Behind the Scenes

From the beginnings of our business we have worked on the development of the products in our collections and, above all, on those which would later become the core of our production: the essences, that is, the ranges of extracts, essential oils, resins and other aromatic substances that make up the basis of all the perfumes and Eau de Toilette in our collections, as well as our bath and air-fragrancing products.

LThe soul of a perfume house can only be the fragrance itself, the creation of scents and its philosophy, the artistic feeling that acts as its guide. It is that magical alchemy of aromatic substances designed to awaken emotions, passions and feelings, and to evoke travel in lands which are unknown and imaginary but have always been the object of our dreams and desires. It is about visions, sensations and fantasy landscapes, in absolute freedom of space and time.

We are aware that we are, in fact, among the very few to have carried out the extraordinary, complex ritual of creating a perfume from beginning to end, starting with the idea, the dream and the desire, and patiently "translating" it into the composition of essences. This can be the fruit of months and sometimes years of study and tests, working to get ever closer to the scent we "feel" in our imaginations, the dream fragrance. And when we get there, a process refined and perfected over many years leads us to the finished product.

In fact, when we started our business in May 1990, after years of testing, study and enthusiastic experimentation dating back to 1981 (the year of my first trip to the Middle East), we didn’t even have the time to choose whether to produce anything, and if so what! We were already making a few products for ourselves and had produced some tailor-made perfumes for friends, under the provisional name "Atelier Perfume" and with a few hand-cut labels, when a number of well-known Italian fashion brands and, a short while later, some from other countries, asked us if we would be able to study and produce scented products with them and for them. A decision had to be made in a very short time: without my even knowing it back then, this had become something bigger than a personal passion of mine. After a few days of mild confusion and uncertainty, then, I decided to start a business, in a field that was almost unknown at that time, as an "artisan perfumier". We should remember, though, that the "perfumier" is only the one who creates the fragrance, the one who puts the essences together.

Thanks to the experience gained in those years working with fashion brands, and our direct, personal contact with the world of their businesses, the first items in our collections began to take shape; first of all some air-fragrancing products, from scented candles to pot pourris. Then came the creation of the mould for the bottle of our first body scent, and finally the launch in 1992 of "Uomo", our first perfume.

In the early nineties, then, our experience was already the result of around ten years of trials and experiments of all kinds, above all based on the extraction and distillation of aromatic substances, tinctures and infusions, and with compositions and mixtures of all kinds.

In the following years, our experience, now strengthened by the first products in our collections and by increasing production demand from other brands, was to be further enriched by an exchange of ideas and collaboration with an entirely unique and immeasurably rich world that was happily still highly active in those years: the universe of the Florentine, Tuscan and Italian artisan and artist, heirs to the great workshops of the Renaissance, who worked side by side conversing with the genes of an unsurpassed and unsurpassable tradition.

Working with them has been, and still is, an experience that I would not swap for anything in this world.

In those years, especially in the late eighties and early nineties, there were craft enterprises in virtually every field of production, and I, an artisan among artisans, would spend hours and sometimes even days with them trying to make something that did not exist but which was useful, to find a solution, to invent a different method, to build new products, components and accessories. A true craftsman loves to have a good problem to solve, and is not necessarily content with an easy solution that is pre-packed and ready to go. Because, in the end, what is the much-trumpeted Made in Italy brand, if it is not the unique added value provided by excellent craftsmanship, seasoned with the artistic talent of the best Tuscan and Italian artisans?

So, we worked side by side with leather and wood craftsmen, with goldsmiths and silversmiths, with the manufacturers of caps, bottles and other containers, with box and case makers, with punchers and engravers, stonemasons and carpenters, with glass makers and blowers, and with workshops specialised in mother-of-pearl and metal, paper and silk. Our collections also owe a great deal to their talent, as well as their craftsmanship and the care with which our collaborators make our products.

Some of the materials that we use are born "noble", and speak to us through the centuries, right back to ancient times, expressing their beauty and uniqueness in combination with scents. Fate has had it that many of these have always been part of the heritage of a region as blessed as Tuscany, such as alabaster, the vehicle of perfume and of light since ancient times. The same is true of the glass used for the most elegant containers, the silver used for our pommanders and other valuable components, the leather and silk for boxes, the marble for accessories, and the various precious woods.

When we started our business, we were keen to imbue value and dignity in every component of our products, in addition to ensuring the highest possible standards of expression and value in the scent. Everything had to be priceless, collectible, full of intrinsic value; the normal could only be seen as a "replacement". That is how all these materials came to be the most appropriate means of expressing the value and richness that we wished to transmit.

Today, almost 25 years after the official launch of our business, we are pleased to be able to say that we have made the most of this huge wealth of significant and diverse experiences, striving always to improve still further the quality and beauty of our proposals for the years to come.

Lorenzo Villoresi