Dolce & Gabbana: for king and country
It’s good to dream big, but ultimately most of us are at our happiest when our day-to-day lives are filled with the smaller things that we most care about: friends, family and financial security.
Not everyone wants to be the king but everyone, in some small, way wants to be a king.
That is the jumping off point for Dolce & Gabbana’s brand new men’s fragrance, ‘K’. An abbreviation of ‘king’, the Italian fashion powerhouse has opted against its normal grandiose tastes to look inward for the inspiration of its new standout scent.
In short, despite the bottle’s crown-shaped stopper, ‘K’ is not about being a ruling monarch, it’s about being the king of your own domain. The king of your house; your work; your family; the king of your life.
“It feels quite arrogant to call yourself the king, but when you understand that it is actually about making you feel at home in your own skin, it makes much more sense,” explains Mariano Di Viao, the model and face of the campaign (above).
“As men, first we need to be the king of our mind—whether that means being the best husband or parent you can be, then try to be that. Once I understood that was the core value of the product, I was excited to be involved.”
While we all remember (and probably still use) the D&G’s iconic Light Blue fragrance, or the intense The One Grey, the introduction of ‘K’ adds something a little more exciting into the mix.
“The brand wanted to create a modern fragrance, but one that explored the essence of an Italian man who was inspired by his roots and the Italian countryside,” says perfumer Daphne Bugey. “They wanted something woody, and from the beginning I had the idea of associating wood and spice particularly pimento.”
Due to its rare nature in perfumery, the inclusion of pimento—or cherry pepper—in the fragrance was a bold decision. That said, it is a symbol that often used in D&G’s fashion prints over the years due to it being considered good luck in Sicily.
It seems rather fitting to add pimento to this woody scent, as the fragrances’ co-perfumer Nathalie Lorson explains, competition in the men’s fragrance market continues to grow and can be quite fiery.
“These days it is difficult for a product to stay popular and relevant,” says Lorson. “Our challenge was to balance something that naturally represented the roots of Italy, but telling the story in a new, modern way. Men are used to having familiar aromatic scents, but the growth in niche trends has shown recently that they are open to exploring different olfactive territories.”
In masculine fragrances there are certain codes that you have to respect, one of them is an element of freshness. Taking almost two years to produce, ‘K’ is a very contrasting fragrance.
The top is where the citrusy freshness comes in making it light, but then as it goes deeper the combination of very specific varieties of patchouli and spice makes it hot and sexy as opposed to leathery or oriental.
“I am very picky when it comes to perfumes and, as the new face, I was really worried that I wouldn’t like it,” admits Di Vaio. “When I heard they added pimento to wood and citrus, I thought it was crazy, but it really does work. I’m in love with this scent.
In fact, in the first month, I used nearly an entire bottle!”
Regardless of the size of a man’s kingdom, all signs indicate that with the launch of ‘K’, Dolce & Gabbana might just have found itself another winner.