The Revolutionary Path of One of the World's Most Elite Perfumers, Lorenzo Villoresi

From the newest Four Seasons in Seoul and New York City to the Address Fountain View hotel in Dubai, the world’s most luxurious hotels are proud to feature soaps and amenities from elite Italian perfumer Lorenzo Villoresi – the genius behind his own line and the scents of Sicilian powerhouse, Ortigia Sicilia, (both carried in the U.S. by Mozzafiato).

These exquisite travel destinations have tapped into the magic of a perfumer known for his love of exploration and deep curiosity about the cultures, histories, and scents of some of the world’s most romantic and mysterious locales.

Lorenzo Villoresi has traced a revolutionary path in artistic perfumery. Retracing the routes of the merchants of the Renaissance, he creates perfumes in which the materials and fragrances of his native Italy harmonize with the spices and the essences of the Orient. The unmistakable style of Villoresi’s creations involves multifaceted formulas; excellent ingredients; and intense, soft, and embracing notes running through the entire olfactory pyramid – top notes, heart notes, and base notes. His fragrances seem to describe a kind of independent universe, evoking places, images, and even leading to a space of new emotional dimensions.

This approach has earned him a world of admirers across the globe – The New York Times reported that his celebrity fans include Nicole Kidman, Brad Pitt, and the late Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, among countless others.

Early Learning and Exploration

Born in Florence in 1956, he grew up immersed in the rich botanical beauty of Italy. With his father, he learned about nature and the therapeutic benefits of plants. From his mother, who told him about her own adventures in Egypt, he gained a fascination with North Africa and the Middle East. These early teachings combined with his own rigorous and far-ranging studies (he wrote his academic thesis on the role of death in ancient Judaic and Hellenic traditions) to make him a true Renaissance man and independent thinker. His background in philosophy helped drive him to create fragrances that express deep emotions and inspire dreams and ideas.

On a trip to the Middle East in 1981, Villoresi was fascinated by the atmosphere of the places he visited, and he collected spices, essences, and aromatic substances to bring home with him to Italy.

 “He followed the traces of Hebrew, Egyptian and Mesopotamic cultures by making long, distant travels, often without any specific goal. Moving from the big bazaars in the Egyptian capital to the marketplaces of Jerusalem, travelling through desolate places in the Sinaï mountains, Lorenzo discovered a world historically linked to his own culture, but with a very distinct outlook on life. It was in the Middle East, the cradle of the culture of fragrances, that his love for essences and perfumes was shaped – and it was here that his desire to reinstall the old, faded tradition of Florentine perfumery was nurtured.” (Marcello Aspria, quoted in Tim Girvin, Scent)

During those years, he began to experiment with aromatic plants and created his first formulas with essential oils. By the end of the 1980s and during the early years of his academic career in Ancient Philosophy, the world of perfumes had become his real passion.

This passion became a true business in 1990, when the fashion house Fendi commissioned a range of room fragrances. From that point forward, along with collaborations with famous Italian and international fashion creators, he developed his first products under the Lorenzo Villoresi brand. Over the ensuing decades, working from his laboratory in his 15th century family villa, he has created private label fragrances for Fendi and Gucci; developed the Ortigia Sicilia line for Sue Townsend, co-founder of Crabtree & Evelyn; and introduced dozens of scents for his own artful collection of body and home products.

Today considered “a master nose,” his work draws inspiration from mythology, legends, poetry, and dreams. And like a chef (he also has a passion for cooking), he tries and tests different combinations of flavors in his laboratory to build perfumes that do more than just smell beautiful – they trigger emotional and memory responses, recollecting cultures and experiences real and imagined.

All aspects of production at Lorenzo Villoresi are still carried out manually according to traditional methods, requiring time, patience and meticulous care and attention. The Villoresi brand embraces a concept of “luxury” that refers to the intrinsic and intangible values of his products: emotion, creativity, harmony, innovation, vision, uniqueness, originality, rarity, authenticity and excellence.

Lorenzo Villoresi Fragrances

One of the characteristic features of Lorenzo Villoresi’s creations is the use of the finest natural extracts and essences, combined with a personal taste for rich, multifaceted compositions. Each fragrance is a unique artistic creation, independent of any fashions or trends, with the sole objective of embodying the idea, the “fragrant vision” that from time to time inspires the perfumer.

The iconic hexagonal bottle has over the years become the hallmark of Villoresi’s creations. Designed by Lorenzo Villoresi himself, this seemingly simple shape is both modern and classic, discrete and luxurious, timeless and modern.

Museo Villoresi

In June 2019, the Museo Villoresi opened its doors in his Renaissance palazzo in the center of Florence. The museum offers visitors a multisensory journey of discovery into the world of perfumes, scents and the most important aromatic substances. Here, visitors have the chance to sample and explore, to truly understand scents and the power of their combinations.

A Life of Beauty

Married for more than 20 years to Ludovica Passi, the two share a deep love for horticulture and the natural scents – orange blossom, pepper, lemon, vanilla, ylang-ylang, patchouli – that they have discovered in their travels or in the plants they grow in their villa garden and their farm outside Florence.

In addition to his alchemy in the perfume laboratory, Villoresi is the author of several books on perfume, including Il Profumo: Cultura, storia e tecniche, and he has published and lectured widely. He also wrote the foreword to the first Italian translation of the treatise “De Odoribus” by Theophrastus, translated by G. Squillace. 

In 2006, he won the Prix Francois Coty, the most important prize in recognition of a perfumer’s professional career achievements. In 2015, he was awarded the “Flair de Parfum” in Wien.

Mozzafiato is proud to carry products from the Lorenzo Villoresi and Ortigia Sicilia collections. Here are a few of our favorites:

Lorenzo Villoresi Teint De Neige Bath Salts

Teint de Neige Bath Salts

Lorenzo Villoresi Uomo (For Him) Eau De Toilette

Lorenzo Villoresi Uomo EDT

Ortigia Sicilia Fico D'india Fragrance Diffuser

Ortigia Sicilia Fico D'india Fragrance Diffuser