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Beauty between tradition and modernity.

Mavive is the purest expression of the economy of beauty. Not only because it has been working on and making outstanding perfumes for years, but also and above all because it was established in Venice, the evocative and iconic capital of absolute wonder.

The history of the Vidal family

What does it mean to be a perfume company in Venice?

Venice is a city with two sides to it, a commercial and a cultural one. A place where work and leisure coexist and become the crossroads of the know-how now acclaimed as the highest expression of Made in Italy.

Tradition has it that Venice was founded on 25 March 421 and so 2021 is the 1600th anniversary of the city’s foundation. Venice was the European capital of commerce already in the late Middle Ages: thus began the history of perfume and cosmetics in Venice, which in the following centuries became the centre of perfumery art in Europe and in the then known world. Processed in Venice, these raw materials were directed to the various courts of Europe, the object of desire of women and men willing to pay large sums to have them. This is how the period of great glory of Venetian Perfumery Art began.

The history of the Vidal family: beauty between tradition and modernity. Being merchants in Venice means being connoisseurs, adventurers, lovers of beauty, travellers, dreamers and entrepreneurs. Like the Vidal family, an ambassador of ‘Made in Venice’ all over the world and witness to ephemeral beauty, thanks to the desire to create a cultural project capable of combining its perfumery tradition with Venice’s cultural heritage and the city’s history of Perfumery Art. It was the very first company established in Porto Marghera, which went on to become Veneto’s industrial heart. However, it was also the first to embrace modern marketing, associated with very special endorsements and a specific style.

What are the origins of your company?

It was 1900 when Angelo Vidal, corporal in the African campaign and a fodder and cologne sales representative, founded the first soap workshop in Venice, precisely in Palazzo Mocenigo. He started out on his own and initially also on behalf of Venetian soap factory Salviati, which acted as a subcontractor for his first patented brands: the San Marco soap and the Vidalina lye. In the meantime, the Salviati soap works had opened a factory south of Mestre’s railway station and, when it was wound up in 1912, Angelo took it over and added it to his first small factory in Campiello Trevisani in Cannaregio. An entrepreneurial history that, year after year, became strong and solid, both in Italy and abroad.

What does Vidal do today?
With a turnover in excess of € 28m (for 2020), Mavive now manages 10 brands thanks to the daily support of 50 employees.

Your most interesting and important projects?

The Pino Silvestre Cologne was the first perfume to have special endorsements, like the stunning llaria Occhini and actor Amedeo Nazzari. Vidal made a memorable entry into the advertising world. The cologne became a bubble bath and Vidal’s commercial a case study for the history of advertising itself.

A cultural revolution was underway and the atmosphere was immediately captured by Lorenzo Vidal, who had the intuition of using the famous white horse to launch the new image of the Vidal bubble bath in Italian TV show ‘Carosello’. In the white horse running free through the deserted Piazza San Marco – says Vidal 120 author Massimo Orlandini – Italians saw and still see elegance, energy and strength. It was the first time an animal was used in an advertising campaign.

An iconic portrayal of freedom, escapism and independence that transcends the present time and is permanently lodged in the collective imagination. A unique city in the world with which Mavive has a twofold link, due to the development of relationships over time and the constant source of creativity. Mavive is now a range sold in 90 countries, the main ones being Europe, the Middle East, Russia and Turkey and more than 60% of its turnover is indeed generated abroad.

What are your ambitions for the future?

The goal is an entrepreneurial project based on the keen interest for Venetian history and the desire to give back something to the local area: a virtuous circle in which dedication and will are turned into economic value – as proven by investors who assign this product range a higher multiple than the other product ranges.

Some collections, such as Murano Exclusive – 6 perfumes corresponding to 6 different essences deriving from specific trade routes – are the ideal combination of the finest Venetian craftsmanship and the most sophisticated fragrances, created by master perfumers drawing inspiration from Venetian style.

This is a collection of exclusive Eau de Parfum Concentrée products, characterised by a high concentration of fragrance, each with a carefully crafted olfactory signature with floral and oriental heart notes to give a unique, refined and yet well-defined character to each creation. The process – both in terms of thought and culture – is the same that made the merchants of Venice the best in the world, while now the ambition is to instead innovate in an increasingly sustainable way.

Tell us about The Merchant of Venice project

In the 16th-century Venetian book trade, there are numerous volumes devoted to recipe books and treatises that reveal the ‘secrets’ of Perfumery Art and promise beauty, charm, but also beneficial effects on health. Among the various publications, the most important one is the Notandissimi Secreti de l’Arte Profumatoria, published in Venice in 1555 and containing 300 recipes.

The Merchant of Venice is a brand inspired by Venetian Perfumery Art and the history of the old Venetian merchant routes called mude. The partnership with Venice’s Foundation of Municipal Museums led to the completion of the relaunch of the Palazzo Mocenigo Museum, inside which eight new rooms devoted to the history of the Perfumery Art have been opened. The Merchant of Venice fragrances are inspired by this same ancient art, illustrated inside the Museum of Perfume of Palazzo Mocenigo in the heart of Venice.

Merchants of Venice, lovers of beauty in the World. Reviving Venice’s perfume tradition means first of all starting a sustainable cultural process: an focus on the community, an environmentally-friendly approach, specific and meticulous certifications, plastic-free packaging, paper made from weed algae, eco-sustainable fragrances and natural essences deriving from a short and monitored supply chain with attention to the heritage of local crops. These are just some of the innovations that make Mavive a company that is serious about sustainability and well rooted in the future.