October 22, 2015

Perfume born from a dream. Interview with Simone Cosac.


The past inspires the present. Perfume, dream, and a true story of Florence’s Renaissance. The joint link is Villa La Tanna standing at the top of a natural terrace over Florence. In the past, Grand Duke Francesco I. from the famous Italian Medici family gave the villa to his mistress and later wife Bianca Capello. The villa exchanged many owners over the centuries. Now, Simone Cosac with her family lives there among its walls and gardens. One night in the villa, Simone had a dream in which Bianca visited her and transported her through the fragrant gardens of the Renaissance villa and handed over the knowledge based on which her first perfume "Perle di Bianca" was created.

I visited Villa La Tana. From every corner I felt on me the breath of history and splendor. I managed to get a bit of time with Simone Cosac and ask her a few questions.


SIMONE COSAC NAIFY


1. Who is Simone Cosac apart of the Brand Simone Cosac, what you did before?

Simone Cosac: Before I was a lawyer in my country. I practiced criminal law, but also at a certain stage I did marketing here, because it was my passion. I was not able to do package and design because I live a very far from the university. And is not like in the United States where you send your kids away to school, you know? You are more family… you stay at a home. So I did my course post-graduation in marketing and design, and in United States I went to my master in fine art, but I specialized in graphics. So when I arrived back in Florence, my brother and my husband opened a publishing business Co. (company) Cosac & Naify, that’s a very big publishing business there, it was practically born in the garage of my house here in Italy and I used to design their books and print them in Italy then send them to Brazil to sell. After the prices compared with the euro became so expensive we started to print in Brazil and in China. And then I started searching for something for me, for my passion for perfumes since I was a little. And then with my husband, we used to do restorations of the villa, he is a history lover, he loves Florence, he did the first villa, that was Villa Strozzi and I decorated the Villa. The second villa was Villa La Tana. 

We moved to Villa La Tana and I started to research the previous life of the people that have lived there. I fall in love with this woman, noble woman from Venice, that was a lover and then wife of Francesco I. Medici and she lived in the house and they had a beautiful love story like Romeo and Juliet. They died together, maybe poisoned by his brother, which was Cardinale Ferdinando. Doing all this research and discovering so many contradictions. I really got obsessed with her personality. Having a dream with her. And she was telling me: why don’t you do a perfume? She gave me the notes of this perfume. Of course at that time, I didn’t know how to make a perfume, but I have a cosmetologist, she is my friend. We started to play in her laboratory and we did the first perfume called “Perle di Bianca”. The perfume was not made by a professional. I didn’t want and I didn’t plan to start a brand. But in 2008 when the world collapsed economically, all my friends were saying: do a brand, do a brand, it’s fantastic and so I did start a brand. Then I went to Givaudan and I discovered Sonia Constant, she is the nose, and we started to develop. Not only fragrances - the perfume, but also ambience fragrances, with notes from Tuscan gardens. That was my priority I wanted to express reality. We have an oil, that took 2 years to develop. An olive oil. Because it wouldn’t match and was very difficult to work with, they wanted to put another type of oil and I said No, it has to be from Tuscany possibly from our garden. Its why we created the concept of the secret garden of Bianca, where we start to imagine a seven hundred years old garden that we have at Villa La Tana, imagine how many love stories happened here.


2. What is like to live in Villa La Tana?

Simone Cosac: Its beautiful, it’s a privilege, but it’s also lot of work. It’s very big, and when its big you need a lot of help and it’s quite difficult to coordinate a big place like that.

3. Tell me how your life looks on normal day?

Simone Cosac: Well, in a normal day when people ask: where do you live? I say I live in an airplane. First moved to California, then to New York for my kids to study. One of them finished college, he is doing films. I have 3 kids. One of them is 24, another one is 20 and another one is 18 years old. They all want to study in American universities so I moved to offer them New York. I spent 2 years there and then we moved to California, where my husband came from and where we lived before. I love California, it's my favorite place, but very soon I have to go back to live in New York, because all of my kids are aiming to go to live there and practice their profession there.

Simone Cosac with Filippo Lapi



4. At your perfume event in unforgettable Villa La Tana we met Cécile Zarokian. Do you plan to work with her?

Simone Cosac: Cécile Zarokian already worked for me. She developed three ambiance fragrances that I have. Tuscan fruit, Amber wood and Gardenia. I met Cécile Zarokian in New York and I was very impressed by the quality of her work. She works independently, so a year later, I decided for her. We met and we developed the ambiance fragrances.



