Summer has started, and we’re dreaming of the islands – the gorgeous islands off the coast of Italy, each with its own distinct flavor and character. One of our favorites, Capri, has for thousands of years been known as a place of allure – rumored once to be the home of the mythical sirens who lured sailors to their doom, then later luring artists, writers, and philosophers from across Europe to bask in its natural beauty and air of pure romance. It is also the home of legendary beauty house, Carthusia.
“A virtual temple of the goddess Nature, the incarnation of beauty.” Russian writer Ivan Turgenev (1818-1883), on Capri
History and Culture
An island of rocky limestone, jagged coastline, and sandstone cliffs in the Gulf of Napoli, Capri has been a resort destination since the second century BC, when Roman emperors used it as a retreat and playground for what were rumored to be a wild slate of personal pleasures. Today, its natural wonders, medieval fortresses, rustic villas, posh shopping, and rugged coastline make it one of Italy’s most beloved travel destinations.
The center of social life on Capri is the popular Piazza Umberto I, “La Piazzetta,” which was once a fish market and now is one of the world’s most fashionable squares. It’s where locals and celebrities alike can be found sipping coffee or cocktails and people watching, surrounded by breathtaking views and architecture, including restored palaces, the Town Hall, and the famous Torre dell’Orologio, the clock tower that once was the bell tower of the Church of Santo Stefano.
In 1826, the re-discovery of the legendary Grotta Azzurra made Capri an even more desired destination. “The Blue Grotto” is a natural sea cavern and miracle of nature, where the water glows azure blue, illuminated by sunlight from an underwater cavity. Once feared to be the home of demons and spirits, it found new fame that drew artists, writers, and philosophers -- including Maxim Gorky, Henry James, Pablo Neruda, and Friederich Nietzsche – to the island, along with millions of tourists from around the world.
Dining on Capri can be as simple as a picnic of caprese sandwiches on the beach, a late-night pizza along Via Tommaso de Tommasi, or an unforgettable meal of authentic, artfully prepared delights at one of the island’s Michelin-starred destination restaurants. You can enjoy flawlessly prepared fish and shellfish in restaurants set in a lemon grove or on a cliff overlooking the sea – the options are as rich and delightful as the island itself.
“There is no spot in the world with such delightful possibilities of repose as this little isle.”
English writer and social critic Charles Dickens (1812-1870), on Capri
Home to Carthusia
It’s fitting that an island famed for its beauty would give birth to one of Italy’s most iconic beauty brands: Carthusia.
Legend maintains that the father prior of the Carthusian Monastery of St. Giacomo on Capri was surprised by an unexpected visit from Queen Joanna I of Anjou in 1380. He scrambled to pick the most beautiful flowers on the island to present her in a bouquet. After the bouquet stood in a vase for three days, the water had taken on a haunting and beautiful fragrance – a scent of wild carnations that became the first perfume of Capri.
Whether there’s truth to this legend or not, in 1681, the monastery began distilling local flowers and herbs to create essential oils and fragrance blends. Those same, centuries-old formulas were rediscovered in the 1940s, and Carthusia uses them today to continue the tradition of limited-production, finely crafted, hand-produced fragrances of magnificent quality.
Here are three of Mozzafiato’s Carthusia favorites to bring the magic of Capri into your heart and home:
- The Fiori Di Capri scent is Carthusia's iconic bouquet of handpicked wild carnations and Capri's most precious floral essences. It's based on the legendary fragrance formula dating back to 1380. A frosted glass engraved with the logo Carthusia is perfect for perfuming every corner of your home.
- Freshen the air in your home and surround yourself with the unforgettable scents of Capri with the Hand Painted Ceramic Diffuser. Beautifully presented and ready for gift-giving, this diffuser is a tribute to the centuries-old art of hand painted ceramics in Carthusia's Mediterraneo scent.
- We love this adorable Cosmetic Pouch Discovery Kit, a colorful canvas and leather signature pouch with samples of VOC Mediterraneo, Fiori di Capri, and Gelsomini EDP tucked inside.