Marcel Wanders: The Five Seasons for Alessi, Milan Launch Party

I met Marcel Wanders! Yes! But first, let me explain how and why. It’s all about my collaboration with Alessi and his latest Five Seasons collection with them… Ready to learn more?

Iconic Italian brand, Alessi, has produced everyday designer objects since 1921. In fact, most of us have a few products from them in our home, most likely the kitchen. They frequently partner with some of the best designers in the world and I just had the honor of visiting their showroom during Milan Design Week and mingled with one of their brightest stars, legendary Dutch designer Marcel Wanders.

Together, they’ve launched the Five Seasons collection composed of 5 fragrances based on the four seasons plus a mysterious, sensual and spiritual 5th season, all for the home. Best of all, I was at the launch party and was able to experience the seasons, and Marcel, up close and personal.

(I even asked him for a selfie later on, as a total fan should - scroll down for that...)

  Photo: Erik Schumacher

Photo: Erik Schumacher

  Photo: Erik Schumacher

Photo: Erik Schumacher

  Photo: Erik Schumacher

Photo: Erik Schumacher

First, the product

With room perfume, candles, and diffusers, this collection will appeal to design fans because the fragrances are sophisticated, unique and the overall design is mostly clean, sophisticated and will fit any décor. You won’t find the typical scents in this collection; instead imagine a candle with subtle notes of bergamot, lily of the valley and musk.

The diffusers, which usually are seen on the market with typical reeds, are much different in Five Seasons. Instead of generic reeds, stylized leaves were designed from mahogany, making the design fresh and unique. These elegant leaves make the diffusers more of a décor accessory as much as a practical, functional room fragrance. Each of the five scents has its own stylized leaf paired with a different fragrance in the collection. The 5th fragrance is also paired with a natural lava stone that subtly diffuses the perfume into the room.

In addition to the overall design, I liked the fragrance and product itself because you can imagine the collection appealing to anyone, regardless of gender, age or even cultural background. The collection doesn’t feel overly masculine or feminine, which I love because so many companies producing fragrance today tend to target women, yet many men also love a home that smells appealing to them and not the typical flower or fruit scents often found when you’re shopping for room fragrances, candles, and diffusers. The porcelain bases of the diffusers and candles can be selected in black or white and the fragrances are definitely gender neutral.

The 5 fragrances are:

  Photo: Erik Schumacher

Photo: Erik Schumacher

BRRR: Notes of bergamot, lily of the valley and musk. Fresh, sparkling atmosphere, reawakening the senses.

  Photo: Erik Schumacher

Photo: Erik Schumacher

AHHH: Youthful, grassy, delicate notes like cardamom, hyacinth, and vetiver.

  Photo: Erik Schumacher

Photo: Erik Schumacher

HMM: Red berries, fig and woody notes. Clean and elegant.

  Photo: Erik Schumacher

Photo: Erik Schumacher

GRRR: Incense, cedarwood, and moss. Sensual, complex, smoky notes.

  Photo: Erik Schumacher

Photo: Erik Schumacher

SHHH: Eucalyptus, rose and patchouli. Intrigue, a mysterious bouquet.

My Favorite

While perusing the Alessi showroom in Milan, lifting each glass dome to experience one of the five seasons, I was focused on selecting my personal favorite. Which one was it, you may wonder? Definitely AHHH (shown below) because it was fresh and pure and I would love this scent in my bathroom while relaxing in the tub with some wine and good music.

  Photo: Erik Schumacher

Photo: Erik Schumacher

  Photo: Erik Schumacher

Photo: Erik Schumacher

Next, the designer

  Photo: Erik Schumacher

Photo: Erik Schumacher

I can't forget the famous Marcel Wanders! I’ve wanted to meet for twelve years, ever since discovering his work while I was still in design school. I’ve long loved how he marries traditional Dutch design with futuristic shapes and modern design, showing the true talent of Mr. Wanders to be so diverse, fresh and a true leader in his field.

I've also long admired his playful sense-of-humor and sparkle, which was so apparent when we met - he is absolutely charming and full of life, which translates into his work – including this collection of fragrances.

As you can see, I was all smiles during this special event and am so proud of Marcel's continued success and his contributions throughout the years to the design industry overall - such a mega inspiration to so many!

  Photo: Erik Schumacher

Photo: Erik Schumacher

Bonus

Did I mention a party with cocktails were involved? Each of the 5 cocktails served were designed to ‘match’ each of the fragrances. I wish I had taken a photo of each of them – it was such a gorgeous idea to imagine how a fragrance would taste and look if translated into a refreshing drink. Fantastic idea.

I also ran into some friends, made new ones, and had a beautiful evening in the warm and summer-y courtyard with Marcel and the many friends who came out to support his launch.

Here are a few snaps from my iPhone. No evening is complete without a selfie and a shot of the floors, which were very cool and looked great with my silver loafers.

Alessi Holly Becker
Marcel Wanders and Holly Becker
Alessi Five Seasons Collection Marcel Wanders
Holly Becker Alessi Milan Showroom

My evening in Milan with Marcel and the whole Alessi team was a true pleasure and an honor. I’m happy that I was able to experience his collection and also, his big, open and vibrant personality. All in all, a great collection and a gorgeous evening well spent.

(This post was sponsored by Alessi. All words and thoughts are my own. Photography by Erik Schumacher, iPhone photos from Holly Becker for decor8.)