Complex Made Simple

Paolo Terenzi: A third generation perfumer

While he may be most known for being the nose behind the creation of successful fragrances by the likes of Gucci, Ferragamo and Aqua di Parma, Paolo Terenzi continues to exhibit a flourishing creativity, which can be detected in the creations of his own brand, Tiziana Terenzi.

Terenzi was, in fact, born into an Italian family of true perfumers, as his grandfather Guglielmo and later his father, Evelino, both delved into the world of harmonising scents and creating balanced fragrances, a family practice that resulted in the creation of the brand Tiziana Terenzi, named after Paolo Terenzi’s sister; the siblings are carrying the family legacy beyond the borders of Italy.

Given that his love for perfumery is almost genetic, Terenzi has delved deep into the world of fragrances, which merges both art and science, created several new molecules and now has patented elements.

In 2015, Terenzi created the Luna collection, the latest for the brand, and one that has nostalgic reference to the family legacy.

“The idea behind this project was to create something different from the rest and try to explore new fields around perfumery,” Terenzi told Aficionado.

Unlike Tiziana Terenzi’s classic line, which was inspired by “one step of my journey during my mature period, from the age of 25 onwards,” explains the perfumer, inspiration for the Luna collection came from his childhood, from “the journey that with my grandfather and with my father during my childhood period. So it is speaks of memories and love that is really between the dream and the reality, a very subtle moment.”


Terenzi explained that the name of the new collection, Luna, was driven from what he claimed to be a cultural belief, that when one loses a precious thing or a dear person, all these objects and people actually go to the moon.

“So the idea is to go to the moon and take back whatever is dear to you,” he said.

Besides the name, the concept of the moon and its phases can be seen decorating the round bottle caps of all four fragrances that make up the Luna collection.

The four fragrances all take their names from the constellation: Andromeda, Cassiopea, Draco and Ursa, all of which are for both men and women, given the current trend of women wearing men’s fragrances and vice versa.

All the elements contributing to the fragrances’ creation have been collected and tested by Terenzi personally, a process that took several years in the making and landed him in different – at times, nostalgic – places in and out of Italy.

Among these were the “country house where I spent time with my grandfather… Lake Como and Matera in the south of Italy,” Terenzi said.

“It is one of the most important parts of my job to go directly to the producers or supplies, to see the production and check the plants before their oil or wood or elements are extracted, to make sure that it is natural and that it is the quality that I am looking for,” he added.

The Luna collection can be found across different regions, quite a large reach for a niche brand, and a practice that might be regarded as generic and potentially risky, as different regions are known to have different preferences.

Terenzi thinks otherwise: “Nowadays there is no difference between the people in one place or the other, people are very similar…maybe some years ago you found the difference between the Arabic customer and fragrance and the European one, now the culture mixed together, we use a lot of Oud in Europe and maybe flowery and sweet perfumes are doing very well here,” he said.

However, voicing a similar opinion to his fellow niche perfumers, Terenzi said, “In the industry, at the time, Oud is used a lot in the name of a perfume, but you can smell a lot of synthetic fragrances that don’t match the idea of Oud.

“I think it is more of a marketing action than something that is really in the focus of the perfumer.”