Blooming inspirations of Pitti Fragranze 2017 – part 1

My summer holiday in Italy this year was a fantastic experience. For a really long time I had no idea where to spend my vacations so I’m happy that thanks to some research and tips found by my mom I planned such a great trip. I finally saw more of Milan, tasted a little bit of dolce vita during my stay at Lake Como & enjoyed my short stays in Genoa and Pisa. But most anticipated part of my Italian voyage was going to Florence for another edition of Pitti Fragranze. It was a true cherry on top.

I arrived early in the afternoon on Thursday, a little bit more than half a day before the show was starting. On the occasion of lovely weather I went for a walk to revisit popular Florentine places, such as Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore, Ponte Vecchio or Basilica di Santa Maria Novella. This time I also went to a famous Santa Maria Novella apothecary & shop. It’s a beautiful place. I bought a bottle of SMN Citta di Kyoto, a gentle cologne combining iris with lotus flower.

As I was getting hungry I tried to ask my friends if any of them was already in Florence and wanted to eat something together. But it turned out that they either had different plans, didn’t arrive yet or were simply not interested in joining me. Just when I was ready to give up and just sit by myself and eat, I was passing next to a restaurant when I was spotted by Andy Tauer. What a coincidence! I joined him at the table for Aperol Spritz and a dish of pasta. We had a nice chat. We also met Sarah McCartney and Olivier Valverde. Florence was clearly being taken over by perfume people.

Next day the Pitti Fragranze fair was starting at 10 AM. I went there a little bit earlier but thanks to using Pitti App on my phone I didn’t have to wait for a paper press pass & was able to enter as one of the first. First round in Stazione Leopolda is usually greeting with all friends. First hour passed quickly and at 11 AM I attended a Mane conference of the RAW project. This time they focused on spices in perfumery, especially on pepper & sustainability of their resources. But before that I had a chance to chat to Olivier Durbano, who presented Labradorite, his perfume #13. It’s a smoked tuberose with some not overdone animalics. I also met Nicolas Chabot, a guy behind Le Galion and Aether. At his stand I smelled new Aether Celluloid, a fantastic iris with cashmeran.

When the clock was showing it’s almost 1 PM I went out for a planned meeting with Puredistance. The brand wasn’t attending Pitti this year but Mary Gooding and Nele Tammiste were in Florence to meet with some people. We went out for a lunch together. We decided to snack at a nearby cafe bar and it was the best decision. Each of us had a great piece of foccachia with tomato sauce and melted cheese, plus we had 3 different sweet treats. Puredistance is preparing for a global launch of Warszawa right now. I enjoyed meeting with them and seeing new graphics they made.

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Further explorations brough me to Andy Tauer. We laughed again because of our accidental meeting on previous evening. He has shown his new Tauerville Patch Flash to me which is pretty unusual and not very patchouli take on this note. There was also AT Attar in Tauer Perfumes collection. Andy outdid himself with the packaging. A 5ml attar is packed in a miniature pentagonal flacon made of blue glass. So cute! I also had a chance to smell his soaps. Loved mandarin one.

Gabriella Chieffo stand was eye-catching for another year in a row. Using metal fence, polyurethane foam and paint her team created an installation that was bringing clouds to one’s mind. A well thought background to present Quasicielo (‘almost heaven’) a lovely composition of tart citrus top notes with spicy, aromatic heart and warm, resinous base. At the end of the fair I concluded it was one of my favorite fragrances this Pitti. It’s not a perfect fragrance but it doesn’t have to be. It’s first perfume made entirely by Gabriella. Previously she had lots of help from Luca Maffei.

Sarah McCartney stand was nearby so I was offered a full presentation of Our Modern Lives, a new project next to 4160 Tuesdays. There are 7 natural fragrances inspired by yoga and different moods of the day, plus 2 synthetics that are free from allergens. You can mix & match, layer them. The idea is to select one natural and one synthetic and blend them. Body sprays with 3% fragrance (see photo) were quite nice already, but 10% EdP are also available. What is very attractive about OML are the labels, featuring gorgeous drawings of plants and herbs that match ingredients.

