Hit The High Note
Prestige Singapore|November 2020
Beyond a three-dimensional feat, the Fendi Frenesia elevates the Baguette to a game-changing multi-sensory experience. Jacquie Ang sees the pop culture-immortalised bag in a new light in an exclusive interview with Silvia Venturini Fendi and Francis Kurkdjian.
Jacquie Ang

Last December, two giants – one in fashion and the other in perfumery – joined forces to take an icon to the next level. The Roman house of Fendi tapped on the expertise of the Parisian maison Francis Kurkdjian to create FendiFrenesia: a Baguette with a first-of-a-kind scent. Drawing inspiration from the nobility and fluidity of the natural Selleria Cuoio Romano leather that the bag is crafted from, acclaimed perfumer Francis Kurkdjian’s interpretation has leathery and musky notes in the gender-neutral eau de parfum.

“I always knew Francis had this patent, and that it would suit us because Fendi is always experimenting, especially on accessories and the Baguette!” reveals Silvia Venturini Fendi, Artistic Director of Accessories. “Scented leather has been a part of my creative world since 2004,” explains Francis. “It all started when I recreated a pair of scented riding gloves in a style from the 18th century for an exhibit on Queen Marie Antoinette, held at the Château de Versailles. It enabled me to learn this ancient and lost technique invented by 12th-century master glovemaker perfumers to mask the odours associated with the leather tanning.”

By the time he founded his eponymous bespoke fragrance atelier with partner Marc Chaya in 2009, Francis had mastered the historic method of perfuming leather to create contemporary accessories such as the Tour Atour bracelets with magnetic clasps, and later, a line of small leather merchandise. In 2014, he filed the patent for his modernised technique that works with different kinds of leather and colours.

Francis didn’t hesitate when Fendi proposed the collaboration. “To create the fragrance, I first immersed myself in the archives of Fendi in Rome, where I had my first meeting with Silvia, and visited the atelier in Florence,” he shares. “I noticed the values of our houses are the same. Silvia and I both cherish craftsmanship, sense of details and share our respective passions for our know-how. I explained the technique and my take on the fragrance direction to her, and we discussed her love for some scents and notes.”

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