MANE Milan Transformation. The Illustration of the Company Vision.

2024 . 04 . 04 | written by Laurence Arrigo Klove

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MANE Actors Studio. A Fusion of Passion and Innovation.

The futuristic entrance of MANE’s new creative center.

During the 2024 Esxence Edition, MANE had a celebration of its new office in Milan. Their invitation allowed me to mingle with a variety of prestigious guests, well-known perfumers from the company, prime clients, local and international, newly launched innovative perfume brands, MANE top level directors, olfactive evaluators ... The atmosphere was exhilarating, the cocktails invigorating and the space mesmerizing. I found out that the space design was a splendid interpretation of MANE’s strategy, an illustration of the company vision. A perfect harmonization between the leadership mission and teams’ passion. A unique expression of the company’s culture for innovation, ‘in transformation’.

A Creative ‘Station’, in the City Innovation Section.

MANE building via Savona designed by the Italian architect Dordoni
the metallic staircase leading to MANE’s office space on the 3rd floor.

MANE’s address in Milan is via Savona, a special location where old industries have all been replaced by innovative start-ups from all walks of life. Imagine large industrial building outer shapes, with brick, metal, cement, totally transformed and gentrified with inner spacious and open lofts, modern, minimalistic, and functional. MANE decided to establish its home within this creative hub in Milan and use a space of ~ 200 square meters. This was already an illustration of the modernity of the company. Now, with a bigger space of ~500 square meters, MANE decided to go further in its quest for innovation and defined a new mission. To understand the new exploration mission of MANE, I questioned three of its main actors backstage; the head of the expedition, Mélanie Duhamel - Fragrance Director, Italy, Spain, Portugal, a newly joined explorer Cristiano Canali – head perfumer, and the station designer, Alberto Re – architect.

An Explorers Mission is to Capture Transformation.

the office space in transformation

Stepping inside the new MANE ‘station’ is about experiencing a new horizon. MANE decided to reveal its space ‘in transformation’ during a pre-inauguration... ‘in transformation’ means an office space unfinished; the visitor can see an ‘in between’ situation, and only imagine how it will be transformed and what it will become... Like authentic explorers, the team was thrilled to take me through the transient journey and the final destination. The architect chosen by MANE was the first one to share his elation and explain to me the ‘project-intent’ and ‘brief-content’.

Alberto Re, MANE’s appointed architect, credit of @nickmascioletti photographer

‘There...’ Alberto said ‘will be a comfortable library area, here a large meeting room, and in the centre the lab’... All there was for me to see was a wide open space, with white and bare walls. Nonetheless, I was taken aback by his vision and adopted the same enthusiasm for his ‘futuristic’ project design. Mélanie Duhamel aptly chose Alberto Re, a talented and experienced architect renowned for his modernism and minimalism. He explained that first and foremost the design was to be in coherence with the building designed by Dordoni and its surroundings. His minimalistic approach being inspired by Le Corbusier and Carlo Scarpa, he believes stern and bare spaces unleash creativity to an extreme height. For MANE, he carefully chose ‘raw’ industrial elements, steel and glass, white and black primary colours, and left wide open spaces. In his opinion, the space full of light creates a new ‘clean’ world for an ultimate scents’ creation. This project is special to him as he sees himself as an artisan of interior design, like MANE is an artisan of fragrances. He has the feeling of living on the same planet with MANE. He adhered completely to the brief given by Mélanie to create a functional space of collaboration and creation. Being Italian and Milanese, he is quick to point out that beautiful gardens hide inside the courtyards of stern old buildings in the city. Likewise, MANE Milan has a gorgeous garden patio and a roof top. Italian aesthetics are dominant in the concept, which is elegant, modern, functional, and are applied everywhere in every minute detail, including in the lab utensils. At the centrepiece of the new office, lies ‘The Lab’, the laboratory where the perfumer and his olfactive team work every day. The idea is to balance the lab austerity with the open space fluidity and meeting room facility.

