Posted on July 30 2015
LabSolue: A Perfume Lab in the Tortona Area (Milan)
By Michela Marra
Hey Pretty Birds,
we visited a special place where the art of fragrance exudes an ancient charm all the while being modern. LabSolue is a perfume laboratory inside what has been labeled Milan’s very first perfume hotel, Magna Pars, situated in the city’s Tortona area.
At the lab, we met up with Giorgia and Ambra, heirs of the Martone family, who laid the foundations of the legendary perfume factory in a hidden, magical corner of Via Forcella. As you enter the lab you are immediately immersed in a new, unforgettable olfactory experience thanks to 39 ingredients including wood, flowers, and fruit. These ingredients also provide the names and themes for each of the hotel’s suites and ready to be discovered on this unique journey.
Each essence, as the Martone sisters explain, carries the trademark of a famous nose. Furthermore, the essences can be appreciated not only by hotel guests but by curious travellers as well. Rigorously stored in steel refrigerators, once a fragrance has been selected it can be immediately bottled in ambre coloured glass containers, a choice inspired by old-fashioned pharmacy packages.
It is precisely this vintage allure that gives one the feeling of being in a timeless place. An elegant, wooden armoire recalling Marvin’s pharmaceutical laboratory, the historical brand founded by Vincenzo Martone, safely stores classic pieces from the Sixties, while the industrial lighting illuminates the Pyrex glass funnels as they diffuse fragrances developed from 39 essences. The funnels are set upon antique mirror spheres which in turn conjure the design behind the signs of the suites.
Finally, guests are welcome to explore the small, private library housing a selection of books on perfume. Giorgia and Ambra developed the collection over time and the books can be read sitting in elegant, velvet armchairs, perhaps as you wait for your fragrance to be prepared.
The collection was started in 2013, along with the hotel and represents “a project which we strongly believed in,” say the Martone sisters. They then decided to extend the LabSolue line, adding aroma diffusers with bamboo sticks and candles. What is more, Giorgia and Ambra want to promote luxury that is also eco-friendly and which focuses on the concepts of refilling and reusing. Thus, you can refill used, empty bottles along with candle holders and home fragrance containers.
Our encounter with the art of fragrance ends here. In order to allow for each of the special ingredients to be conjured in the adjacent hotel rooms, 11 new rooms have been built in addition to the original 28 suites. The suites we visited were Silver Fir (no. 27) and Sweet Osmanthus (no. 22): just like the others, they overlook courtyards where the air you breathe is special, far from the frenetic Milanese metropolis.
And, if you feel like staying a while and pairing your unforgettable olfactory experience with a break that will delight the palate, there is a restaurant onsite, DA NOI IN which boasts the creative, contemporary cuisine of Executive Chef Fulvio Siccardi.
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