The Essence of Alice – Profumeria Mazzolari, Milan


Sandro Fabbro and Augusto Mazzolari, with his daughter Marina, meet in the historic Milan perfumery for a multisensory event that brings together craftsmanship, design and fine perfumery: the vernissage “The Essence of Alice”. A perfumed thread connects Milan Design Week with Milan Fashion Week 2021: olfactory memory. From the 9 to the 23 September, the Profumeria Mazzolari plays host to an installation open to the public, “The Essence of Alice”: an olfactory journey drawing on fashion and design, created by Elisabetta Invernici. An award-winning multi-sensory piece of furniture is the focus, displayed for the first time in Milan at the Supersalone.

Neglected by “civilisation” over the centuries, severely penalised during the pandemic, our ability to smell is back in the spotlight, thanks to an enterprising collaboration between Fabbro Arredi and Profumeria Mazzolari. The Friuli-based artisan furniture maker produced Alice, a sideboard in canaletto walnut (150x45x120 h), to a design by Theresa Zellner and Florian Nagl, winners of the first WunderWood contest in 2019. Inspired by the Wunderkammer, defined as a sideboard storage unit, it was transformed for the occasion into a keeper of “olfactory wonders”, unexpectedly revealing 16 different perfume notes concealed within 16 hidden drawers.

“We open a drawer, smell the fragrance, and it sets us off on a journey through memory, seeking our deepest identity, as neuroscience tells us,” explains Elisabetta Invernici, “We open 2, 4, 8 drawers and we create our olfactory pyramid, unique and inimitable. We combine new fragrant design geometries, becoming ‘visitors’ to an innovative experience”. All this has been made possible thanks to the Mazzolari olfactory library at the world-famous Bottega Storica in Milan, which is providing its 46 concentrations from which two collections were chosen, a natural one and a biographical one which the public are free to smell for the event and later find again.