Second day at Esxence was the busiest one for me. All the meetings I had and conferences I attended brough a lot of interesting thoughts and many of the perfume that I was able to smell on that day turned out to be really good discoveries. Cherry on top was a Masque Milano party & then staying at 10 Corso Como for a dinner with friends and newly met people. It was a great day!
Day 3 – Saturday, 25th of March
Saturday was a 3rd & at the same time my final day at Esxence. After two previous days that I spent on intensive and excessive sniffing I was a bit tired and was ready to wind down a little bit. It was the most quiet day for me (but not a quiet day at the fair as it was open to the public) – I didn’t have any meetings planned which allowed me to walk around more casually and without rush.
I started my day by revisiting Jul et Mad stand as I wanted to talk to Madalina for a few minutes and I also wanted to try the fragrances again. The reason for that was that I smelled then the day before at quite late stage so I wasn’t sure if my perception was correct. Turned out it was and that Fugit Amor still turns into that almost fougere-like, vetiver and carnation blend that smells clean and soapy on my skin. I love the way it smells on me, even if I was the only person that made this fragrance change so much, as Stephanie Bakouche noticed when she was smelling it on my arm.
Then I was going to the conference organized by Osmotheque about fragrances of the 70’s. But before I managed to get there I had a quick chat with Puredistance team again, then I bumped into Gabriella Chieffo. She was not exhibiting at Esxence this year due to some health issues but she told me the brand is working on new release. She even mentioned to me the idea behind it, but I’m not telling you. By the entrance to the conference room I also met Olaf, an instagrammer that you might know as Vetyyver. We follow each other so it was nice to meet in person.
Back to the conference. The speaker for it was Patricia Nicolai, a very head of Osmotheque. During 1 hour lecture she guided us through various compositions, many of them were chypre. We smelled Revlon Charlie, Estee Lauder White Linen & Aromatics Elixir, Jean Couturier Coriandre and many more. It was a nice stroll down the history lane of the era when calone, maltol, jasmonates and damascones were first obtained in laboratory. They are still important part of perfumery.
Then I had a quick break with Pissara. Then I visited a stand of Welton, a brand from London. Their black, pillar-like bottles were quite attractive but I don’t really remember what were the fragrances like. Except of Bel Iris, which smelled like an iris and lots of dry paper, parchment. Intriguing.
Then I noticed that Stephane Humbert Lucas is presenting 2 new fragrances: Panthea and Wish Come True. But to tell you the truth I didn’t put my nose into them as they don’t have samples available on stand. In the past there were fragrances that I really liked and they said that they’re going to send out samples after the show. They never did!
As I was admiring some decorations at Making of Cannes – bottles lined up and standing in the spotlight as if they were movie stars I noticed Andy Tauer passing next to me. I stopped him of course and started some conversation. He mentioned working on some new interesting projects for Tauerville (perhaps this has something to do with his current trip to San Francisco, he made another of those hand-to-hand-only-while-he’s-there fragrances) He’s been also busy working on some special magazine for his distributors and retailers. Hope I’ll get a copy of it!
Later I had a quick stop at Verduu, a German brand that pairs fashion designers with perfumer (Mark Buxton) to make fragrances. Hien Le was quite nice. I especially liked the small size of the bottle, very perfumista-friendly. More discoveries followed few steps ahead.
When I dropped by Eta stand to say hi I was shown two new fragrances, Le Sixieme Parfum and Le Septieme Parfum. Both were committed by Luca Maffei. 6th fragrance was absolutely amazing, it contained tons of iris – soft, creamy, buttery and rich. 7th fragrance was focused on incense that was warm and spiritual. I’m going to explore Le Sixieme Parfum really soon to see how it behaves on my skin. I hope it will be just as good as on paper strip.
Afterwards I started yet another round around the entire Esxence area. I had a stop at Etat Libre d’Orange to smell You or Someone like You. I have to say that most scents by this house are difficult to me but the new composition, made in collaboration with Chandler Burr seems to be much more approachable and easier to love. I could smell basil and mint in the opening, however there won’t be any official notes for this fragrance. That’s what Chandler wished for.
There was some time for selfies with Muriel Madeleine, a time for Anatole Lebreton to show me his new travel set (great thing to have, you can select fragrances you want, duplicates are possible) I smelled Histoires de Parfums This is not a Blue Bottle 1.2 and 1.3 (yep, still no interest from the brand side to ask if I wanted to learn more). I also met Michelyn Camen from Cafleurebon. I saw her earlier briefly but now we could chat for a second.
I also met Angela Ciampagna. She was presenting her 2 currently existing collection. When I asked about the developments for future projects she told me with some sadness in her voice that the laboratory where they work on new formulas got damaged by the earthquake (there were so many in Italy lately) that they had to postpone new release, probably until next Esxence in 2018.
Then a quick whiff of all nominee fragrances of Art and Olfaction Awards and a peek at the Osmotheque vials with old-ish fragrances. When it got less crowded I decided to visit Unum. Filippo Sorcinelli was showcasing his latest work with a lengthy Italian name: Io Non Ho Mani Che Mi Accarezzino il Volto. Fitting the churchy style of the brand it smelled of incense that was warm thanks to tobacco and styrax. I liked it. The cap is covered with some black fabric.
At the Nomenclature stand I met Karl Bradl from Aedes Perfumery. Finally! I’ve been wanting to meet him but in fact it was our first live encounter ever. I was introduced to Lumen_esce, their 2016 release that smells like fresh and watery violets. The novely for 2017 is Shi_so – a fragrance featuring Glycolierral, a herbaceous molecule from Givaudan. The fragrance had uplifting, green aroma with hints of rhubarb. I will happily explore my sample when it becomes warmer.
Almost at the very end of the day I smelled 3 fragrances under the brand name of Teresa Helbig. It turned out these fragrances are a collaboration of Sara Carner (Carner Barcelona) and one of her sisters. Can you believe! Teresa was a lovely neroli-mandarin concoction warmed up by benzoin, Tangier Memories was leathery with hint of red berries while A Bulldog in the Atelier was warm, woody and spicy.
I spent my last minutes at The Mall sitting together with Neela Vermeire. We had a heart to hear conversation, admitted some facts that we both noticed and exchanged opinion on various topics. Together with Neela we have this policy that everything we say is confidential. Sorry guys! As I was about to leave the building I grabbed Sarah Colton for a moment so that we could have a photo together. I was one of the last who left Esxence venue. It felt weird and bit nostalgic to walk down the aisle with nobody around. I will be back for next year I suppose.
These 3 days passed really fast. I discovered not what I had to, but what I wanted. That’s a difference. When you come for the first time you want to try as much as possible. Over the years you learn that it’s only worth exploring what you truly want to explore. On Saturday evening it started to rain heavily and I still had a party to attend. Esxence party was at Spazio Gessi this year and dress code was to wear a flower. I got an artificial rose but my Airbnb host also helped me to make a flower out of empty plastic bottle! It looked wickedly interesting. I had to leave when the party was wild, I had to walk back (was too late for metro) and pack my suitcase.
On Sunday morning I was leaving Milan at 6 o’clock. It was still raining. The city was crying because I had to leave so soon, haha. I’m going to miss this city. I’m going to miss these people. And my world. Until I meet them again in Florence this September. I hope so.
I hope with these 3 parts of my Esxence trip you felt as if you were there with me.