Custom made fragrances

To create one’s personal fragrance it is important to book in advance as Lorenzo Villoresi is always present on these occasions. This process includes a set of products made with the personal fragrance, where it is possible to choose from a number of options (bottles of eau de toilette and perfume, eau de toilettes, bath products and many more). Of course once in Florence more items may be added upon request, as well as special accessories such as the crystal perfume bottle with sterling silver top and label or the hand made Florentine leather travel case.

The cost of the session is € 3,600 (USD 4,800)


The fragrance collections

Acqua Di Colonia (50ml €70) (USD 93)
Alamut (perfume 30ml €160) (USD 212)
Aura Maris 50ml €70) (USD 93)
Dilmun (50ml €70) (USD 93)
Donna (perfume 30ml €155) (USD 206)
Iperborea (100ml €100) (USD 133)
Musk (50ml €70) (USD 93)
Patchouli (perfume in oil 30ml €155) (USD 206)
Mini Vapo (2 ml x 16 Fragrance €39) (USD 52)
Piper Nigrum (50ml €70) (USD 93)
Sandalo (50ml €84) (USD 112)
Spezie (50ml €70) (USD 93)
Donna (perfume 30ml €155) (USD 206)
Theseus (50ml €70) (USD 93)
Uomo (perfume 30ml €155) (USD 206)
Wild Lavender (50ml €70) (USD 93)
Yerbamate (50ml €70) (USD 93)

What first inspired you to create fragrances?

Since I was a boy I was fascinated by the scent of certain plants, such as laurel leaves and poppies that were crushed by hand. During the eighties when I was growing up I was often in North Africa, in Egypt in particular, where I went for the first time in 1981. But I also visited Morocco and Sudan. It was there that I discovered the world of perfumes, spices and essences and started to bring them back home to Italy for family and friends.

Subsequently I started to experiment by preparing mixtures of essences, of herbs and spices, and then all of them together, collecting more and more essences and aromatics, incenses and plants from everywhere. This went on for about ten years and I continued to learn more and more, where I tried various mixtures trying to satisfy the numerous requests of people. Finally at the end of 1989, I was contacted by the Fendi sisters, through a friend of a friend. They asked me to create a potpourri, room essences and scented candles for them. That is the way I started… the hobby became a passion and later on a profession.

Could you explain to us the elements that need to come together to create the perfect olfactory experience in terms of perfumes and home fragrances?

Everything starts from an idea, an inspiration. Therefore, the ingredients of the compound are, first of all, chosen on the basis of the initial idea. Sometimes one specific ingredient or an “atmosphere”, can be the heart of the inspiration and therefore of the fragrance.

Later on, the initial idea can be placed in a certain context. The ingredients—natural essences, extracts and other aromatics—are selected first for the representation of the central part of the idea, the heart of the fragrance and secondly for the representationof the context.

When working on the selection of the ingredients, you can make many combinations in different proportions, and this takes a lot of time, especially because the result of any combination can be better evaluated only after hours or days later. During these attempts, it is possible to discover that one ingredient does not really work in the expected way and must, therefore, be substituted or even eliminated.

Everything starts from an idea, an inspiration. Therefore, the ingredients of the compound are, first of all, chosen on the basis of the initial idea

You draw experiences and knowledge from far away lands and ancient teachings. Can you elaborate on this?

Yes, many of my fragrances are inspired by ancient poems and legends, like the myth of the Hyperboreans, the Gilgamesh saga, the garden of Dilmun and the legend of Alamut. I like the poems of Omar Khayyam and I love music. For me it is quite natural to try and translate these into fragrant compositions. The feelings and emotions that these books, legends and poems present are an inspiration to me.

Uomo and then Donna were your first fragrances. How did you feel when these first came out? And how then did you progress to create your other collections?

Uomo was the opening fragrance of our little Maison, with our own bottle, lid and label—all made with our exclusive moulds. The fragrance was created keeping in mind some of the most important ingredients required for men’s fragrances in general and, for me in particular, aromatic woods, citrus natural oils such as bergamot, lemon, neroli and orange, herbs and spices and green notes. It came out very well and it is still one of our best classics for men, after more than 20 years.

The fragrance Donna, which is for women came out right after Uomo. The idea was a floral bouquet made with the most special ingredients: Bulgarian rose and Jasmine accompanied by a chorus of other precious flowers and spicy-oriental-woody nuances. It also contains violet and narcissus absolutes and fine sandalwood oil.

