Poggia by Tiziana Terenzi (2020) is the first fragrance (and fourth I’ve tried) from the uber-expensive “Sea Stars” range that I actually like. Obvious similarity of the name to the meme of “poggers” or “pogchamp” aside, this is a fragrance that smells like a classic women’s floral from the mid 1930’s until about the early 1980’s, just before tuberose bombs and animalic rose chypres became the rage. This one wears soapy in a way many younger women will say is “dated” or reminds them of their grandmother, but if we’re talking niche styles here, isn’t something like that arguably niche now? Granted, I can also smell pretty much like this with any number of commonly-available vintage Avons or drugstore fragrances on the second-hand market, so this still doesn’t begin speaking to that nasty $550 price tag, no matter how many bejeweled golden echinoderms you manage to shove onto the cap. However, this is likely the one fragrance from the line that will at least not smell like anything you can find on the market today, at any price. Reinventing vintage styles as top-end luxury tropes is not a new trick by any measure, and Terenzi is but the latest lux-o-niche house to jump on the upmarket repackaging the past bandwagon, but we already knew that, right?
The opening is very much “classic hotel soap” with sharp dry bergamot, lemon, aldehydes, and a peach lactone that sets the “mid-century floral” mood. The brand lists passionfruit like that appearing in the $750 flagship scent Atlantide (2020), but I don’t get much of it to be honest. Same goes for the green apple, although a powdery centifolia rose and lily of the valley do come into focus alongside orris and musky ylang-ylang. The floral component is of the timeless French variety, appropriately prudish and fussy in that “all grown-up” women’s perfume way, no sweetness, no heavy-handed patchouli or benzoin. The base is ambergris and vanilla alongside something mossy and chypre-ish too. I suspect a speck of galbanum has wedged its way in here too alongside something like a sandalwood or sandalwood-like material. Paolo Terenzi is definitely flexing his d’Orsay and vintage YSL muscles with this one, and I like it. Wear time at extrait level is all day, and you won’t be hurting for projection either. Best use could be year-round, but the smell of Poggia is one of formal grace and poise, with little humor to be found. This is one for the vintage floral fans for sure, but with so much vintage out there yet cheaper than this, I don’t think Poggia will reach the collections of many in that particular school of thought.
Poggia smells like Paolo is doing the feminine market equivalent of what many luxury brands have been doing for years by reinterpreting “dad’s cologne” as something extraordinarily luxurious and elite, then selling it back to their rich and sucessful tech bro sons who are too internet-coddled and not worldly enough to know better. In this case, we’ve got mom’s Avon being given the haute luxe regurgitation treatment, and if you have rich daughters out there who idolize the style of Jacqueline Onassis or Queen Elizabeth, the very same kind who expected (and received) a pony on their sweet sixteen, this is probably the perfect fragance for them. Poggia will sit alongside their matching Laura Bradley luggage set, or in the glovebox of their hot pink vintage Triumph Spitfire, while unironically cranking The Archies because they want to seem timelessly chic and humble compared to all the other spoiled brats at the private school who just wear Tom Ford and drive G-wagons. That’s not very poggers of you Terenzi, not pogchamp at all. If you somehow catch one of these selling for a more-reasonable price (that isn’t a fake), I would actually recommend taking a chance on it if you enjoy classic florals. Thumbs up