Tag Archives: Angela Ciampagna

Golden Impressions of Esxence 2018 – day 1

Just a few days ago I was still in Milan enjoying beautiful Italian spring, magnolias blossoming all over the city & most of all having a great time at Esxence. It was a special edition as 10th anniversary calls for more effort to make it even better than usual. To highlight the occassion of such round birthday the entrance hall of the Mall was decorated with huge statue symbolizing number ’10’ with golden garlands twinkling under the ceiling and golden flakes scattered all over the floor.

It was a bling but in classy and elegant way. Out of 4 days of the show I attended 3, but it didn’t go as smoothly as in previous years… You see… I was supposed to arrive in Milan last Wednesday in the evening but it turned into a nervous story of how I did NOT get to Milan. The thing is – I missed my flight! I was taking the direct bus from Poznań where I live to Berlin Schonefeld airport and maybe 20 minutes before the scheduled departure time all passengers were informed that the bus will have 1 hour delay. When it eventually arrived there was a huge traffic (accident?) on a motorway near Berlin. In the end when we arrived at the airport it was 40 minutes after my flight.

Stressed and all in nerves I didn’t know what to do, I missed my flight for the first time in my life. I even contacted the airport but there was nothing that could’ve been done to help me. And since I was flying with Ryanair my plane ticket was not refundable or exchangeable. I had to buy another ticket for a different flight but there were none more on the same afternoon – I had to wait until Thursday morning to fly to Milan, therefore I also had to rent a hotel room for the night. It was a rough start but I made it there in the end. Thank God my Airbnb host wasn’t causing trouble.

After getting to my sleeping place, quick unpacking and a change of clothes I immediately went to The Mall at Piazza Lina Bo Bardi where Esxence is held for a few years now. I arrived around noon, so I only missed first 1,5 hours of the show. Still not that bad as for such a rough start of my trip. My first appointment at 12:15 (so I made it just in time) was with Jacques Fath team. They were launching a perfume which was a result of  a very exciting project. They asked perfume historians, connoiseurs and vintage fragrance collectors who were familar with the smell of Iris Gris to become judges of an open submission contest to recreate this masterpiece. There were around 5 versions proposed by different perfumers and after blind testing by the experts they unanimously chose a version by Patrice Revillard, a young perfumer who only just graduated.

After the announcement of 5th annual Art and Olfaction Awards finalists that took place right after my first meeting I continued to explore the place until I saw Joaquim Carner in the crowd. He had a free moment so I decided to use this occasion to discover novelties from Carner Barcelona. The brand is launching an oriental collection featuring trio of fragrances: resinous Megalium, ambery Ambar del Sur and incensy Botafumeiro. Design of the bottles remained the same, it’s the brown wooden cap that is a signature element of the new series. The brand seems to want add a new trio each year.

Olfactive Studio and brand’s head Celine Verleure were showcasing their 12th fragrance – Flash Back in New York. Despite the fact that part of its name is shared with with one of their previous launches this is not a case of a flanker in niche. It’s a completely different perfume that was inspired by a photography of New York City in a snow storm. The perfume is a fusion of warm and cold with quite a heavy accent on violet leaf and leather. There’s also a lot of spiciness to it.

The most sensational discovery of Esxence 2018 was probably a new perfume from Neela Vermeire and her brand. I felt connected to these fragrances since a debut of this maison de parfum and I just loved the iris hiding within Ashoka so I was super excited to learn that new composition is going to be all about iris. And it is absolutely amazing! Bertrand Duchaufour made an iris that is creamy, buttery, gently sweet, entwined with notes of tea and champagne fizz effect. Their pretty flacon got a purple veil that goes from transparent at the base and more saturated at the top. And packaging of Niral uses silk for even more luxurious and sensorial experience. I know I want to have it!

