Today I’m Wearing: The Smell Of My Own Skin

Who: Filippo Sorcinelli, perfumer and creator of sacred vestments for the Vatican. Filippo is an original. Firstly, he a talented tailor. Through his company Atelier Lavs he makes beautiful clothes for the Church of Rome and has dressed both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. His collection of liturgical garments are embroidered abundantly with gems and gold thread and are both exquisite and and full of meaning. He’s also also a unique perfumer with three collections – Unum, Sauf and Nebbia, under his belt. He came to perfumery through scenting the boxes in which Atelier Lavs packaged up the Vatican-bound garments, the hint of incense-heavy fragrance was intended to add an additional, artful emotion to the dressing ceremony. Soon, people began  enquiring from where they could buy the scent, so Filippo moved into fragrance. We caught up with him at Exsence, where he launched the ethereal Nebbia, his newest collection. 

Today I’m wearing what my skin is transmitting, because this is what first exudes my life and opens it to the world. Do you think I can wear a different scent than my skin?

What a bigger gratification than not having to superimpose other smells on yours? It is the most erotic and dramatic act that exists, to understand that you have a smell and help others to remember through your work. In order to remember, we always bring a wrist, a forearm closer to our face. To smile, cry, save or change our lives too.

My skin changes its smell according to my life, because ideas and feelings intersect with my being in the world – a meeting point, a sound in unison, a truce, but also a clash or a dissonance.

My skin is a bit like this music, it performs and makes me listen, it gives way to trajectories that are difficult to keep in parallel. At a certain point they come into contact and the emotion starts. All day long I feel emotion, my whole life is a continuous feeling, where feelings find the space to forcefully scream their existence and pave the way for their adventures in the world

I have no favourite fragrances but I love to recognise a smell that has been part of a particular moment in my life. With my UNUM project, I am proud to be able to speak of polyphony, where more olfactory voices can communicate together in harmonious beauty.

Perfume is a form of communication and further dialogue that I can use to describe my path. Living my life through perfume is a truthful form of communication. A perfume that refuses to confront with ourselves speaks to us not about essence but just about “absence”.

Everything comes from the encounter between impulse and memory, in a truly free space inside of me, so that the experiences of the encounters can be carried out. One feels lost and even a little uncomfortable, but one lets oneself be abandoned to thoughts and their changes, until one hears a new sound, capable of shaking the soul and moving away from the abyss of mediocrity. I transmit all these visions to the nose which, in absolute empathy with me, translates into smell and wanted to express.

I am not used to seeing the perfume as a sort of fetish, for which disturbing actions or gestures are needed. In my opinion, these gestures risk disturbing the very essence of the perfume.

Rather than perfume rituals I prefer to talk about a daily ritual about art. Art can’t neglect its origins. It comes from within each of us. In our interior there are secrets, impulses, desires and our anxieties and fears connected to suffering. All these factors constitute our soul and that special gift that can’t be touched, the spirit. Art is precisely this, seeking beauty in everything shaping the spirit.

Find Unum fragrances here.