Ermenegildo Zegna is known for dressing the celestial (not to say chiseled) bodies that occupy the red carpet, though it’s not entirely rare to see their suits gracing the covers of men’s glossies. Last September, actor and martial artist Jason Statham appeared on a magazine cover in France wearing a powder blue suit that barely allayed his virility, though its disarming nubility conjured light over the lupine shadow of his stubble.
The company has in recent years made a point of promoting its exquisite fragrance line. The Essenze collection, first launched in 2012, is comprised of five scents poured into cubic bottles, on which the company crest—a leonine beast with legs extended like wings, and five modest stars—stands in singular majesty. The tags are always black; typography is rendered in silver. They carry names like Javanese Patchouli, Indonesian Oud, Italian Bergamot, Sicilian Mandarin, Florentine Iris, and Haitian Vetiver.
Zegna Acqua di Bergamotto is the name of the latest eau de toilette. It is, according to the brand, a “thoroughly refreshing and invigorating” creation. The accompanying campaign image features American model Ryan Burns against a glistening bergamot orange. Italian bergamot grows only in the southern region of Calabria, which forms the nation’s toe, and has been the mainspring of local agriculture since the eighteenth century.
Mr Burns’s languid tresses and green eyes promotes him in the guise of Jesus, the lodestar of a martyrdom that far predates fashion as a legitimate masculine vocation. The effusive, somewhat delirious, prose is so tenacious that one might be seduced into believing that its delicate, ductile notes hold divine olfactory potencies: “touched by the warmth and fluidity of neroli, rosemary, vetiver notes…to a lighter, more refreshing form that is as crisp and sensuous as Zegna’s refined white shirts.” It was, perhaps, easier to turn water into wine.