Art and fragrance are so closely entwined – and here at The Perfume Society, we have long held that fine fragrance creation truly is an art form. We were thrilled when the Italian niche house of D’Otto launched in 2022, with their ‘liquid art’ concept blurring these boundaries even further – each exquisite fragrance forming its inspiration directly from a major modern artwork. D’Otto explains…
‘Visual artists express themselves through shape and colour, free from rigid boundaries and expectations. Musical artists express themselves through chord progressions and note expressions. Perfumers transmit emotional messages by composing fragrances with olfactory notes and accords. These approaches in both art and perfumery are inextricably linked – forms of communication and powerful sources of human emotion that speak to our inner child, bringing memories to the forefront of our minds in an instant.’
Little wonder this collection is so artistically conceived and beautifully realised, being the brainchild of talented third-generation Italian perfumer, Paolo Terenzi. An ‘unconventional storyteller and musician with a professional background including a degree in law and philosophy, studies in chemistry and physics and a lifelong passion for poetry; Paolo can trace his artistic inclinations back through his family’s bloodline, to 15th Century Rimini and ‘the nobleman Gabriele Terenzi, lover of art and alchemy, who died around 1450.
We love the way each scent is described, referencing the material the artist who inspired the fragrance worked with, the colours they used and even the types of brushstroke or their signature style. This is a much more visceral way of understanding a fragrance’s character, and how it might translate to being worn on our skin, than simply listing ingredients (many of which we might not have had the opportunity to smell in isolation or be familiar with).
Thrillingly, you can try samples of D’Otto to experience the fragrant artistry for yourself, in two of The Perfume Society’s Discovery Boxes…
For the Launches To Love Discovery Box – £23 / £19 for VIP members – we chose D’Otto 1+7.
TOP NOTES: grapefruit, bergamot, lemon, petitgrain
HEART NOTES: orange blossom, sage, lavender, thyme
BASE NOTES: sandalwood, vetiver, musk, ambergris, oud
“Opening with luminous transparency, 1+7 is at first smooth and bright. An explosive and uplifting citrus bouquet of Calabrian bergamot, Sorrento lemon and Sicilian grapefruit, represents the canvas and flecks of white paint used in Number 31 by Jackson Pollock.”
And in the Scintillating Scents Discovery Box – £33 / £29 for VIPs – you’ll receive one of either D’Otto 2+6, 3+5, 5+3, or 6+2.
Read and dream at the evocative descriptions of each fragrance – and discover the fascinating full story behind the brand – on our page dedicated to the house of D’Otto.
In the meantime, while you wait for your samples to arrive, we wonder which iconic artistic works YOU think should be translated into a fragrance. What notes would they contain and what style of perfumery would best express that artist’s work? When asking people to close their eyes and imagine a fragrance in a more abstract form, we often encourage people to think of colours, artistic materials and brushstrokes – how wonderful, then, that D’Otto uses this artistic springboard for the creation of their own scents. We can’t wait to see (and smell!) the next in their collection…
Written by Suzy Nightingale