Pretty much everyone enjoys a beautifully presented scented candle. And usually, we're used to binning the containers once the wick has burnt down. But when the scent comes packaged in a ceramic vessel as beautiful as these new Fornasetti treats (exclusive to Mecca) you can't exactly call them candles anymore. With designs based from the pretty scribbles of late Italian artist Piero Fornasetti, this home fragrance range is fast heading to the top of our most wanted list. It's not hard to see why, but there's also a fascinating Fornasetti backstory to be told...
Unless you're up to date with Milanese artists active in the 20th century, you may not have heard of Piero Fornasetti. He was active from the 1930s - a dab hand at painting, sculpture, illustration, printing and interior design, he often collaborated with fellow painters of the time such as Giorgio de Chirico. He eventually turned his talents to a print production workshop that replicated his many illustrations onto decorative objects large and small - from cigarette cases and trays to cabinets and folding room dividers.
When he died in 1988, Fornasetti left behind over 13,000 pieces of work in an archive, and thanks to his son Barnaba, Piero's workshop, house in Milan and illustrations still live on to this day. His work was so immense, it was featured in a three month retrospective at the Louvre this year: "The whole ground floor of the museum was used to showcase 2,000 archive pieces from the Fornasetti world," says Laurent Delafon, CEO of United Perfumes (the company which produces Fornasetti's scented offerings).
The illustrations on Fornasetti's range of large and small scented candles, diffusers, incense and room sprays feature anything from naughty monkeys, skulls, snakes, hydrangeas to the Capri skyline, even the expressive face of Italian opera singer Lina Cavalieri. But the one thing they all have in common? A sense of playfulness. "It's about bringing a bit of whimsy, fun, craziness into your home," says Delafon. With a base of five different fragrances, the scented objects have been designed to capture the Fornasetti heritage: the base range heroes the woody, incense scent of the house's interior; Flora is the white floral and fresh green notes of Fornasetti's garden; Sole Di Capri's has a citrusy Mediterranean vibe; and Giardino Segreto is made of elegant green freshness. And rhe fifth, Malachite, which is still to come, is a heady mix of sandalwood and amber.
And the beauty of the range is that the collectible containers are designed to be kept. "The key thing is that they're decorative scented objects," explains Delafon. "When you're finished with the wax, you use it as something else." From vases, pot plants and even a pace to stash keys, rings, make-up or cotton buds - the sky's the limit when it comes to repurposing. "So many beautiful things in our life, once they're finished they're disposable," sighs Delafon. Somehow, we don't think we'll be throwing these out anytime soon.
The Fornesetti Profumi range is available at Mecca Cosmetica stores and online at mecca.com.au