In honor of D.C.’s National Cherry Blossom Festival, the luxury fragrance line, Antica Farmacista, collaborated with The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C., to create Spring Blossom. This rich, custom scent embodies the history of the cherry blossoms, and in my opinion, is the perfect addition to welcome spring and the new life it brings to our wonderful city. I was fortunate enough to interview Co-Founders Shelley Callaghan and Susanne Pruitt on what inspired this one-of-a-kind fragrance.
Q: In your own words, what differentiates Antica Farmacista from other fragrance companies?
A: Antica creates luxury home fragrances, formulated like fine perfume. This is not “air care”, but rather perfume for the home. We consider our fragrance creations complex fragrance fusions. We are a blend of classic apothecary inspired perfumery, with a current modern influence. Our position in the marketplace is “luxury”, but our price points make our entire collection attainable for a broad demographic.
Q: For those who are not familiar with Antica Farmacista and the world of fragrance, what went into selecting notes in the Spring Blossom fragrance?
A: The splendor of springtime in our nation’s capital was the inspiration for the custom Ritz-Carlton scent, Spring Blossom. The floralcy and earthiness of the legendary cherry blossom were really the foundation of the scent. We also looked to the historic Ritz-Carlton in Washington D.C. as inspiration. The hotel’s classic elegance and wonderful use of warm wood inspired us to incorporate notes of warm amber, rosewood, and deep vanilla. Springtime water droplets, resting on limbs and blades of grass, also found a place in our creation. As did bright notes of bergamot, representing the fresh beginning of the spring season. Subtle white blossoms of jasmine and lily of the valley impart a softness that results in an intoxicating scent, named appropriately Spring Blossom, after the regal cherry blossom.
Q: Not only is Antica Farmacista is known for its luxury fragrances, but also the unique, beautiful presentation. What is the design (or selection) process behind each bottle?
A: Antica is about luxury and indulgence for the home and body. We pride ourselves on producing complex gorgeous fragrances, presented in a classic timeless manner, with a modern infusion. We love the Italian way of life that blends old world and new modern aesthetics. This is exactly the aesthetic we love in our lives and have infused into the Antica brand. Our home ambiance diffuser bottles are a classic apothecary shape and the glass quality is an Italian process that gives the bottle character. Our label is classic and simply designed…placing emphasis on the environment in which the bottle is placed. We find our bottles work beautifully in a range of décor…from traditional to contemporary. Our bath and body bottles were produced to emulate the beauty and elegance of cut crystal. Our ten-ounce bottles have a beveled edge characteristic, and a neck that emulates our home ambiance bottle, continuing our look of classic elegance. Despite the elegance, the bottles are perfectly suitable in a kitchen as well as a refined powder room. Our new bubble bath and bath salt bottles take inspiration from the look of old-world liquor decanters. A clear acrylic “crystal ball” atop a beveled clear bottle, with a nickel-plated neck collar…the look is reminiscent of a sophisticated crystal bottle one might find in a wood-paneled library. The bottles also capture the look of an antique apothecary bottle.
Q: As you know, The National Cherry Blossom Festival draws in countless visitors from all over the world to celebrate years of history and tradition. How do you believe this fragrance enhances this time of celebration and reflection?
A: The Gift of the Cherry Blossom Trees to our country in 1912 represented a gift of good fortune. The Cherry blossom Festival that now lives on, not only is a reminder of this “good fortune”, but also marks the beginning of spring in our country. We believe in the power of Fragrance and one’s association with scent is incredibly meaningful. We like to create fragrances that are pleasing to the senses and that also associate the user with a time and place that is pleasantly memorable. The guests at The Ritz-Carlton are able to experience the splendor of spring in our nation’s capitol …be surrounded by the smells in the outdoors…and experience that fragrance while inside their hotel. Our Spring Blossom scent also allows them to ignite those memories while home…immediately transporting themselves to their luxurious experience during this springtime celebration. It’s a reminder of good fortune and the revitalization we associate with spring.
Q: Are there plans for future promotional collaborations in Washington, D.C. or other major cities?
A: We pride ourselves on partnering with luxury hotel properties and retailers. We recently collaborated with The Montage Resorts and created three signature scents for their Beverly Hills, Laguna Beach and Deer Valley locations. We believe in the power of fragrance and one’s association with scent is incredibly meaningful. If we can capture the essence of a luxurious experience (whether at a high-end retail store or a lavish hotel retreat), we want our customer to revisit that experience over and over. By using fragrance in a creative way, we are able to achieve that.
Q: For all the Spring Blossom fans – how long is the fragrance available for purchase?
A: This is a limited edition fragrance, launching now. Available through The Ritz-Carlton, Washington D.C. or on our website (starting next week).
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