At a combined booth of Eau d’Italie and Altaia I was able to smell 2 novelties – one for each of these two brands owned by Marina Sersale and Sebastian Alvarez Murena. For Eau d’Italie they presented Rosa Greta. Inspired by a person of Greta Garbo and her love affair, the perfume is a delicate, feminine and innocent floral bouquet with dominant rose note. Altaia presented Tuberose in Blue, a gentle white floral, tuberose for non tuberose lovers as I called it after blotter test.

Among new faces that arrived at 2017 edition of Pitti Fragranze I noticed a familiar face from before. Barbara Herman was attending the fair. It was actually my first contact with her brand – Eris Parfums. I liked the idea of her initial fragrance trio, trying to create modern versions of big vintage perfumes. I especially liked Night Flower, which was inspired by Guerlain Shalimar. On the other hand the new release, called Mx. defies gender segregation. On my skin it smelled of super creamy sandalwood with a coconut tinge. It seemed popular, many people were buzzing about it.

That’s it for a round-up of 1st day at Pitti Fragranze. When you attend it for a few years there comes a moment when you realize that year by year you smell less perfume and you spend more time talking to people. We gradually become closer friends so it wouldn’t feel right to cut out the conversation after a few minutes. Yet I think I did my best and tried a decent number of new releases, especially on 2nd day of the show. More of Pitti report coming soon! Stay tuned!

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12 thoughts on “Blooming inspirations of Pitti Fragranze 2017 – part 1

  1. Lynn says:

    What an enjoyable post. I felt like I was there with you. You seem very relaxed about the whole experience now and that is reflected in your writing. I’m really pleased that you enjoyed Florence, and the Officina Profumo Santa Maria Novella. I hope that it was the original shop on Via della Scala that you visited? It’s so beautiful. I was hoping to be at Pitti this year but my friend couldn’t manage, but we have just booked flights to Milan for Excense! Hope to see you there.

    • lucasai says:

      Yes, to me it’s quite a relaxing experience and definitely an enjoyable one. Feels more like a big reunion with friends.
      Yes, I went to that very special SMN shop.
      Hope you’ll like it at Esxence next April.

  2. Undina says:

    One more aspect where our tastes coincide: I love lotus in perfumes!

    Meeting friends beats sniffing perfumes: after all, perfumes you can smell at home, on your own. It’s much harder to spend time with friends while you’re thousand miles apart 🙂

    I look forward to write-ups on the rest of your trip and to future more detailed reviews of the best new things you smelled there.

    • lucasai says:

      Ha! I’m not sure if I like that many lotus perfume but I like your thinking 🙂

      That is true. Especially that smelling at Pitti or Esxence only gives you a first impression. More detailed thinking about it and full time wears as sotd happen after the show.

  3. Jillie says:

    Perhaps “networking” is the best part of any exhibition or conference – as Undina says, meeting friends and making new ones is invaluable.

    But it’s still so interesting to see new lines and concepts. I am pleased to see Sarah McCartney there – she means a lot to me as her business is not far from my childhood home and she has such an interesting take on perfume. She and her colleagues seem to be lovely people, too.

    Intrigued by lotus – I have been captivated by the “lotus” note in a very cheap toiletry brand here (Pure, by Waitrose); I’m not sure if this smells similar to the lotus element in perfumes, but I love what I smell after I have conditioned my hair!

    • lucasai says:

      I think you’re both right, especially that I’m seeing these people only twice a year during Esxence or Pitti.

      I can imagine that you’re fond of 4160 Tuesdays and Sarah. Have you ever met her in person?

      I’m not sure if I like lotus or not. To me it has a similar profile to magnolia, a watery sheer floral facet. But in Citta di Kyoto it just adds something “japanese” to the iris, if that makes sense

      • Jillie says:

        That makes perfect sense!

        Actually the lotus I smell in the Waitrose product might not smell anything like other lotuses, but I enjoy this one.

        No I have never met Sarah, but spoken with members of her team on the phone. They are so courteous and generous with samples too, which is quite rare. A lovely company. And British!

  4. Lynn says:

    I have met Sarah. A friend and I went down to London to her studio. She is clever and attractive and warm and very very funny.

  5. rickyrebarco says:

    Beautiful photos. The rose and tuberose fragrances sound lovely to me. Looking forward to trying some of the new fragrances in the coming year.

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