Maestro Profumiere Lorenzo Dante Ferro is a little-known - by the wider public - independent Italian perfumer whose perfume house, Profumi d'Autore (Author's Perfumes) was founded in 1982 after an international stint in the corporate world of fragrance in Grasse, Zurich, New York, London, and Paris.
The main concept of the brand with its book-publishing references follows the same intuition as that of Editions de Parfums by Frédéric Malle, which was established nearly two decades later in 2000, except that here it is a one-man show centering on Dante Ferro's work while the latter proposes perfumes by several perfumer-authors.
It is about the same idea that certain fragrances can be considered not just as fashion accessories but as works reflecting an intellectual and artistic process and to be enjoyed similarly, by devoting mental energy to understanding them rather than just saying "Hmmm, it smells good (or bad)" or "I like it (or don't like it)". The perfume house is also very much characterized by its respect for the historical tradition of Italian perfumery - the Venetian one in particular - an interesting element to take into account in one's approach to the brand when one is more accustomed to thinking about Florence or Rome or Parma when pondering the topic of Italian fragrances...
Without having smelled any one of these creations, the website appears compelling enough to invite further exploration.
The artisan-perfumer is established in the Friuli wine country, between Venice and Trieste while he himself likes to emphasize his Venetian roots. The antique Venetian perfumery tradition is invoked with references like the Notandissimi: Secreti de l'Arte Profumatoria written in 1555 by Giovanventura Rosetti.
The result today is a women's library (parfum de toilette concentration) and a men's collection (eau de toilette concentration), as well as an unisex line of "Noble Waters" which interestingly enough emphasizes the point that a low sillage is a sign of elegance, a return to olden days when, one can assume, perfumes, natural ones, had less-studied diffusion. He writes,
"The power of these Noble Waters is not in their strength but in their discretion. Each of these distinctive fragrances, suitable for both men and women, contain precious natural essential oils and absolutes: some with over one-hundred ingredients blended with masterful care to express the unusual "luminescence" of the clean, fresh and pure beauty of their character, making them desirable to all."
There is certainly a sense that some high-quality lighter perfumes that are let to die slowly rather than roar on for hours betray a sense of aristocratic elegance and a restrained style that are charming, as for example L'Artisan Parfumeur Fleur d'Oranger 2007. But this is just one aesthetic option.
Also available is a collection of home fragrances, more than sixty "Profumi d'Ambiente", which are advertised as being realistic and entirely "believable",
"In fact, Profumi d'Ambiente are so believable that when perceived in the air, one is actually convinced that the fragrances are coming directly from objects in the home or garden: be it an antique desk, an orange grove, a pepper mill or from a newborn baby's nursery."
The prices are reasonable, with the women's and men's scents retailing at 30 €. You can download their catalogue to see notes descriptions and prices.
Lorenzo Dante Ferro also recently designed whimsical perfumes for trendy Laks watches.
Added: In 2009 he signs the first duo of perfumes by HSH Prince Nicolo Boncompagni Ludovisi
Source: Lorenzo Dante Ferro website