Stefania Squeglia founded her house of perfumes, Mendittorosa, after being inspired by a live volcano. So it is little surprise that the story that has stirred her two latest fragrances, North and South (each £175 for 100ml), is one full of fire. “I met my boyfriend in Rome and I call him my north because he is from the north of Denmark,” Squeglia explains. “And being from Italy, I am his south.”
North is interpreted with metaphysical flare. “To me, it is an empty white stage or a blank canvas that can be written or painted on, but needs the south for its fieriness. South indicates big drama, moving forward fast yet with some darkness. I for one need some of the cooler north; we both need each other.”
Falling in love had such a big impact that Squeglia actually changed her philosophy for creating a perfume. “I now make perfumes to express emotions and the way we show our soul,” she says.
She crafted North with bergamot, jasmine, patchouli and cedar wood from the Atlas mountains and Virginia for a deeply sensuous scent – cut with a dash of clean, cool vetiver. The intimate notes for South include sandalwood from Australia, basil from Egypt and cyclamen. Both scents share elements but have distinct personalities, while the ingredients sourced from around the world continue the global theme of different nationalities coming together. The bottles feature geographic coordinates and symbols, while the packaging reproduces the boxes artists use to send works of art all over the globe. Just 600 of each are available.
Given the backstory of the main players, the masculine North and the feminine South, does this define who wears them? “No, they are unisex,” explains Squeglia. “I like to say that just like angels, the soul doesn’t have a gender.”