Fragrance house of Angela Ciampagna had a break last year due to their laboratory collapsing after an earthquake but this year they were back with some new fragrant ideas. First of all they presented Laetitia, a water-based perfume for children. They also had two complex, resinous new fragrances named Miracula and Materia. Both were well made, I will be further exploring my samples.
Masque Milano is always one of the brands that attract a lot of attention at Esxence. Each time they work with a different perfumer and for their 2018 release they chose to work with a young perfumer Fanny Bal from IFF. They presented a perfume called Hemingway and it smells mostly of vetiver (they used couple of different species) but there was also tart rhubarb in the opening.

Anatole Lebreton was there too! Last year I totally fell in love with his Grimoire. New composition that was being launched at Esxence is named Cornaline and is completely different from all the perfumes in the range. It’s very easy-going and casual. It features quite tropical ylang-ylang combined with bergamot, iris, carrot and benzoin among other notes. I think it’s a great addition.
Aether is the brand from Nicolas Chabot who is also owner of Le Galion and it focuses on synthetic aroma molecules. This spring 4 new fragrances were introduces: Hypær, Supær, Ultræ, Xtræm. Each of them contains an abundance of one of the iconic perfume synthetics like Iso E Super. It’s kind of like Escentric Molecules but the fragrances are made from more than just 1 ingredient.

In mid-afternoon I was going out for a while as I had planned a meeting with Atelier des Ors. Their team wasn’t present at Esxence this time but they had a ‘salon’ organized at a hotel just across the street. I knew beforehand that they’ll have 4 new fragrances to show me and since it’s one of my favorite brands my expectations were really high. Jean-Philippe Clermont – owner of the brand together with Megan who works for the brand presented me with their novelties. They extended their existing line with 1 perfume called Bois Sikar, it’s a super heavy one with lots and lots of dry tobacco and rum. I also noticed a lot of dark tar in it. They also launched White Collection inspired by synesthesia of Klimt art and music. Fragrances are named Nuda Veritas, Crepuscule des Ames and Choeur des Anges. They are lighter than black collection fragrances but still very pretty and interesting. Personal favorite was Nuda Veritas. White details of the packaging look really good too.

Jardins d’Ecrivains joined Esxence this year in order to present their latest development, a trio of splash colognes. They come in 300 ml glass bottles with a trigger spray (like a window cleaner or Moschino Fresh). They are light and not very concentrated and the idea for them is to prolong a feeling of freshness after a shower or during a hot day. You are meant to spray these all over your body. L’Eau de Leopardi is a super refreshing verbena, L’Eau de Kakuzo is more green and smells of tea while L’Eau de Marceline is more floral and feminine. At a very affordable price I think they could serve really well in the summer. I loved the display with sponges to smell them.

By the end of the day I also managed to stop by and say hi to Gabriella Chieffo. She composed a new fragrance that stands out due to being different and more approachable than other perfumes from this Italian brand. Lattedoro smells creamy, sensual and comforting, like a warm glass of milk with honey our mothers made for us when we were young. The perfume has coconut, iris, ginger and some other notes. It’s a gourmand scent but a very well-made one. It’s appetizing but not sickening, you won’t feel as if you were wearing a whole candy shop on your skin.

My last stop for Thursday was Nishane, who inspired by Le Petit Prince launched a duet of fragrances themed around this novella. B-612 is housed in brand’s usual bottle with a blue metal plate (decorated with tiny planets and stars) and it’s focused mostly on lavender that’s been paired with other ingredients. I summarized it as a ‘baby lavender’ because it smells rather soft and powdery. 2nd fragrance is Vain & Naive and has a red metal plate. It’s a rose perfume, a tribute to Little Prince’s rose. I liked that one less but it definitely wasn’t bad. One more thing from Murat Katran and Mert Guzel was a Colognisé, a lemon cologne – fresh and as simple as that.

After the show I had a delicious day with Atelier des Ors team. It was a tiring day, especially that just the same morning I had that second flight to Milan. But all in all I was happy that I got there in the end. I still had two more days to talk to people and smell the perfume. About that in part 2.

 

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Perfume paradise of Esxence 2017 – day 3

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

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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.

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