Top 10 things to know about Marni

Top 10 things to know about Marni

By Deborah Fulsang

1. Marni is the first fragrance launched by the Italian brand of the same name.

2. Marni, the perfume, is a floral-woody scent. It manages to be elegant and slightly severe at the same time—a meld of sultry men’s fragrance and elegant women’s perfume. Imagine being in a beautiful old country home decorated with abundant bouquets of old roses, their petals fully opened with a few starting to drop; the resinous yet warm essence of wood floors scenting the air. This perfume smells like that: Warm and masculine with a velvety, luxe and feminine undercurrent.

3. Swiss-born Consuelo Castiglioni (b.1959) is the designer of the Milan-based label, and the imagination behind the fragrance. The brand is named for Castiglioni’s sister, Marina.

4. Notes: Next to rose and wood—patchouli, vetiver and cedar—Marni packs notes of cinnamon bark and cardamom, bergamot, black pepper, pink peppercorn, ginger and incense.

5. The Marni perfume bottle comes inspired by a flea-market find. Castiglioni is a fan of vintage and loved the quirky proportions of the flask. The bottle’s  red cap also evokes the art deco era’s love of glossy lacquer.

6. Celebrity fans for the Marni label run the gamut from Gwyneth Paltrow to Sarah Jessica Parker.

7. Castiglioni found a little doll in a market stall in New York in 2008. Since that discovery, the little character (her Huggy Doll) has become part mascot, part icon, part model and muse at Marni. She will pop up at unexpected times, appearing on a shirt or bag at one time, at another time as a pin on a bathing cap. For the launch of Marni, the fragrance, a tiny version of her is sold with every 10-ml purse spray ($60). For Castiglioni, the doll is a “reminder to find the magic in everyday life.”

8. Marni, the fragrance, reflects Castiglioni’s go-against-the-grain design spirit with its polka dots and irresistible Huggy Doll. The designer’s spring 2013 runway ready-to-wear collection features plenty of bold colour, proportion mixing and graphic prints mixed with eclectic enthusiasm and confidence.

9. Marni comes in many forms: eau-de-parfum ($125/65ml-$175/120ml), body lotion ($62/200 ml), shower gel ($52/200ml) and body creme ($95/200ml). At

10. Marni was established in 1994 by Castiglioni. She is married to Gianni Castiglioni, heir to one of Italy’s long established fur companies.


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Deborah Fulsang has spent the last two decades as a journalist covering news and trends in the worlds of style—in fashion and beauty, design and décor, food and entertaining. Her long-held love of fragrance led her to launch The Whale & The Rose, a destination for all things perfume-related. Now, when she indulges in a crazy-expensive bottle of fragrance, she can do so guilt-free. Well almost. It’s all in the name of research after all.