Obsessions

Tiziana Terenzi: Perfumes of Extreme Desire

Now owned by the company founder Evelino Terenzi’s children, Tiziana and Paolo, this distinctive, chic, yet defiantly niche brand offers both candles and fragrances that, like any classic play, can evoke tragedy, romance, sensuality, the church and, sometimes even humour through the divine alchemy of combining unusual notes and bold combinations.

Words KARL PLEWKA

From Patrick Süskind’s scent-obsessed protagonist, Jean-Baptiste Genouille—in his 1985 novel ’Perfume: The Story of a Murderer’—to Shakespeare’s equally ruthless Lady Macbeth who, as the smell of blood lingered and guilt lead to madness, wailed like a banshee, “All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand”, many literary characters have been entranced by scent to, at times, murderous degrees–often embarking on extreme journeys of love, obsession, sex, even death via their explorations of the sense of smell and its relationship with the emotional meaning that scents may have.

Indeed Lady Macbeth would have certainly been on trend today as fragrance brands have embraced the sensual power of Arabian oud—the most expensive wood in the world– in many of their signature scents and one outstanding example being the Italian, Cattolica-based, Tiziana Terenzi, a family-run fragrance business that, since 1968, has been transmitting many olfactory dramas into the world.

Now owned by the company founder Evelino Terenzi’s children, Tiziana and Paolo, this distinctive, chic, yet defiantly niche brand offers both candles and fragrances that, like any classic play, can evoke tragedy, romance, sensuality, the church and, sometimes even humour through the divine alchemy of combining unusual notes and bold combinations.

 

For those of us for whom life without fragrant delights would be as unimaginable as existence without meaning the Terenzi’s have created an idiosyncratic collection of scents that literally transports the human conduit to places both real and imagined.  One could go as far as stating that Terenzi’s aromas can have an almost narcotic effect on the wearer, which, considering one of their best sellers is a powerful perfume essay on the true mystery of the universe called ‘Ecstasy’—notes include incense, patchouli, rose, violet and tonka bean—should we be surprised?

Tiziana Terenzi, herself an established jewellery designer brings an artful aesthetic edge to the brand whilst her brother Paolo’s talents do not stop at the family shop, for as an internationally renowned, yet unconventional ’nose’, he is also in demand by other well-established houses including Gucci, Ferragamo and Dior.

What Terenzi’s byzantine explorations in redolence seem to prove is that perfume can truly provide us with a dramatic device, one that lingers almost spritually, enfolding the wearer in intoxicating veils that, like the best sex, never completely satiates but begets an aching for more. And like Grenouille and Lady Macbeth some of us are prepared to kill for it.


Tiziana Terenzi is available as Harvey Nichols