The sun shone down on the Eternal City Thursday where editors and influencers had descended for an enchanting treasure hunt in Rome. The heroes of the new maison Valentino perfume, Born in Roma, are Australian-South Sudanese model Adut Akech and Palestinian-Dutch model and Vogue Man Arabia’s first cover star, Anwar Hadid. Guests embarked on an olfactory treasure hunt through Rome to discover the fragrance’s notes.
The experience began a stone’s throw away from the mythical Roman Spanish steps, where the maison Valentino flagship boutique is located at the Piazza di Spagna. From there, guests embarked in vans to different destinations throughout the city. One stop was an ancient Dominican Monk library, where centuries-old tomes were opened to reveal the first writings of the guaiac wood, used as against syphilis. Its earthy aroma is found in the new Born in Roma perfume. Next, guests ambled up a winding path to private apartments–that once belonged to a Pope. He would take this same route on the back of a white donkey from Sicily. Here, Akech and Hadid mingled with guests as they delighted in a high tea peppered with jasmine notes.
A last stop saw another private residence opened for guests to meander among walls laden with porcelain and silk-covered seats to learn about the vanilla and vetiver notes. Afterward, guests including influencers Jessica Kahawaty, Leena Al Ghouti, and Caroline Daur gathered at the Locarno Hotel for tarot card reading and dancing.
The new perfume Born in Rome signifies a mood, and those who adopt it have one foot seeped in tradition and culture, and the other firmly in the now. Creative director of the Born in Roma campaign and bottle designs, Pierpaolo Piccioli, explains that creation starts with “the dream he wants to deliver.” Of his new perfumes, he shares that they are fragrances for “a community where values are shared, not surfaces. Being inclusive maintaining a reverie of the past while bringing it to present times. Inclusivity is one of my primary values and to collaborate means to practice a language that includes all.”