Meet the Home Fragrance Royal
Katie Borghese’s sumptuous Casa di Francesca line looks and smells like a trip to the Mediterranean in high style. With its exquisite design and an inspired history that draws from Katie’s heritage in design and beauty, it is difficult not to be seduced by the sheer elegance of these home fragrance pieces. The brand also has a philanthropic bent, supporting charities ranging from The Breast Cancer Network of Strength to The Somerset Hills Handicapped Riding Center. Prepare yourself to be transported, and for a good cause.
How did your interior design background, your family’s beauty background and your Italian heritage figure into the creation of the CDF home collection?
My mom is an interior designer so we had a very creative upbringing. In college, I lived in Florence, Italy studying art history and later married a man from Italy, whose is the third generation in the cosmetic industry. Casa di Francesca is the coming together of all of my loves: art, antiques, history, patterns and color, fragrance and botanicals. There really seems to be such a natural connection. But my greatest inspiration has to be the happiness and comfort that I have always felt when I am at home with family.
What sets the brand, in general, apart from other home fragrance lines?
Casa di Francesca is an affordable line of home fragrances that is made in Italy with the highest quality ingredients, materials and packaging. Many of my scents are simple fragrances: Mediterranean Lavender, Casablanca Lily or Gardenia di Provence. I work with a couture fragrance house in Italy and our diffusers are made with the same quality ingredients and oils as fine perfumes. Because of this, the fragrances are pure and fill a room without being overpowering. Also, I have a decorative line of Murano glass decanters. Each one is hand-made, signed and numbered. I travel several times a year to the Island of Murano off of Venice to hand select and design one-of-a-kind pieces for my line. This island of glass makers is one of the most magical places to visit. It’s always an inspiring adventure.
Are any of the Casa di Francesca scents inspired by beauty products from your family?
My husband’s grandmother, Princess Marcella Borghese, created Borghese and launched with five shades of lipstick and nail colors that were inspired by the fashions of her friend Emilio Pucci. Like Princess Marcella, I wanted to create a line of home fragrances that had a large variety of scents. We launched with over 18 different fragrances and now have 30 great scents for the home. I change mine with my mood, the season or décor.
How did you come up with your package design?
I was inspired by the colors of Italy. I love the combination of oranges and ultramarine blues used by Renaissance painters. Also, the clear blue sky set against the sprawling wheat fields in Tuscany, a sun drenched villa sitting on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea, Venice, Florence, Capri and all the towns in between; terracotta roof tops on a clear blue day or an artist painting scenes in a piazza. The paper for the diffuser boxes looks like water color paper, the blue is the perfect ultra-marine blue and the boarder around my label is salmon colored. The logo was created by a master calligrapher in Italy and the Casa di Francesca crest is inspired by a design made for the Borghese family in the early 1600’s.
Where do you see your line in five years?
I started this line on the foundation of giving back. We launched on HSN by giving a percentage of our sales to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. In October we will give a portion of our proceeds from a Murano Diffuser kit to the Breast Cancer Network of strength and Casa di Francesca is an event sponsor for the Somerset Hills Handicapped Riding Center. As the line grows there are more opportunities to give back. Because of this, I hope in five years that Casa di Francesca is recognized as a leading home brand, a model corporate citizen and a contributor to charities.
Will you evolve into personal fragrance?
We have drawer liners, fragrance sheets, room and linens sprays, sachets, scented stationary and diffusers. You can enjoy these fragrances almost anywhere — your home, car, office, hotel room, etc. I never really set out to create fine perfume quality fragrances and was more set on creating a home fragrance line that worked.
Are you a mom?
I am the very proud mother of three children who are 7, 5, and 2.
What’s your favorite bag?
I just purchased a Germaine Guerin bag that I am really enjoying. The 2.55 Chanel was based on this design. It has a vintage appeal that also looks fresh and modern.