Princess Charlotte of Monaco, Grace Kelly, Kate Middleton, Audrey Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich. These are just a few of notable Krigler fans that have helped the luxury fragrance house earn its reputation as the perfumery of European and Hollywood royalty. Given the pedigree of its most loyal clients, it’s fitting Krigler is putting the spotlight on another iconic member of European nobility with the release of Extraordinaire Camelia Sissi Edition, a special version of its best-selling scent. This new interpretation is inspired by Empress Elisabeth of Austria, lovingly known to the general public by her pet name, ‘Sissi’.
A fashion icon in her own right and wellness enthusiast (Sissi had a gymnastic apparatus and a bath tub for cold plunges in her palace apartment), the Empress was ahead of her time, which explains why she remains a figure of fascination 125 years after her death in 1898. However, Sissi has particularly been in public consciousness with the release of Netflix’s series, The Empress, and the 2022 Austrian film, Corsage, both of which chronicle her life. And now, Krigler is adding its regal fragrance into the mix.
“She’s an icon and belongs to the world. She’s of the first socialites who was known for her aesthetic and passion for health and wellness,” says Ben Krigler, a fifth-generation perfumer for the fragrance house, to TZR from the brand’s boutique in the Palais Hansen Kempinski hotel in Vienna. “There aren’t many perfumers that have ties to Austria or this part of the world, and the Krigler family does, so I feel it’s my duty to spotlight her in the way she should be.”
When dreaming up the bottle for this limited-edition scent, Krigler was inspired by the rich red damask tapestry that adorned Sissi’s apartment at The Hofburg in the center of Vienna. So the Sissi edition of the perfume comes in a precious 12mL bottle stamped with regal gold swirls that mimic the pattern of the fabric used in her home decor. It also comes with a matching pump and spray nozzle so there are multiple ways for the wearer to use it. Not to mention, the vintage-inspired bottle will look gorgeous on any vanity.
The limited-edition scent itself is a prime example of a beautiful accident. First launched in 2009, one of the heads of Krigler’s Atelier in Paris stumbled on a barrel of the original base of the perfume that had been macerating for 13 years. “By mistake, he bumped into the barrel that contains the base from 2009,” Krigler shares. “Some perfume dripped on the floor and it turned out to be very nice and intense. I had forgotten we had this base from 13 years ago, so I said, let’s actually use it to make a limited edition.”
The red damask tapestry at Sissi’s apartment in Vienna.
Krigler’s original Extraordinarie Camelia launched in 2009 in celebration of the house’s 105th anniversary to instant fan fare. With notes of camellia, bergamot, cardamom, lemon, musk, and peppercorn, the light, fresh, and elegant scent served as an ode to the golden era of the French Riveria in the 1910s and 1920s. (The camellia is a nod to the flowers men would wear as jacket boutonnières during this time period.) What sets the Sissi Edition apart from the original is the aged base. It contains the same beloved notes, but since it has been macerating for over a decade, the juice is 45% fragrance rather than the original 35%. It’s also exclusive, with only 600 bottles available after being extracted from the barrel.
The result is a rich, muskier scent that’s simultaneously bright and airy. You could say Extraordinaire Camelia Sissi Edition is bold yet refined — just like the Austrian Empress who inspired it.