We are happy to introduce you to the newest member of the Sniph family: the hedonistic brand with a truly Italian spirit - Calé Fragranze D’Autore. We asked the creator of the brand, Dr. Silvio Levi, to share the story behind Calé and to explain what the modern Italian perfumery is grounded on. Here, Science meets Music to bring you the best of La Dolce Vita experience. Enjoy!
Why “Calé”? Is there any story behind the name?
The name “Calé” comes from the union of the two first letters of my aunt and my mother surnames respectively, Casolari and Levi, founders of the Company in 1955. Incidentally this name sounds “French” reminding Calais city on the Channel and the Greek word for beauty, Kalos.
Every bottle by “Calé Fragranze D’Autore” is toped with the red cord. What does this design touch symbolize?
This is a double message. The colour is related to the “Calé” accent on our logo and the cord, applied by hand, would underline the handcrafted intervention on each product.
You worked as a scientist in the pharmaceutical industry. Where is that red line between perfume as a science and perfume as art?
As a researcher in Chemistry I learned that science, to be successful, needs creativity and attitude to be prone not to follow the usual frame of mind. Since my work into the fragrances World, I’ve been meeting more perfumers and brand owners who have the same attitude. Only this attitude can grant the creation of something that should be candidate to become a masterpiece, a milestone for future generations.
"The science, to be successful, needs creativity and attitude to be prone not to follow the usual frame of mind."
Speaking about art: every scent by “Calé Fragranze d’Autore” has a complementary soundtrack available on your website. How are perfume and music connected?
A perfume is a communication tool. All arts are based on communication and only few artists can transform it in a message. What I love the most is that both music and perfume don’t need to be translated. I’ve started from my briefing to the perfumer asking him to tell my story through a fragrant composition. When I met the musician and composer Philip Abussi, he asked me to better understand what I meant, so I asked him to smell my fragrances blindly and write down what he and his wife got from them.
"A perfume is a communication tool. All arts are based on communication and only few artists can transform it in a message."
When I revealed them my original briefing they were impressed by finding out what I was already telling them a lot of aspects they noticed themselves. After that I asked Philip if he could help me to translate my own stories in music, in order to make a synaesthesia. An accord is much more than the sum of its notes, so perfume and music are dramatically more effective together involving you in their own story!
If “Calé Fragranze d’Autore” was a song, what song would it be?
Calé Fragranze d’Autore is build up on several soundtracks, in order to be a symphony. As well as a cathedral, made by an architect, is made of different chapels, with masterpieces by different artists, so is my brand hosting creations with many artists, Noses and musicians. I still have a dream I asked to realize: a perfume capable to represent Ravel’s Bolero. How is it possible to make the timpani crescendo? We didn’t succeed until now. Bolero is the choice, for a lot of reasons including its energy, its eroticism without contact….
"The real virtues don’t need to be showed off to be appreciated..."
And if it was a movie?
That’s a little more complicated. In our fragrances we quote stories of Lakota Indians, Taj Mahal, Rice, Mediterranean mood, Men that can change your life. Therefore it should be a medley of many more movies I have in mind. The one who inspired mainly Mistero is for sure Dead Poets Society. The real virtues don’t need to be showed off to be appreciated.
Do you remember the very first perfume you’ve ever owned?
Sure. It was Eau Sauvage. At that time Edmond Roudnitska, its creator for Dior, and Pierre Dinand, that designed the iconic bottle, were completely unknown to me. Today they are reference masters for me. A milestone created by people that knew what innovation is!
What does define the modern Italian perfumery? Can we talk about the “Italian style” in perfumery and how is it different from, for example, the “French style”?
Elegance mixed with simplicity are the signature element. These the main characteristic. Our deep roots, in Italy, are in the Perfumery field. René le Florentin, Leonardo da Vinci, Giovanni Paolo Feminis, Giovanni Maria Farina, Iris, Bergamot, Santa Maria Novella, Violetta di Parma, Acqua di Felsina are some of the historical steps in our long story!
"Apart few exception, Italian perfumery reflects the love for harmony, beauty and nature with a really unique hint of Dandyism."
Quite often there is a touch that makes the difference, a sort of asymmetric, disruptive contrast that underline the beauty, as happens in Italian fashion creations. Love for Art is part of our genome. We are not really aware of it but it is part of our daily life. We love to create something that will become a new trend in medium long term and, usually, we succeed in it. French style is usually a little more imperative and English style sometimes too shy and Anglican even if, in our field, both created something unexpected.
You are the co-founder of the Esxence, one of the most significant events for perfume business and scent-loving community. Your prediction, what big trends in perfumery we will spot at the Esxence-2020?
At Esxence we used to say that, we are working to give an olfactive form to the trends that will arise in the next 15-20 years. Each brand should possibly propose something innovative, original not in the trend. I think about Esxence as the mirror of sociological changes worldwide and of cultures fusion. I expect that some Deep Africa smells will merge with Scandinavian winters with a hint of oriental philosophy! We recently launched Sottosopra ("the upsidedown") with an excess of very warm IBQ (isobutylquinoline) that creates, with a strange composition made by Arturetto Landi, a link between two Worlds with an inner zone.
"I expect that some Deep Africa smells will merge with Scandinavian winters with a hint of oriental philosophy!"
If you could wear only 3 scents for the whole year, what would they be?
My own Roboris by Calé Fragranze d’Autore, Silver Mountain Water by Creed, Elite by Floris and, with tact and moderation, Ten by Knize.
The best scent in the world is…?
My daughter wearing Dolce Riso three years before I created the brand!
When you find the perfume that everyone will recognize as your personal signature, expressing perfectly your mood, the way others perceive you by sight, sounds and, sometimes, touch, you get your own best scent.