At that time, the beginning of the 90’s, it was quite common for a new maison, be it in the fashion or in the perfumery world, to start with a “Uomo” (and/or a “Donna”) fragrance and later on move to different names and fragrances. That is more or less what I did too, following with a series of classics of perfumery, like Sandalwood, Vetiver, Lavender, Carnation and then to the more original and innovative fragrances like Dilmun, Yerbamate and Teint de Neige.

When working on the selection of the ingredients, you can make many combinations in different proportions, and this takes a lot of time, especially because the result of any combination can be better evaluated only after hours or days later

Can you describe to us the Lorenzo Villoresi Vintage collection and the thinking behind it?

A few years ago when we started our business, we created a series of single-themed fragrances pertaining to the world of perfume classics, including Ambra, Garofano and Vetiver, to respond to the many requests from our friends, acquaintances and business insiders. In the following years, other fragrances like Ylang Ylang were created, while fragrances such as Incensi joined such predecessors as well as Tropicana, a very courageous fruity-floral experiment!

Some of the discontinued fragrances remain in the hearts of many of our enthusiasts who have written to us and phoned us, in the hope of having their beloved fragrances back again.

This is why, as creators and producers of our own fragrances, we decided to re-edit them and to produce limited quantities for our fans, making them available at our Atelier, selected stores and our website. This is how the Vintage collection started. 

When you meet a person, how do you know what fragrance will suit that person?

The “perfect” fragrance must reflect your personal taste and in some cases it should be like a psychological dress, a vade-mecum that speaks about your story, your psychology, your taste, your personality as well as your dreams and desires. 

The custom made scents are created during a one-to-one session in our Florentine Atelier. There is no fixed procedure, because what I mainly do is listen to the wishes and desires expressed by the customer and “translate” them into fragrance compositions. Many times we end up talking about childhood memories because most of our preferences in fragrances are strictly related to odours or scents that belong to the first years of our lives.

Customers of personalised fragrances can be very different from each other in terms of lifestyle, culture, age, social-economical status and taste. What they have in common is the strong importance they give to fragrances in their lives. Often these people develop a capacity of “vision of the fragrance”, which is similar to that of the perfumer and allows the possibility of communication, of “talking the same language”. These people are often able to describe a series of ideas, emotions, feelings and a certain “atmosphere”, which form the basis of their ideal fragrance. 

The Maison of Perfume was founded in your ancestral place. Can you elaborate on the significance of this property and how it has been transformed to house the workshops that create the most exuberant fragrances in the world?

Initially I started using both the penthouse, part of the basement and the ancient wine cellar of the family place in Via de’ Bardi. It was an ideal location to keep the essences as there is not much light and it is always naturally cool. But soon the space was not enough and we had to move the warehouse and production activity to premises on the hills around Florence.

The headquarter of the company is still at the top floor of the old family place but now we are expanding to three more floors where we will move some of the offices and also create our academy and museum of the art of perfumery.

You are the first Italian to win the Prix Coty Award. Your thoughts on this?

Well, it was quite unbelievable. To win such a prize in the heart of France, the land of perfumery par excellence, was something so special that it will be with me forever. Also the place where the ceremony took place, the Castle of Artigny, which used to belong to François Coty himself, was marvellous.

Hundreds of guests were invited for the reception after the ceremony, most of them belonging to the world of perfumery… I have been very lucky and I also respect the fact that the most important Country in perfumery awarded such a prize.

What are you working on right now?

I am in the process of establishing a school/academy of perfumery where we will organise courses and seminars about the many aspects of the art of perfumery. There will also be a “museum of scents”: a place where you can smell many hundreds of different aromatic ingredients and learn all there is to know about them. And then we will have a library and a book-shop, labs and a cafeteria, an aromatic garden and many other things. Special programmes will be created for children.

On the fragrance creation side there are a couple of projects I am actively pursuing right now, but it is too early to talk about them.

I am fascinated by Sri Lanka even if I haven’t been there yet. I would love to visit it with plenty of time at my disposal, especially the coastal areas and the places where aromatic plants are grown.

Sri Lanka is well known for its aromatic elements such as cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and much more. Would you consider creating a perfume that represents the character of Sri Lanka?

I am fascinated by Sri Lanka even if I haven’t been there yet. I would love to visit it with plenty of time at my disposal, especially the coastal areas and the places where aromatic plants are grown. I would love to visit the harvesting areas of the aromatic plants to use their extracts in our fragrances. I would also like to know more of the history of the country. I am sure that I will find many inspirations in Sri Lanka. I hope I will have the chance to visit the country soon with my family.

Finally?

I am now thinking of the pearl fishers and the silver reflections of Sri Lankan seas blending with those open pearl oysters…