I recently came across an article that explains how to create your own scented photographs. At first I thought it sounded a bit gimmicky, but if done well I imagine the combination of the visual and olfactory senses could be particularly evocative of a special time and place. The idea brought to mind a recent holiday in Positano on Italy’s spectacular Amalfi Coast. It was a magical few days. While there I was delighted to re-discover a heavenly perfume that I used to wear a long time ago that my mother had given me – ‘Fiori di Capri’, made by Carthusia – I Profumi di Capri. I had been completely enchanted by it – the unusual scent (lily of the valley and wild carnation blended with sandalwood, ylang ylang and oak); the beautiful packaging and the story behind it.
Legend has it that when, in 1380, the father prior of the Carthusian Monastry of St Giacomo learned that Queen Giovanna was to visit Capri (an island off the Amalfi Coast near Positano), he made a flower arrangement using the island’s most beautiful flowers. The water was not changed for three days and the prior noticed that it had acquired a distinctive fragrance. With the help of an alchemist the fragrance was re-created and became known as the first perfume of Capri. Centuries later, in 1948, the prior of the monastery discovered a number of ancient perfume formulas. With the permission of the Pope, he gave them to a chemist and Carthusia, as it is known today, was born. Still today, Carthusia’s perfumes are made with flowers from the island using the traditional methods of the Carthusian monks.
So of course when I stumbled across the Carthusia shop I couldn’t resist!
If I were to make a scented photograph (which I confess is unlikely) I would choose this photo of Positano:
and scent it with Carthusia’s ‘Fiori di Capri’:
If only scented blog posts were possible!
(While there I discovered another Carthusia perfume that I love, ‘Io Capri’, a delicious summery fragrance of wild fig and tea leaves!).