Photo courtesy of Le Sirenuse
As Marina Sersale and her husband, Sebastian Alvarez Murena, unveil their eighth fragrance, Jardin du Poete, this month, they’re still marveling at how “an act of love” took over their lives. In 2002, as they celebrated the 50th anniversary of the family’s hotel, Le Sirenuse, in Positano on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, they hit on the idea of a signature scent to mark the occasion. “We agreed it would not be based on a fake legend,” says Murena, “like a fake recipe of a fake grandmother found in a drawer based on a formula of a fake monk uncle.” They wanted a fragrance reminiscent of summer in Positano, specifically the scent of terracotta warmed by the sun. As soon as Eau d’Italie, an effervescent mélange of bergamot, blackcurrant buds and yellow sweet clover, debuted in 2004, the couple took down their fragrance shingle. After all, says Murena, “our job was done.”
There they were wrong. Eau d’Italie was soon in demand at the most exclusive stores in Europe. Since 2005, they have come out with a new scent every year. Each evokes an Italian olfactory journey: the spicy Paestum Rose, smoky Sienne l’Hiver, woody Bois d’Ombrie, floral Magnolia Romana and now Jardin du Poete, redolent of Sicily’s bitter orange and basil. Soon they will have immortalized all of Italy—in a bottle. $140; aedes.com.