Xerjoff: the first flagship store in Italy
The XJ Seventeen/Seventeen stone label collection
Text Micol Beltramini
«Odors have a power of persuasion stronger than that of words, appearances, emotions or will. The persuasive power of an odor cannot be fended off, it enters into us like breath into our lungs, it fills us up, imbues us totally. There is no remedy for it». Thus wrote Patrick Süskind in Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, a novel imbued with such violent beauty that Kubrick tried to acquire the film rights. To put an odor – perfume – into words, what a preposterous challenge. One can’t but build synesthetic display cases around it – treasure chests that through images and sounds conjure those worlds that the sense of smell would open and access in a flash. This is what the new Xerjoff store that has just opened in Turin is all about: a synesthetic display spread across three floors, thus imitating the three stages of the olfactory pyramid. It opens with Italian notes: a golden Vespa, a raining of roses, bejeweled perfume bottles on shelves representing the top notes – or head – of a fragrance. Next is the heart: the wood used in flooring, the voice of a singer, the dark golden color of frames and mosaics. A woman roams the rooms, candid; she holds a fan in her hands, her copper red hair covered in face powder. Bookcases are full of collectibles, precious shells offered by the sea back from trips to far-flung countries. Next is the base of the fragrance – the base of the pyramid – representing the most long-lasting notes. The base is translated into a wall of essences on the third floor. Here Sergio Momo tells the story of the dew of May roses, picked only at dawn, only by women and only with the tip of their fingers. A ton of roses results in just over a kilogram of absolute. The base notes must be looked for on the wrists, the day after, a thousand years later. The base is the secret of persuasion between yourself and a fragrance.