The hills are alive with botanical treasures, and one brand has gone to great lengths to bottle their benefits.
He sports no dusty fedora and carries no bullwhip. Nor does he dress in khakis and a beaten leather jacket. But there are good reasons why Nicola Fuzzati is known as the Indiana Jones of Chanel.
Like his movie counterpart, Fuzzati is a knowledge seeker and treasure hunter who travels to far-flung locations all around the world to uncover new finds. Except that while Indy goes after archaeological riches, Fuzzati forages for botanical gems – plants, herbs and flowers that hold significant value for skincare.
A phytochemist by training, he attained his PhD from the University of Lausanne’s School of Pharmacy, which is renowned for plant research. Then he worked at a pharmaceutical company in his native Italy, developing plant-based antitumour drugs. When he joined Chanel in 2012, it was a perfect fit, the brand sharing his zeal for botanical science. “In Italy, I was the expert for European medicinal plants. So studying plants is really going back to what I know best,” he says.
As director of active ingredient development and innovation, Fuzzati carries out explorations in biodiversity hotspots across the globe, setting up partnerships with local authorities to find the most interesting botanicals for skincare. It was in the southern French Alps, an area known for its rich cache of medicinal plants, that he discovered the desirable qualities of solidago and anthyllis – the two herbs that now star in the latest offerings from Chanel’s top-end antiageing line, Sublimage.
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