MANE Milan Green Garden Patio

MANE Creative Center. ‘Green’ Italian Character.

Mélanie Duhamel, Fragrance Director, tells me that the opening of the new centre in Milan illustrates the commitment of MANE to place Italy as a core pillar of the global company. MANE has a strong base of local clients and brands, serviced by an expert Italian account management team. In Italy, the company historically extracts raw materials such as bergamot, orange, mandarin and has developed newer ones such as liquorice, rosemary, basil, and eucalyptus. The new creative centre will be a pioneer of Italian ingredients spearheaded by a talented Italian perfumer who has purposefully joined the team. For Mélanie, an Italian perfumer was essential to the MANE Creative Center construction in Milan. No need for cultural integration and adaptation, instead a maximum level of collaboration and innovation. The choice of Cristiano Canali came as evidence. He confirms that ‘in perfumery, the interest for the quality of the ‘made in Italy’ label is simply immense.’ Having a perfumer ‘on site,’ will allow Italian projects to progress faster with a stronger interaction with local clients and to reach higher ambition results. For the clients, incidentally, the rooftop also allows for a ‘fresh’ and ‘open air’ smelling experience with a fantastic view over the city.

Cristiano Canali’s warm welcome in his lab and office space ‘to be’.

As a perfumer, Cristiano will benefit from the expertise of a global company renowned for the exceptional high quality and variety of its ingredients. Practically, the lab in Milan will give him access to the rich and full palette of MANE ingredients. Other company perfumers will take advantage of the lab as it will serve as an artistic residence for the travellers to Italy or passers by; as an example, Mathieu Nardin, Violaine Collas from the headquarter in Paris, and Jerome di Marino from Barcelona were present at the party. Back to Cristiano’s happiness, justified by the intensity of the company dynamism and the mesmerizing beauty of the ingredients derived from unique extraction methods such as ‘enfleurage’ and Jungle EssenceTM; a proprietary industrial solution for eco-friendly extractions of odorous molecules using supercritical fluids for the most true-to-nature result. An additional nomadic version allows sample-size extractions for potential new raw materials when on site before their further investigation in the lab.

MANE new Italian ingredients
MANE unique ingredients extraction in jojoba oil

MANE Has A Strong Passion for Evolution.

Mélanie is keen to explain the principle of fluidity, the high level of flexibility of her company. The fact that the team works on both prestige fine fragrances as well as consumer goods scents (personal care, home care, etc) allows for a global vision of the beauty market. Each office also works in close connection with other excellence centres, such as Paris, Barcelona, New York... Clients from the USA, Korea, China, France, and the Middle East attended the pre-inauguration as an illustration of such international collaboration. Italy being a very dynamic scent market, MANE needs to excel at catching the trends and pioneering olfactive innovations. So, the team has built a 4 chapters’ program around Italian Ingredients to develop new extraction techniques, additional sourcing options, different usage of plants parts, and brand-new ingredients; such as basil, eucalyptus, cédrat leaves and new ‘gourmands’. The Italian MANE ‘family’ is in essence incredibly happy. Everybody is proud to participate in a mission full of innovation, to an explorer’s expedition to capture the ‘Green’ transformation.

Mélanie Duhamel - Fragrance Director, Italy, Spain, Portugal, the person behind the new MANE Milan Creative Centre
Mélanie Duhamel with Silvio Levi, party guest

The ‘Green’ MANE Family. Join the Movement of Transformation.

The ‘Green’ World of MANE

As a mirror of the changes happening in the world, the olfactory universe is going through a time of major evolution. The MANE family has independently and passionately defined a new mission. The one of capturing the olfactive transformation. The new MANE Milan ‘Station’ is a perfect illustration of the company's vision. A place of fluid innovation, a nature explorer’s mission, a home for collaboration, a station for olfactive expressions, made of pure Italian passion.