5. Favorite perfume ingredient?

Simone Cosac: It so difficult to say. If you ask me what is my favorite perfume in my line, I will say Trama. It was the second one. I like to choose between Trama, Osé and Trama Nera. Trama Nera has the same composition as Trama, but has an oriental input because of wood. My family background, we left from Lebanon, so I grew up breathing all these oriental smells. Then I told Sonia, let's do Trama, but Trama that has addition of oriental woods and spices. So we did it. 


Niche Week: So Trama is the most – You?

Simone Cosac: Yes, Trama is the most me. I love Trama. But each of them has something from me. Before we started with Sonia Constants to create scents for my perfume line, even when it disturbed Givaudan at the beginning, we wrote letters to each other. She asked me to describe the scents in words, because I cannot put essences together. I don't know which essence can be bottom, on top, in heart… so what I wrote to her, was my desire, my vision as I see the next fragrance, the picture of this fragrance. In Trama, it has to be something feminine, with roses, not normal feminine, it needs to be a woman, fragile, but at the same time has an attitude. It has to be a perfume that when she walks on the street, you don’t feel the rose, but feel something exotic, that you can't define.


6. Part of the time you are in the US, part in Villa La Tana, are your perfumes "born" in time when are you at the villa?

Simone Cosac: Yes and No. It is a process. The first stages from the exchange between me and Sonia, she sends me all the alternatives and I say for example: I like this one, but it has to be more… it takes time. It's untrue to say: that’s it, that's the perfume. It is a process of tuning. We produce in France. First we produced in Italy, but it was a very fragmented production that made the costs lower, but it was a tremendous work. At that time, I was also the designer of my company and I ended up not being able to do everything. I have to think about the design, the management and also follow the production, so I started to approach many other producers that could do a perfume from A to Z and I interviewed many of them. I ended with doing it in France with a person that was introduced by Cécile Zarokian.


7. You have a pearls in each of your perfume. Is it because of motive “Perle di Bianca” ?

Simone Cosac: I love pearls. Really love pearls and when I was little I used to do my own perfume, mixing notes with an oil and I would decorate it with laces and pearls – the very very childish type of perfume. And when I start to give this type of image, I perceive that woman after forties, they feel that somehow they are missing this part, this femininity that we lose to be in a market, to compete with men, to be more … so all that relieves this part of our lives. We adore it, we all have sensations, I have sensations, to see the knitted teddy bear with overlays and bows. I’ve got crazy to buy it for myself and I ended up buying it for my daughter as well. My daughter said: Mom! I don’t want that, I’m not a little girl anymore. But I am very sure in the future she will feel the need of having these elements that we lose. Growing up, become a woman, become a professional … so the picture of Bianca Capello is the pearls, she used to put the pearls in her hair and I said: Wow. Here is the opportunity that I have to explore this pearl element that I love so much.


8. Your perfumes are based on the real love story between Bianca Capello and the Grand Duke Francesco I de’Medici during the Renaissance period. Can we await that the perfume Bianca receives also a perfume Francesco?

Simone Cosac: We will have the perfume Francesco. Initially it was based on this beautiful love story that took place in the Villa where we live. But that was like six hundred years ago.  And I think that during the six hundred years many other love stories happened there. I start thinking about how many forbidden love stories, how many fictive loves happened here, so it's not only Bianca Capello and Francesco. There are others Biancas and Francescos that passed together through the gardens in Villa La Tana. Initially I wanted to do a match that is extremely feminine, nothing for the men. Nothing for the men because I don't believe in a men’s perfume and a women perfume. For example, I think that Peccato, Trama Nera and even Trama is used by a lot of men. This is a definition that we create, like we create that boys need to wear blue, girls pink. Everybody advises – you have to do a perfume for man, specifically male perfume, because it will be good for the market... so I decided to do it.


Niche Week: Thank you for your time, thank you for the interview. 

Simone Cosac enriched the world of niche perfumes with her fragrances  with a touch of Renaissance, sewn with thread of Italian elegance and timeless femininity. Secrets hidden in flacons ...


3 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing. I'd like to try it. Hope to hear more from you.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your interest Melissa. I'd definitely recommend you to try it! Bianca has for me very nice Italian touch,very feminine and refined, Osé is is the most beautiful and most realistic lilac I have ever felt in perfume :-)

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  2. Lucid Dreaming: what is it & why you should learn to do it
    There are several possibilities. The only thing that has got to happen is for the dreamer to comprehend their experience is a new dream. From there, almost everything could happen. Lucid dreamers claim to get flown through space and visited sunshine, danced in fire without having to be burned and had making love with strangers.
    Michael

    ReplyDelete

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