Exclusive Talks with
Casa OZ is a Turin-based company that for years has been committed to providing assistance and hospitality to children and families who have had to face illness and disease. Today, for our chat centred around the Perfume and Tourism industries, we find ourselves in the OZ Warehouses, which were subsequently founded on the back of Casa OZ. We are talking to two young entrepreneurs who have been able to combine the subject of dreams and the suggestion of perfume, travel and holidays into a solid entrepreneurial programme.
Meet Giuditta Gallo and Diletta Tonatto – and I will start at once by asking Giuditta how, through innovation, she has been able to branch out on a global level, into the world of international tourism across other countries, from a foundation where her roots are so firmly fixed in this land .
I see written on the folder that you have next to you, a significant year: 1619. Giuditta, how do you plan to carry this date into the future with you?
Yes, 1619 is the date when it all began, because our monastery was founded in that year. The Cistercian monks arrived from Provence and began the story of what has now become a luxury hotel; however, it was first a monastery for many years before, over time, becoming a residence for the nobility. Part of our mission is, without doubt, to highlight the importance of the year 1619, so we can both focus on the legacy of the monks and their history, as well as to truly bring to life the experiences that can be enjoyed in Le Langhe.
Diletta, explain to us how the experience of a perfume can be a liminal one through past, present and future – a timeline that is inexorably linked to the transition from tradition through to innovation. How do you find the right mix, or better still, the right bouquet?
Talking about a perfume in terms of being a liminal experience means conceptualising it as a phase of transition into the future; that’s what happens with perfumes and fragrances - they help you to both live experiences and create memories. That’s what I'm trying to do – to anchor myself to an experience which is also symbolic, therefore of extreme quality and with raw materials perceived as authentic symbolisms, but also recognizing how market demand may have changed and what its current requirements are. This brings us to online: facing up to the huge challenge of marketing and selling a perfume on the internet when the potential costumer cannot actually smell it.
We’ve therefore discovered that your two activities have one common core: that of also providing an ‘experience’. That gives me a clue about the next question I want to put to you both: how important it is to create a system and network with other companies in the area that are also focused on being innovative? And do you have any fruitful partnerships you’d like to mention? I’ll ask you first, Giuditta.
Yes, I think there’s strength in unity. Creating clusters, including regional ones, is a winning formula. Just think for example of the world of design in Brianza and the many companies that have come together. In Piedmont, we are fortunate to have many incredible companies of so many different types: from wine and food to perfumes, so creating a system - a network - is very important. Specifically in San Maurizio, have created a very nice collaboration with Diletta Tonatto: we have combined the wonderful world of perfume and created a range of amenities and fragrances designed especially for our customers. So we have created something of a special bond between hospitality and perfume.
Yes, thanks for mentioning our project, because it was a beautiful joint-venture in which we were asked that the number in Giuditta’s logo be used to convey her brand identity through the sense of smell.
Therefore this perfume tells a story. With its notes of incense it makes reference to the more religious aspects of our origins, leading on with notes of lavender, seeing how we find ourselves right on the lavender trail. Then right up to the present day and all that represents the innovation and excellence of Relais San Maurizio.
For us in particular, working where we do and also being part of Exclusive Brands Torino gives us an opportunity for innovation. It is very important for us, because all these different sectors are opening up to perfumery: they are all using fragrance and smell as a means of communication, each time allowing us to innovate for ever-different markets. As well as with the hotel sector, we have also developed a collaboration on textiles, as we have developed research - not a product - with Altec, which involves very high level of innovation. So Exclusive Brands Turin not only for us represents the great prestige of being part of its network, but it’s also a resource which enables us to put innovation into practice, challenging ourselves while innovating to turn beautiful, and also historical ideas into reality, through excellence.
For the last question I will take advantage of the fact that I am in the company of two entrepreneurs, both of whom are young and female. I’d like to ask you both what advice you’d give to a young woman thinking of becoming an entrepreneur in today’s world.
I’d say it’s by no means easy, but above all it’s very important to have success career women as role models to whom you can refer; also to be modest, yet tenacious; courageous and not to let yourself be intimidated.
Do you agree with Diletta?
Yes, I certainly agree with Giuditta because everyone keeps telling us not to give up! Being an entrepreneur is very, very tough and can be a lonely path to walk. There is so much responsibility and therefore you need love and passion for the work you do. Factor in a child too, as in my case, and the idea of 'Wonder Woman', although not very realistic means that compromise becomes a necessity - whether it’s for a man or a woman a balance needs to be found. But it's just that: finding something that gives you that energy to continue, because it can all be very complicated. And don't give up - if your love and your passion is there, then you’ll find the greatest freedom – a feeling as if you were a true artist that can do anything else, but, in any case, you will be happy. So, be realistic, don't give up and go to the heart of the matter.
I thank our two guests for their comments and advice, both of which are rich in humanity and vocation but also with a healthy dose of realism. I truly thank you for being with us.
Diletta and Giuditta
Thanks so much to you, too!