Darlings, I’m home! After 3 days full of amazingly scented experiences I’m back in Poland. Esxence 2015, which was the 9th edition of the fair, once again managed to bring together the best names in niche perfume industry as well as it allowed young, debuting brands to showcase their creations and to expose themselves to press, retailers, distributors and potential customers. There were around 165 brands present at the expo area which of course made it impossible to get to know all of them.
Day 0 – 25th of March
My adventure with Esxence 2015 started on Wednesday, 25th of March. One day before the show I took a train to Warsaw. I arrived there at 13:20 and had more than enough time to get to Warsaw Chopin Airport. The flight to Milano Linate Airport was departing at 15:30 which saved me going into panic mode if I had less time to drop off my baggage and go through safety control. Travel by aircraft took 1h 45min and I was in Milan. The last step was to find a bus that goes to Milano Centrale train station, which was not difficult considering the number of busses waiting for passengers right outside the arrivals hall. Milan welcomed me with quite heavy rain (I always carry a small umbrella with me, so no problem at all). From the central station it took me no more than 10 minutes to get to the place that I booked via AirBNB, I was there around 19:30. Since the weather was not very pleasant I spent the evening in my room, resting after my travels and getting excited for the next day.
Day 1 – 26th of March
On Thursday I woke up filled with excitement from my toes to the end of the longest hair on my head. The day was bright and sunny, with some clouds rolling in the sky (they completely disappeared later.) After a breakfast and some personal grooming (yes, I wanted to look good!) I was ready to go. Turned out that Piazza Lina Bo Bardi, a place where Esxence was located this year, was just behind the corner of my street, to get there it took me only 5 minutes walking. Obviously I arrived a bit too early but there was a crowd in front of the entry and the registration has already started. I flashed my business card at a press desk but my name wasn’t on the list. That was weird since I was assured that I’ve put on the official press list, not to mention that I was official web friend of this edition. I got my pass anyway. At the entrance I met Mark Behnke of Colognoisseur who happened to be official Esxence emissary, doing some video reports and interviews for Esxence TV. After Silvio Levi, co-founder of Esxence gave a short opening speech and cut the opening ribbon in half, the gates to perfume heaven were open. All professionals: retailers, distributors, journalists and bloggers started their exploration.
First thing I wanted to do after entering the expo area was to greet with my dear friend Anais Biguine, founder of Jardins d’Ecrivains. At Esxence 2015 she presented Marlowe, which is a baroque-inspired and theatrical perfume featuring tuberose and osmanthus wrapped by resinous and leathery accords. Then I headed to Neela Vermeire Creations where after exchanging hugs and kisses with ever-wonderful Neela I could try her new fragrance – Pichola. I was very impressed by the complexity of this perfume and by the tuberose accord which was turning creamy on my skin. Nearby was a glamorous stand of Jul et Mad. I’m always happy to see Julien and Madalina. They came to Esxence with new collection called Les White consisting of 3 compositions: Nea, Nin-Shar and Garuda. This time it was not their love but ancient civilizations that served as inspirations. Fragrances are bold, intense with dark-colored juice. Right opposite there was Celine Verleure presenting new Olfactive Studio Panorama. Honestly I was a bit afraid of wasabi accord in a perfume but it turn out pretty interesting and different. Cerine Vasseur and Regine Droin, daughter and mother behind Evody Parfums changed the packaging of Collection d’Ailleurs for brown rounded cubic ones with a wooden cap as well as they presented Blanc de Sienne.
After lunch I met with Nicolas Chabot, owner of Le Galion. This maison de parfum launched Vetyver, based on old formula and Cuir and Aesthete, which are the new additions to the range. Nicolas proudly presented 3 scents in extrait de parfum concentration: Sortilege Elixir, Sovereign and Essence Noble. All of them made with top quality ingredients. At the stand of La Manufacture, Bruno Truchon-Bartres was presenting 4th perfume in the range named Cologne Impatiente. It was a very nice and fresh rendition of citrus and flowers. Couple of stands later I found Viktoria Minya promoting her Hedonist trilogy as well as Eau de Hongrie. Bottles filled with Swarovsky crystals were very sparkly in the light provided. I also got a chance to meet Gabriella Chieffo. I fell in love with her brand half a year ago at Pitti but we didn’t get a chance to meet in person back then. This time we had a very joyful conversation. As you can see on the first day of Esxence I focused mostly on visiting all of the friend brands that I’ve been in touch over the past year. I also had prepared some sweet packages with Polish chocolate pralines for them. Everyone seemed happy with my sweet treat. On day 1 I managed to discover only one new brand but it was the house that I had on my radar since I saw their perfumes appear on Fragrantica. It was Atelier des Ors. Brand debuted with 5 compositions of really good quality in my opinion. They also have a very beautiful packaging. A rounded bottle with ridge pattern looking like rays that was scattering the light in a beautiful way. Tiny gold flakes floating on the juice were adding more glamour. I especially liked Cuir Sacre and Rose Omeyyade. 8 hours of perfume extravaganza passed faster than I expected and it was the time to end day 1 of Esxence 2015. The day was wonderful but tiring, so I didn’t do anything special that evening. Much more things were yet to come!
To be continued… Part 2 of my Esxence 2015 trip featuring days 2-3 will follow soon.