Beauty Made in Italy Spotlight: Acqua dell’Elba
Acqua dell’Elba, a 20-year-old family business, was born from the dream of recreating the fragrant scent of Italy’s idyllic island of Elba and its surrounding Mediterranean Sea. Using production models based on artisan’s workshops during the Renaissance, Acqua dell’Elba continues to create beautifully crafted and authentic fragrances and artifacts; reflecting the island’s natural surroundings, culture, and way of life. Its CEO/Founder, Fabio Murzi, gives us the full scoop.
Tell us about the company’s origin.
The idea was born one bright May morning, during a day out at sea on our sailing boat, in front of the rock of Paolina. This was the place where, in 1967, one of the most important Roman-era naval relicts was discovered. Within its hold, a refined Chryselephantine statuette was recovered, depicting the ancient Greek gods of Dionysus and Pan. This ivory statuette, today exhibited at the Archaeological Museum in Marciana Alta, was the precious lid of a rare perfume container, once used to seal and protect a refined essence. This was the beginning of the Acqua dell’Elba adventure, an ambitious entrepreneurial project that built a fragrance house on Elba Island, inspired by the Tuscan Renaissance workshop.
Why do you think that’s an effective model to use?
The Renaissance was an inspiring historical period with groundbreaking discoveries, especially in the field of chemistry, with new techniques that improved distillation and the quality of the essences. The Tuscan artisan’s workshops were places where the extraordinary manual abilities of the Maestro and his disciples married with a natural propensity towards beauty, a profound knowledge of the arts and culture, and a strong drive towards excellence. Nowadays, we believe that the same concepts are still valid. Every day our artisans craft each product by hand on our factory in Marciana Marina, on the island of Elba. We concentrate on a limited production due to the difficulty of sourcing and selecting raw materials, as well as the necessary time involved in our production processes.
You started out with fragrances and have expanded into other areas. Are you launching anything new?
Yes, fragrance is our main area of expertise and over the years we have developed a collection of lifestyle products that complement our core offering like for example our Yachting Line comprehensive of soft cotton beach towels and our linen sarongs and Bermuda shorts. As we’re about to celebrate our 20th anniversary, we’re currently working on some new exciting product developments that will be launched in 2021…but, scusami, I can’t tell you more right now.
You encourage local entrepreneurs to reinvest profits into the local community. What’s the company’s philosophy behind that?
The territory is the main source of inspiration for Acqua dell’Elba. The origin of our dream and the target of every effort we make. It is with such spirit and under this light that our development initiatives should take place, be it for the protection of the environment or its promotion. One of the sources of Acqua dell’Elba’s success is its ability to reflect, through its brand image and that of its products, the beauty, and simplicity of the insular environment of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park. From here it derives the company’s commitment to return value to the Elban and Tuscan territory, through the creation of employment opportunities and the selection of local suppliers, to guarantee the economic growth of the island, as well as through the promotion of culture, in particular among the youth. Of the over 100 Acqua dell’Elba employees, 90 percent reside on the island. Of the 103 suppliers with which the company collaborates, the vast majority, about 100 are based in Italy.
What sets your brand apart from other beauty lines?
Acqua dell’Elba is the essence of the sea. Its uniqueness resides in the manufacture of products on one of the most beautiful islands of the Mediterranean Sea, the so-called “secret island of Tuscany” utilizing natural raw materials inspired by the sea, which are then knowingly crafted by our expert artisans.
How long does it take to create a fragrance?
It really depends on the type of fragrance you try to recreate. In our experience, it can take between 3 to 6 months.
Will you always focus on the Mediterranean for inspiration?
Yes, in particular on the beautiful islands of the Tuscan archipelago.
What’s next for the company?
For Acqua dell’Elba, the horizon promises new routes to be discovered, rich in complexity but especially satisfying given our natural optimistic approach to new challenges. The company foresees a strong growth outside of Italy, both in Europe and the US [thanks in part to Beauty Made in Italy] and it works on strengthening current, and developing new, distribution partnerships in the Middle East and Asia. Acqua dell’Elba also commits to continue increasing its investment towards initiatives aimed at the development and protection of Elba Island and its sea, to guarantee a long-lasting sustainable growth while keeping the local territory as its main source of inspiration.