An accomplished painter, sculptor, interior decorator and
printer of books, Piero Fornasetti was a visionary whose work
transformed the decorative arts scene of the 20th century. Revered
for his masterful application of two-dimensional art to
three-dimensional form, he adapted his graphic illustrations to
furniture, interiors, theatre sets, fashion, magazine covers and
books, always deploying humour and poetry in the way he wrapped his
artwork about the objects and spaces.
When Piero passed away in 1988 his works numbered over 11,000.
His son, Barnaba, took up the reins, ordered the archives and has
successfully perpetuated his father's vision into the 21st century.
He has established new collaborations and licences, adding rugs,
fashion, furniture and wallpaper to the portfolio. And now,
for the first time in the company's history, a home fragrance
collection - Fornasetti Profumi.
'Otto' is the signature scent that was created by the master
perfumer Olivier Polge, working in close collaboration with
Barnaba. He captured the essence of Fornasetti by exploring the
olfactory character of the family house and gardens, registering
significant herbs and the woods of the interior. In the final
scent, notes of thyme, lavender, orris and cedarwood evoke the
personal environment, while ethereal incense notes at the base
interpret the dream-like dimension of Fornasetti's graphic
A new scent 'Flora di Fornasetti' created by Cire Trudon
perfumer Emmanuel Philip, is a beautiful and elegant white floral
bouquet that makes its Fornasetti Profumi debut in the form of a
Scented Candle. The scent is inspired partly by the lush flora that
fills the gardens that envelope the Fornasetti house in Milan but
also by the floral imagery created by Piero Fornasetti and taken
from the vast archive.
For the decorative objects that house the fragrance Barnaba
adapted some classic and some lesser-known motifs from the archives
to the surfaces of the vessels, with the requisite touch of whimsy.
Of equal importance to the fragrance, the objects serve to
introduce the wonderland of Fornasetti design to an ever-wider
In the hands of Piero's son, Barnaba, the Fornasetti tradition
is preserved. True to form, Barnaba rebelled in early adulthood and
for a period became estranged from his father, but even in doing so
earned his respect - Barnaba's imprisonment during student
riots in 1969 drove his father to the streets himself. Striking out
on his own, Barnaba gained his own design experience through the
hard graft of property renovation in Tuscany, before joining his
father's studio in the 1980s. He took up the reins after his
father's death in 1988 and immediately set about archiving his
father's vast oeuvre.
With his business head and creative heart, Barnaba has
successfully kept the family name alive. While remaining faithful
to his father's vision, he shows skill in the deft reinterpretation
of his father's motifs, which he applies with precision and humour
to existing objects in the portfolio and some he has designed
himself, providing a creative continuum to satisfy the company's
many collectors. Production of this core collection is still
carried out in the Fornasetti atelier in Milan, on a small scale,
by the hands of skilled craftsmen. Barnaba has also pursued new
collaborations and licences, recently developing a collection with
the architect Nigel Coates. Other licences include rugs,
wallpapers, ceramic vases, and now, a home fragrance