I’m sitting at home working as the rain is pouring outside and dreaming myself back to the little cliffside village Positano at the Southern Italian coast. The tiny vertical city on the Amalfi Coast will always remain as a paradise for me where it clings to the rocks with its faded houses and steep stairs lit by old lamps in wrought iron that gives them a perfect romantic tinge. The scent of citrus trees, the salty ocean mixed with the warm terracotta is a memory I brought home with me in a bottle of perfume.
Positano is incredibly charming in itself, but the experience has become a memory for life thanks to the hotel we stayed at, the iconic Le Sireneuse. The venerable family-run hotel opened to the public in 1951 when the family Sersale transformed their private summer home to a hotel, and thanks to its intimate atmosphere still gives you the feeling to visit a (wealthy) friend. A friend with very good taste and hostess properties.
We took the fastest way to Positano from Oslo with a direct flight to Rome and rented a small Fiat and drove down towards Naples and further onto the Amalfi coast. You almost have to risk your life to get to Positano on the narrow roads that barely fit two cars, but when the landscape reveals itself and the fresh lemon smell seeps in through the open car windows, it is worth all the honking, screaming and cursing on the road. After being ushered into our wonderful room, the smell of Naples’ hot and dusty streets was replaced with a fresh sea breeze.
The hotel has its own gardens where they grow fruit and vegetables , and the rest of the food is bought from local dealers around the corner.
Le Sireneuse is the origin and inspiration behind the popular colognes and perfumes from L’Eau D’ Italie, which is made by Marina Sersale, the daughter of the hotels founder, Antonio Sersale, and her husband Sebastian Alvarez Murena. All the beauty products at the hotel is from this brand. When I want to memorize this wonderful trip, I add a shower with the classic, L’ Eau D’ Italie. Then I’m suddenly back to Positano with the smell of sea, citrus trees and warm terracotta. Recently the nice couple made a whole new series of fragrances named Altai . The name stands for A Long Time Ago in Argentina. A romantic story about two families reunited through fragrance and storytelling.
The art loving hotel director at Le Sireneuse, Antonio Sersale is not resting on their iconic tradition but wants to create new ones. He renews every year by inviting an artist to spend time in the hotel and leave behind a piece of art witch the guests can enjoy while spending time there. This year the artist Martin Creed adorns the hotel’s foyer with a bright neon sign with the uplifting words: Do not Worry. The hotel’s exclusive shop selling in addition to the classic fragrance line featured over, Carla Sersales ( Director’s wife ) colorful caftans and silk dresses.
I hope I get the opportunity to come here once more during my life. As John Steinbeck once wrote in Harpers Bazaar about Positano ” Positano bites deep . ” I can’t desagree here I sit and reminisce two years afterwards – with a well-used perfume bottle in my hands.