How did you find this magnificent 13th-century Franciscan convent?

First a friend told me about Cap Corse region and then I came across this dilapidated convent in the Mediterranean, and something inside me knew I had to save it. It was simply too beautiful to be destroyed. So I purchased it and made it my life’s work to restore it. Even today, when I’m standing in front of it, I feel so humble and grateful that I got the chance to re-create this incredible building. That said, it has been an extremely tough job, and I must admit I sometimes felt like giving up. But I’m so happy I didn’t. It’s a work of art. An installation. A reflection of who I am.

You must have been very determined to keep going?

I strongly believe that 80% of success depends on will. It’s the most important aspect of helping you succeed. If you have the determination, you can move mountains. Of course, we all need help in bringing our vision to life so I am also hoping partners and sponsors will join me on this great adventure.

What is your concept for San Francescu Convent?

I want to bring people together – through art. I believe in community and that art, like love, binds people. We need art to survive. The convent should be a sanctuary for other creative people; a spiritual and cultural location; a cross-fertilisation of different artistic talents. Already artists from five different continents will be spending a few months here creating artwork events and workshops for children of the region of the Nebbio, and a festival with musicians from the Amazon is also on the horizon. In fact, I have many ideas about how to share the convent… I just hope I’ll have enough time to do it all!


How did you come up with the idea of creating your own fragrance?

While I was restoring the convent, I naturally spent a lot of time there. During one of my many wanderings through the lush gardens and orchards, with all those wonderful aromas lingering in the air, the idea for Eau de Couvent came to me. It seemed like a natural extension of the convent. It’s very important to me that this fragrance and indeed the entire cosmetic line is universal: for men, women, even children…

I would like now to create many other fragrances inspired by the place and it’s telluric grounds, we are all in search of spirituality !!

‘Beauty and art are inextricably linked’

I was inspired by the French writer and feminist, Madame Colette – who had a beauty salon in Paris – and the long life she lived. She was 81 when she died. Also the Polish-Jewish cosmetics entrepreneur Helena Rubinstein, who was great friends with Miro and Picasso. And San Francescu Convent is where Beauty & Art meet.

Read more about Candida’s background as a Patron of the Arts.

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