popular on the market. Lady Gaga has a fragrance, Rihanna and Beyoncé too, Jennifer Aniston and Antonio Banderas have one, even little Justin Bieber has his own scent. The list is long, but almost exclusively consists of singers and actors, with a bit of Paris Hilton thrown in here and there. Ballerinas are nowhere to be seen.
Ballet dancers are certainly off the radar as far as the mass media are concerned, and that is perhaps part of the appeal for Mario Usellini, the president of Carla Fracci Parfums, who developed the line with her. The elegance and grace of this ballet icon, on and off stage, made Fracci the ideal choice to represent perfumes aimed at a more exclusive market. Certainly, she has a name known worldwide, but she’s not in the league of the stars of the twittering classes with Gaga’s millions of ‘little monsters’ and Bieber’s ‘beliebers’. This is reflected in the market the respective companies are aiming for with Bieber’s Someday costing about half of Fracci’s Giselle. And that’s for the eau de parfum, as the Bieber line doesn’t include the more prestigious ‘parfum sans eau’. In fact these fragrances can’t be picked up at the local shopping centre, but in carefully selected stores like the Nordstrom Centre in San Francisco and Moscow’s GUM department store. And of course in Milan’s 10 Corso Como.
In a vibrant breaking of a spell, like a long-awaited kiss, Aurora makes a luminous and scintillating appearance, with the sparkling and toning scents of Bergamot and Pink Pepper. A delicate but passionate awakening gently comes to life: the rich and intense floral notes of Rose of May open up, illuminated by romantic Violet and the velvety notes of White Peach. As in a performance of enchanting beauty, soft and delightful touches of Heliotrope are enriched by the boisé character of Cedar Wood and the seductive vigour of Musk.
So there you have it. I had a little cloud of it floating around me yesterday evening and although I have no idea whether it was the White Pepper or the Pink Peach, it smelled alright to me!
Photos from top: Carla Fracci at the Milan launch; the new perfume Aurora, the stylish inside of the 10 Corso Como shop
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.