Rhizome & Milan; The Perfect Pairing
Niche Italian perfume studio Rhizome — currently available in Australia exclusively through Lusso Collective — was founded in Milan, a world capital of style and culture. In this article, we’ve come up with a tour of activities and cultural gems to discover across Milan, mapped against the 6 fragrances in the RHIZOME ESSENTIALS capsule collection. Let’s begin!
Rhizome 01 — Grand Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele II
Milan’s incredibly opulent Grand Galleria is one of the world’s oldest established shopping malls, with many notable figures strolling its colourful marble floors to browse the offerings framed in its many ornate shop fronts over the decades.
In fashion’s capital city, it’s no surprise that the Galleria is home to illustrious designer boutiques, but it’s also home to a quaint tradition. Superstition holds that you’ll have good luck if you step on the mosaic bull under the arcade’s central dome and spin a complete circle with your eyes closed — and if you do it at midnight on New Year’s Eve, that luck will last the whole year.
We believe the quaint architecture, rich history and whimsical tradition of the Grand Galleria matches the spirit of 01 by Rhizome, a fragrance blending soft incense and patchouli with spicy hints of cumin and nutmeg.
Rhizome 02 — Civico Museo Archeologico
Once Milan’s most important Benedictine convent, the 8th century Monastero Maggiore is now host to the city’s archeological museum, the Civico Museo Archeologico. It’s home to several floors dedicated to ancient Milan — known as Medionalum — plus finds from the Romans, Etruscans and Greeks.
The site itself is incredible, featuring Milan’s only remaining Roman walls and giving a true impression of the city’s historical significance as a central northern location. The monastery still stands, with its worn stone walls and elaborate cloisters.
The complexity and detail within the complex of the Civico Museo Archeologico mirrors the unexpected warmth and texture found in Rhizome’s 02 eau de parfum. Arguably the label’s most popular fragrance, it blends sturdy cedar, leather and labdanum with a sprinkling of sweet vanilla that brings to mind the weathered stone of the church’s centuries-old facade.
Rhizome 03 — MUDEC
Typically, we’d pair a green, fresh scent such as Rhizome’s 03 with a tranquil travel activity such as wandering the local botanical gardens or strolling through a citrus grove, but MUDEC puts an equally fresh twist on life and art that we believe to be an equally compelling match!
A portmanteau of Museo Delle Culture (Museum of Cultures), this ethnographic museum opened in 2015 in a former industrial complex in Milan. A stellar example of modern architecture, its 17,000 square metres boast a Michelin 3-Star restaurant, bookstore, auditorium and design store.
Described by online magazine Flawless as “a true incubator of creativity and art,” its youthful energy and at times edgy exhibitions make it the perfect match to 03’s cooling notes of citrus, basil and vetiver.
Rhizome 04 — I Promessi Sposi
Tuck yourself into a café with coffee and biscotti for this one — there’s no walking required. You’ll be travelling figuratively by diving into a copy of I Promessi Sposi, the classic Italian novel first published in 1827 by Alessandro Manzoni and set in 1620s Milan during the era of Spanish rule.
Centering on a forbidden romance between a couple named Renzo and Lucia, and the unusual cast of characters they meet in their travels, its layered and complex plot is mirrored by the multifaceted mystery of Rhizome’s 04 fragrance, an intense composition of oud, vetiver, and white musk.
The culturally significant novel is even publicly known to be a favourite of Pope Francis, with one particularly moved reviewer giving it five stars and saying, “I bought this before a trip to Milan and lived in the world of the book for almost a year.”
Rhizome 05 — Navigli
No time to stop by Venice on this trip? Enjoy a dose of canal culture in the artsy Navigli district, where you’ll find a bustling scene filled with cafés, clubs and enticing vintage shops clustered around the last of Milan’s arterial waterways.
Rich with history — it was partly designed by Leonardo Da Vinci — this neighbourhood offers a delightful stroll with artisan stores and aperitifs aplenty. The now mostly defunct canal system was even used for transporting the Candoglia marble that Milan’s famous Duomo is built from!
We believe the spicy yet fresh concoction of amber and caraway in Rhizome’s 05 eau de parfum offer the perfect complement to Navigli’s bohemian charm and layers of hidden history.
Rhizome 06 — Pinacoteca Di Brera
A reverent stroll through the quiet halls of a religious art museum such as Milan’s Pinacoteca Di Brera calls for a subtle, warm fragrance such as 06 by Rhizome, where amber is layered with sweet florals and talc for a tangible softness.
First built as a church and monastery by the Humiliati religious order and later taken over by the Jesuits, this museum is regarded as the city’s premiere art gallery and hosts a fine selection of religious paintings from the Baroque and Rococo periods, with particular emphasis on Venetian and Lombardian works.
Of note is The Kiss, a compelling portrayal of a passionate moment with cleverly opaque and ambiguous metaphors that allowed artist Francesco Hayez to evade censorship by contemporary authorities. It’s this ambiguity that’s perfectly reflected in the soft talc and amber of Rhizome’s 06.
Are you inspired to plan your next Italian itinerary, or are you more curious to explore these Rhizome fragrances and see how our descriptions resonate with you?
There are no international flights needed — you can start your Milan journey through Rhizome with their 6-piece Discovery Set today.
Lusso Collective xx