Smolenskis was born in 1842, the son of Leonidas Smolenz, a Hungarian Philhellene who came to Greece in 1825 to fight in the War of Independence. He studied in military schools in Belgium, France and Germany and was commissioned an officer in the Greek Army.
During the Greco-Turkish War (1897), his 3rd Brigade was the only unit that recorded a victory against the Turks, twice repelling them from Velestino. This earned him the respect of the general public, who had very little to cheer about in those days, but the jealousy and enmity of Crown Prince Constantine whose command of the Greek forces during that war had proved a total disaster.
Smolenskis also served as Minister of the Military. He died in 1915.