Thursday, October 15, 2009
CASA di FRANCESCA HOME FRAGRANCE COLLECTION
KATIE BORGHESE’S SOURCES FAMILY HERITAGE AND LOVE OF ART & BEAUTY FOR AUTHENTIC AND AFFORABLE LINE OF SCENTS
Words, Judith Ecochard
Images, courtesy of Casa di Francesca and J. Ecochard
The high/low phenomenon is not a new concept. Pairing a Chanel jacket with say, Levis’ jeans gets the big buzz now however---- in this value driven consumer market.
Some things though, are hard to compromise on…the difference is just so obvious and jarring…it’s better to just save up for 100% of the real thing.
We definitely feel this way about scents…perfumes and home fragrances, for example.
And this leads up to our shocking (in a good way) discovery of a home fragrance company courtesy of Katie Borghese, coined CASA di FRANCESCA----that offers inexpensive scents ($24.50 for a 200ml starter kit...and $39.50 for a "lasts around 3-4 months" 500 ml ensemble of fragrance, reed sticks, and an Italian glass diffuser bottle decorated with a ribbon and bead)--- that smell divine and expensive. Like twice the price. At least.
Katie Borghese, an American - has toiled in home décor with the legendary Bunny Williams in NYC. And yes, that last name comes via marriage to a descendant of the Italian royal house - Prince Scipione Borghese.
As time marched on, including days spent in Italy, naturally---this New Jersey mother of three, became inspired by a “true Renaissance woman (Francesca)…one of the few women to tour Europe via the Grand Tour in the late 1600s”---to launch a home fragrance collection that captures a love for art, beauty and the heady odeurs of the Borghese Gardens.
We attended a presentation with this entrepreneur last week----after we tried out a stunning English Garden scent---packaged handsomely in a “giftable” blue box ---that we sampled Plus…it came with a unique hand blown, pastel striped Murano glass diffuser (made exclusively for Casa di Francesca-and available for purchase separately).
“Everything is all natural,” says Borghese. And with over 36 fragrances offered---online and on HSN…the mostly single note aromas are authentic and transporting.
“We didn’t want to sell expensive fragrances…but to make Casa di Francesca beautiful and affordable…with the same high quality (27% - 30% essential oils)…like a real perfume." Or more expensive brands of home fragrances.
“It’s like traveling through a garden, from room to room of one’s house…and custom for you,” Borghese points out to us.
Certainly our humble abode never smelled so good.
Those inclined to spicier, fresh scents---like the Peppermint Pine fragrance that’s part of the Holiday collection will also be pleased. But we can see how a fruity Sicilian Pink Grapefruit (packaged with a Murano limited edition glass diffuser for Breast Cancer Awareness Month)--- would be ideal for one’s kitchen…
…or how a soothing English Leather would set the right tone, aromatically speaking, for colder temps. In fact, the four seasons are all represented, scent wise…
Special mention goes to the stunning Murano glass diffusers that are commissioned exclusively for the collection. Our fav is the Klimdt like hand blown Mille Fleurs-a layered flower stunner…that makes a great gift.
Happily, Casa di Francesca’s website often runs specials and promotions…as “we really work hard to make out line accessible---so people can experience it for themselves.” Prices for these glass vases typically range from $79-$250--- with our object of desire topping out at $400---a real value as “each artisan has their own style” ---and each glass vase is signed too.
Casa di Francesca offers the highest quality sticks in its collections. “Bamboo are just pockets of channels,” Borghese notes. “ "Our sticks have the most channels (from tip to tip) to spread the scent.”
HINT: Flip the sticks over once a week.
A collection of boxwood topiaries, a typical European decorative element that bring the outdoors in.
PLUS: There are refills with reed sticks to use with one’s own glass collection.
INFO: CASA di FRANCESCA