An interview with Angelo Orazio Pregoni of O'Driù

13th September, 2012

Alfarom, who contributes to the Basenotes Forum as well as running his own fragrance blog, Nero Profumo, submitted to us this interview with Angelo Orazio Pregoni of O'Driù:

Your whole line seems to be characterized by a strong, assertive signature. Can you talk us about it?

My perfumes redefine my thoughts’ shape, tracing out and engraving it. They spring up from my inner urges. Indeed, they truly are a digest of details and restlessness. They can be either backgrounds or reflexions, yet they are psychic representations aimed to “free” the one who wears them! So if we talk about signature, we must introduce the concept of freedom, or the ability to feel free. In my opinion: my perfumes are a kind of pagan Eucharistic rite, always recognizable. This membership is the real signature

What’s behind your choice of releasing most of your fragrances in extremely limited batches?

“Non seriality” is something that the industrial method cannot create.

Each perfume I create is an authentic and unrepeatable dedication.

It’s anti-dogmatic, it takes its final shape only when laid on the user’s body: it lives with its owner, pours him a scotch, lights itself a cigar up and smokes it discretely. It loves walking and stealing breaths, reading something in the evening and meditating upon unfaithfulness. It’s an obsession!

Your fragrances have always a solid artistic concept behind them to the point that some of them have been composed specifically for, if not during, art performances. Can you talk about this link?

I need to show every aesthetic expression of Art, leaving an odorous, sublime trail, without any prejudice, like in my performances.

“Inspiration” is the real difference in the creative process, what distinguishes making perfumes for smaller/’niche’ perfume houses or for big companies.

“Inspiration” is a word that means “blow into”: in ancient Greece the oracle used to inhale some “sacred” fumes before making a prophecy.

So, if we look at the ancient world, inspiration is something that get in touch with our sensitiveness through the nose.

This would be simple for a “Nez”!... but I’m a shaman, so “inspiration” is a truly mystical notion for me, as art is!

We often talk about the Guerlinade, Tauerade (the house’s signatures) and so on but, in your case, although your line is characterized by a distinctive signature, it would be a little reductive. When it comes to O’Driù, we should probably talk about Odriù-ism as if we were referring to an artistic movement. What’s the O’Driù-ism manifesto?

Each O’Driù perfume is conceived as a single creation, each fragrance is an artistic work in a very limited production, handmade with intrinsically alchemic essential gestures: they are me, not my signature

I don’t know what ‘niche’ or ‘selective’ perfumery means, I just know that there was an empty space in perfumery before O’Driù.

So I think we have to refer O’Driu-ism just as “art without use” or as I define my movement, “no use art”.

Perhaps it’s more correct to say that the contemporary art world has approached me. Postmoderns have been the latter to “read” contemporary art still using aesthetic canons. Then, there was a rejection of these canons, favouring a more philosophical idea of art, and a more “conceptual reading of art”. We can say that the momentum that my work impresses to “contemporary art” is something unique and never seen, and never even smell. I’m aware that I have opened a door, never codified: the art through the experience of smell.

If you were supposed to do a bespoke fragrance inspired by an historical character of the past, who would you choose and what the fragrance would smell like?

I would be happy to do a bespoke fragrance for Sir “Charlie” Chaplin. This fragrance would smell of silence, like culture does.

To me, your fragrances smell like nothing else available on the market. You seem to have created a completely brand new olfactory experience never smelled before in a body fragrance. What are your roots? Studies? Are there any perfumers who, somewhat, influenced your work?

I’d say that the most important olfactory experience about O’Driù is “coherence”. O’Driù uses only completely natural raw materials and essences.

I don’t know exactly if I look like someone, I don’t even know why I am able to create fragrances. Often I tend to be myself, and this is enough for me.

I think I’m a novice, and I hope to live long enough to become a professional… I’m lying! I just want to live long!

You recently launched a new series called Haiku. Can you talk us about it?

