In dense urban environments, the magic of hidden gardens happen in the most unexpected of places
Although a rarity, experiencing an intimate rooftop in New York City is one of the most splendid and surprising wonders of city life. As New Yorkers, we rarely look up as we make our way through the stone and glass canyons that surround us on our daily pilgrimage to and from work. It’s difficult to imagine that housed atop some of these structures exist tiny gems of lush intimacy - jewels in the sky that offer respite from the noise and harshness of a bustling city below.
One such place, where we had the honor of designing and hosting an intimate gathering of industry friends a few weeks ago for a night of music, dinner and drinks, was 620 Loft and Garden. One would never think that hidden atop the two, six story buildings flanking the Fifth Avenue walkway to Rockefeller Center, exists not one but two stunningly beautiful and intimate oases. Though far from being high in the sky, this intimate setting offers the most spectacular views of Midtown East and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. For the event, two long communal dining tables adorned with feathery, pinkish astilbe centerpieces under a cascading canopy of eucalyptus, were set in the middle of the garden with the scent of our Velvet Santal wafting throughout. The perfectly manicured bushes, blooming flowers and the azure reflecting pool couldn't help but give the feeling of being transported to the grounds of a lovely chateau in the French countryside, though oddly surrounded by the surreal vignettes of classic Midtown New York City.
Interested in what that night may have smelled like? Try our Velvet Santal, an exotic blend of spice, sandalwood, oud and Turkish rose absolute.
A collaboration with perfumer Jerome Epinette brought the concept of an enigmatic architectural icon to olfactive life.
You’ve seen Casa Malaparte before, though you may not have realized it - most famously, in Jean-Luc Goddard’s 1963 film, “Contempt” starring Brigitte Bardot as the blithe femme fatale and most recently as the backdrop in a series of advertisements for high profile designer brands. The iconic villa, a radically modernist structure for its time (1937), is as provocative and mysterious as its designer/owner, Curzio Malaparte - journalist, diplomat and agent provocateur, and continues to seduce and mesmerize history, design and architectural enthusiasts alike.
Set on Capri, the fabled isle of pleasure, the house sits alone perched eighty feet above the sea, atop a rocky promontory overlooking the Bay of Naples. The only access is by a long, winding footpath through thick, green vegetation or by sea - precariously climbing the jagged rock via a staircase carved into the stone. It is a striking juxtaposition between the natural and the man-made. The house has always been an obscure object of desire to the curious and to those who've dreamt of inhabiting her, if but for a moment of time - yet very few have ever been allowed inside. The closest they’ve come to experiencing it has been through an SLR zoom lens aboard one of dozens of tourist boats anchored below. To all who make the pilgrimage, Casa Malaparte appears to be the perfect symbol of solitary beauty, and like the Bardot character, lies in state as a blissfully indifferent exhibitionist luxuriating in the Amalfi sun.
To capture the essence of Casa Malaparte, we wanted to create a fragrance that represented both the physical qualities of the natural surroundings - the sea on one side and green vegetation on the other - and the modernist, formal element of the house itself and what it represented: a sculpture that bridged the gap between land and sea, between the natural and the synthetic. We wanted to create a space within the aroma that was inviting, contextual and representational of the uniqueness of the house and its surroundings. We chose a sparkling citrus note to give it a light, airy, overarching quality - typical of an Amalfi summer day. A nuanced, lush green base coupled with an ethereal salted sea air accord were chosen to represent the building’s overt, external sensuality and to give it context, while an accord of heliotrope, bright florals and white musk were designed to capture the mysterious and incomparable splendor of what inhabiting such a beauty might feel like.
Welcome to the new frontier of scenting, where aroma, technology and luxury design merge to radically elevate your lifestyle
The romanticism of an aromatic candle’s flickering flame will never get old, but for anyone that’s ever run out of matches at an inopportune time or departed the house wondering if a candle was left burning, Belle Fleur Maison brings a modern-day solution to the home fragrance industry, an industry that hasn’t changed in a century and has found it challenging to introduce technology that both works well and looks beautiful.
No one doubts that there is incontrovertible evidence of technology taking over our lives - from self-driving cars and fully tech-integrated homes, to objects that make our lives easier and more convenient. With our launch of SCENT/SPEAKER, Belle Fleur is diving in head first where scenting is concerned. While we’ve purposely avoided the cliché and the kitschy, we have focused on outwardly beautiful, technologically efficient diffusion and being able to conveniently control when, where and how someone may want to diffuse a fragrance of their choice.
With the push of a button on your smartphone, SCENT/SPEAKER’s Bluetooth technology is only part of the equation. The system was designed to diffuse nano-particles through a cold-air/dry-mist diffusion system which means cleaner, safer and better scenting for any space. The intuitive fragrance controls via smartphone app offers an endless array of customizable settings at your fingertips, from aroma intensity level to any day and hour of the week in combinations that suit your lifestyle. These stunning diffusers are wrapped in hand stitched Italian leather in an array of colors, emphasizing Belle Fleur’s design-driven approach that proves you can have both, superior quality fragrances and luxury design, in one sleek package.
The elusive Night-Blooming Cereus is a wondrous
oddity with a spellbinding aroma
If ever there was a flower with the allure of a rarely seen, reclusive rock star, it’s the Night-Blooming Cereus (Epiphyllum Oxypetalum). Its star power will draw dedicated, adoring, champagne wielding fans to gather in remote desert locales to celebrate its one-night a year appearance. Adding to the allure is the most beautiful and magnetic aroma of all floral species, which it emits from trumpet shaped, waxy, white flowers.
The bloom, nicknamed the ‘Queen of the Night’, will arrive sometime between sunset and midnight on a summer night, usually on or close to a full moon. Over the course of just one to two hours, the petals unfold, and a thick perfume resembling magnolia or gardenia permeates the air to further intoxicate any partygoers fortunate to witness this rarity.
The Night-Blooming Cereus is a species of cactus flower and is one of the rarest plants to live in the desert. Adding to its mystique is its inconspicuousness and location - desert flats and washes between 3000 and 5000 feet above sea level, and that it is rarely seen in the wild. Although magic might seems at play for this exquisite flower, rainfall, temperature and humidity as well as the lunar cycle are key to its blooming.
Add this to our bucket list!
An interview on heritage, brand-building
and the passion for fragrance
1. How did your background in fashion/architecture help you build your brand?
Diverse backgrounds bring a completely fresh and different facet to how we approach and think about designing flowers and/or fragrances. There’s an inherent order and an anchoring to concept in architecture which bodes well in fragrance creation, and fashion is rooted in texture, color, pattern and composition, so these backgrounds have been instrumental in guiding our aesthetics and creativity, ensuring we are always looking at things from a unique perspective.
2. What are the most important qualities of your brand?
Authenticity. We are a brand whose products and services were born out of a true passion for what we do, and we are experts in our fields. But it goes further: We are interested in promoting scent that makes connections to places, history and nature with the belief that modern perfumery should be less revolutionary and more evolutionary in process - where a respect for nature, the raw materials and the art of fine craftsmanship are the foundation of our brand values.
Interested in our answers to the other questions? Read more here.