Tiziana Terenzi

Essenza Nobile Interview with Tiziana Terenzi

In view of the fact that already the third generation of the Terenzi family is passionately creating candles and nowadays also fine fragrances, we felt that it was really high time to do an interview with one of them.

Essenza Nobile: Signora Terenzi, you and your brother Paolo were born into a family of candlemakers. Your father Evelino founded the Cereria Terenzi, but already his father Guglielmo created paschal candles for churches. Was it clear for you right from the beginning that you will continue this family tradition? Or did you have other plans, too?

Tiziana Terenzi: Both my brother Paolo and I grew up in the middle of our father's work but, thanks to his intelligence and sensitivity, we were left free to decide what we wanted to do with our lives. I do believe that, deep down, both our father and our grandfather, Guglielmo, hoped we would one day grow to love their ancient profession, but they wanted us to be the ones to choose our future. After my artistic studies, I worked for well-known jewelers as a goldsmith, and Paolo wrote the music, creating works with musical notes like he now puts together scents with the notes of the aromatic molecules! Both of us, growing up, began to understand the huge creative possibilities - in the forms of the lesser arts that we loved - hidden in the old family trade.

Essenza Nobile: How important is this issue of “tradition” to you?

Tiziana Terenzi: Tradition lies at the heart of our work and our lives. We've been privileged to descend from people who chose to focus on worth rather than success in every important decision during their lives. People who were always deeply committed to doing their job well, constantly respecting the highest ethical and social values. The traces left by our forebears are now our path. 

Essenza Nobile: How does the collaboration between you and your brother Paolo work?

Tiziana Terenzi: Paolo and I share everything! We're always together, despite our very different characters! We combine our differing talents, each of us trying to do our best in the field we're most comfortable in. The special alchemy between our two souls often generates completely unexpected things that are really amazing! At least for us! The bond with the family tightens around us like an oak tree in the ground; we hold within us the knowledge of three generations.

Essenza Nobile: Cereria Terenzi is said to be the main wax manufactory in Italy. Can you explain the secret behind this extraordinary success?

Tiziana Terenzi: It's not up to me to define our company as “successful”. I believe there are many ingredients in any job that's truly well-done: it's fundamental to work in a serious, reliable way, respecting both the people and the environment around us, using natural raw materials that don't jeopardize our health, and paying great attention to the details. Every scent, every candle that leaves our company is the child of this family that isn't just Paolo and me, but all the people that share the effort and joy of this work with the same love and commitment that we ourselves put in. They deserve our endless thanks.  

Essenza Nobile: It is remarkable that you set extraordinarily great value upon the working and production conditions. Your “12 golden rules at the Cereria Terenzi” almost read like a social manifesto: There is much talk of environment protection, sustainability, workers and women rights, ethical principles, social responsibility, and so on. Why are these issues so important to you?

Tiziana Terenzi: We believe that companies aren't made up of walls and machines but of people. We're able to produce wonderful things that the world loves because the special “intelligence of the hands”, together with enthusiasm and passion, creates beautiful things; and they're even more beautiful because they're rich in those values that we learned as the “right” ones.

Essenza Nobile: What is the background, the philosophy behind it?

Tiziana Terenzi: Our philosophy is “good is lovely because it's lovely to feel good”. A beautiful thing is something that produces well-being and pleasure for those who make it and those who use it, without damaging anything in any way. This belief is the key to everything we do, not only in the workplace but also in our lives.

Essenza Nobile: A striking counterexample to your principles regarding working conditions can be found in the textile industry of Bangladesh, for example. In April 2013 a big and very tragic accident happened there, where more than 1000 factory workers died after the collapse of a clothing factory. Unfortunately, it was not the first catastrophe there caused by dreadful working conditions. As a socially-minded entrepreneur, what are your thoughts about such an incredible tragedy?

Tiziana Terenzi: These are terrible events that we should all feel somewhat responsible for...

Essenza Nobile: ...and what has to change, in your opinion, to avoid such awful disasters in the future?

Tiziana Terenzi: I think the more “civilized” countries, with their longer industrial history and greater wealth, must take on the task of urgently reorganizing their own scale of values, within their own social system. They have to put man and creation back at the center of everything, so they can then provide the example for those countries where industrialization has arrived more recently and where, unfortunately, life still carries little value.

Essenza Nobile: “A candle is a beauty”, you once stated. “And you can’t create beauty if you do not create well-being. Beautiful things have to be good things, too”. So do you think that the devil could not create beautiful candles, too? (laughs)

Tiziana Terenzi: The devil could, perhaps, make seemingly beautiful candles, but he wouldn't be able to survive the “baptism of fire” when every object reveals the truth of its soul. “Good” candles are beautiful because they illuminate, purify, scent, and humidify. Candles made without the love of man and the environment only pollute the air we breathe!

Essenza Nobile: It is characteristic of your candles that they contain a piece of wood embedded in the wax instead of a wick. Who had the original idea to do so – and what´s the advantage of wood versus wick?

Tiziana Terenzi: It was Paolo's idea; he wanted to give our candles a “voice”. We then worked together for about 2 years to find the right formula. The result is the crackling from a fireplace - a gentle, ancestral, reassuring sound. (...you can even hear it in the following video!):

Essenza Nobile: Which of the Tiziana Terenzi fragrances is your favorite one?

Tiziana Terenzi: Of course, I love all the fragrances! But I always wear Gold Rose Oudh; it's warm and embracing, and it makes me feel good!

Essenza Nobile: Apart from your own creations: what is your favorite perfume and which one do you prefer to wear?

Tiziana Terenzi: I love the work of Lorenzo Villoresi and also the wonderful tradition of Acampora.


Essenza Nobile: Grazie mille Signora Terenzi per questa intervista e cordiali saluti dalla Germania!

Tiziana Terenzi: Thank you so much for giving me a wonderful opportunity to speak about our work, and thanks also for your good, important questions.

The soul of the work by Tiziana Terenzi is passion; the knowledge that they are creating objects that can evoke ancient places where history echoes, in the…