The Haiku family draws its inspiration from the perfumes of “Alchimia di Profumo”. Haiku is a very poetic form of perfume typically characterized by three constituents: firstly a melody of eight essences, then five other essences that act as “sounds”, eventually three more essences: the “noises”.

By now, we present Linfedele. The notes of this new scent are the “incense-that-betrays its sacrality” ones… then you have to smell the roasting of coffee, the floral notes of geranium, yerba mate, balsamic pine needles, the elegant vanilla and the heavy themes of patchouli. Now you know something about unfaithfulness!

In most of your performances you often show full frontal nudity. The link between fragrance and carnality seems very strong in your work. The human body always plays a central role with all its parts, from hair ‘till the most intimate parts. The most interesting aspect of all this, is that all of the above is clearly not related to what we usually call “body chemistry” but, instead, it seems to be more related to a strong erotic component. What’s your personal vision?

I think erotism arises from its own history… Let me explain: with my own creations, such as olfactory treatments that I perform on underwears, I sublime every sex drive beyond the material and the object of attraction, until to a microscopic investigation of intimacy. This is the strength of my art, being devoid of any concept and each symbol through the raw emotions felt by the nose. Emotions that surpass anything provocative sense of sight and touch (always present in my performances). Free emotions that are consumed during the execution. It’s just the mere formalization of artistic flow that have to deal seriously with vision and touch, creating a product and a price, the price of the testimony.

There is a classicism inherent to both Lalfeorosa and Lalfeogrigio that I find literally mind blowing. What’s the inspiration, scoop and potential commercial release of these two fragrances?

If Lalfeogrigio contains odd numbers of “Alchimia di Profumo”, the Lalfeorosa contains the even one. They contain other essences too, that characterize them in an antithetical way. It is a mystic game. As the legendary river Alpheus, these perfumes are born under track... like most river-gods, they are perfume-gods, and I hope they will be the object of the love of Artemis, if she can spend 888 euros!

What we should NEVER expect from O’Driù? Any ingredient, type of fragrance or whatever else that you won’t involve in O’Driù?


Is niche perfumery’s “behind the scenes” the same as, say, literature’s? nepotism, hypocrisy, snobbery....

Literature wouldn’t be enough to tell what fusses “behind the scene”… but a word can sum up everything: ignorance.

Future plans?

I think that holidays with Ogma (my dog) are better than a performance in London! But I love New York too!

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About the author: Alfarom

Alfarom, is a regular contributor to the Basenotes Forum and has his own fragrance blog, Nero Profumo.


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    • Diamondflame | 14th September 2012 07:14

      Wow! What an interesting interview! I love the idea that a fragrance is a living entity that exists somewhat symbiotically with its wearer. Thanks for the write up, Alfarom.

    • danny1967 | 14th September 2012 07:59

      thanks for a brill interview alfarom.

    • Foustie | 14th September 2012 12:25

      Oh I have been looking forward to this so much! I am not going to gobble it up now. I am going to save it for later!! What a treat. Thank You Alfarom!!!!

    • drseid | 14th September 2012 13:44

      Enjoyed the interview. Many thanks, Alfa!

    • farang | 14th September 2012 15:59

      Thanks Alfarom, very interesting. Wishing they will become available in Asia...

    • OlfactionReaction | 15th September 2012 03:38

      This is an example of the awful pretentiousness that seems to beget any non-mainstream perfumery, while somehow making every mainstream release look crap. At the end of the day, a smell is a smell, and you like it or you don't. Either this guy is batsh*t crazy and believes what he says or is just trying to appeal to perfume snobs in a bit of (almost) clever marketing.

    • alfarom (article author) | 15th September 2012 10:57

      OlfactionReaction, opinions may vary depending on the point of view but, all kind of opinions are welcomed and will be obviously respected. Thanks.

    • Kevin Guyer | 16th September 2012 17:48

      Wonderful interview with a very interesting guy.

    • trex57 | 16th September 2012 23:11

      Im glad Im not alone. I appreciate your interview Alfarom. This man seems to have raised "pretense" to an art form.

      Too bad because the frags. are very unusual and quite beautiful (well, except for Ladamo)