Tag Archives: Esxence 2018

Golden impressions of Esxence 2018 – day 3

Weekends at Esxence are always a bit hectic since it becomes open to the public, meaning anyone interested can enter. And believe me, Italians do come to smell some perfume. They often come as full families, even with little babies or with dogs (I’m sure their sense of smell goes crazy there!) For that reason I usually try to do my most important visits on Thursday or Friday. Then on Saturday I can smell things more casually and with less pressure. It usually works well if I do it like that.

I started the third day at Esxence from a visit in a conference room where one could listen to an interview with Michael Edwards first thing in the morning. I think he’s such an iconic person in a perfume industry that I just wouldn’t forgive myself if I didn’t attend it. Listening to how Mr Edwards started from being responsible for deodorant campaigns and how he got to creating The Fragrances of the World. Would you believe it all began as a simple and thin guide for fragrance associates in department stores? Nowadays it’s sort of a bible that collects data of thousands of fragrances.

After that I visited a stand of Extrait d’Atelier, an Italian brand owned by Chiara Ronzani. The brand interprets work of different artisans into fragrances and this spring they have launched a 4th composition dedicated to Maitre Ceramiste, a master of ceramics. The perfume is meant to evoke a workshop filled with the smell of clay and plaster, moist air and a bunch of tools used to carve the details. This fragrance masterfully combines spicy pink pepper and metallic notes, the smell of clay entwined with iris and incense with a woody base with oakmoss and amber. Review will come later.

Asian market is more and more open for the offerings of niche perfumery and in effect one of the trends is creating lighter, more wearable and inoffensive scents that would appeal to people from Japan or China. No surprise Miya Shinma appeared at Esxence with a bunch of light and airy fragrances. I especially liked Ruri which means blue in the old Japanese. I also admired Kimono Sakura, a blend of rose and peony to remind cherry blossom. That one was very harmonious.

Saturday was a day of talks and conferences for me as there were 3 in total that I wanted to attend. Second one that day was titled ‘100 years of chypre‘ and as you might guess it was an olfactory travel through the history of this classy perfume family. This conference was organized by Osmotheque. It was a lovely lesson starting from old, classic chypres and finishing at modern ones. I only regret that the speaker was using french, since I’m still a long way from being fluent. Also blotters were not distributed well so I didn’t receive a whole bunch of fragrances to smell.

At the lunch time I went outside to have a meeting with UNUM. This year they decided to be available at a private suite in a nearby appartment rather than inside Esxence. From what I’ve been told they are getting prepared to make some changes to their packaging. Also another perfume will be launched by the brand, it’s expected to arrive at Pitti. For now I can only say that inspiration for the fragrance was a scene from a movie. And it fits well the style of Filippo Sorcinelli work.
Nicolai was presenting their new scent – Cap Neroli, a beautiful and summery scent of orange blossoms drenched in the sunlight. I’m sure I’ll enjoy wearing it when it gets a little bit warmer.

Once I was back at Esxence venue I spent a couple of minutes discovering the line of Sylvaine Delacourte. I’ve been familiar with the name but never tried fragrances from this lady. She dedicated her first collection to musk and she just launched a new collection focused on vanilla. There are 5 different vanilla fragrances in it but one that seemed most interesting to me was named Valkyrie.
Jovoy also had a novelty at their stand and it was causing quite a lot of buzz between perfume enthusiasts. The new fragrance bears a name Remember Me. This new composition is signed by Cecile Zarokian. It’s her 2nd creation for the brand and it’s a very lush bouquet of frangipani.

My last discovery included smelling of 4 fragrances by Les Bains Guerbois. It’s an old bath house that nowadays works as a hotel in Paris. They decided to revive the heritage of colognes that were using during the times when the bath house was operating. I only tried them briefly on mouilettes so another test – this time on skin will happen in due course.
Final conference titled ‘2D perfumery: how Instagran culture is affecting fragrance design‘ was a fun thing to listen to. Panelists such as Sarah Baker, perfumer Alex Lee & Andy Tauer presented their point of view regarding how influential Instagram can be.

As you’ve probably noticed from the picture galleries I kept coming back to smell Neela Vermeire’s Niral every day! It was definitely my favorite fragrance at the fair this year… and that was it! Saturday came to the end and so did my visit in Milan. Same evening there was also an Esxence party but because my flight back to Poland was really early on Sunday and also because I didn’t get the invitation (and had no clothes to match a theme) I decided to skip it. I only treated myself to a great dinner in the evening. Some pasta, prosecco and a desert to say bye-bye to Italy for a while.

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A final word from me. As good as the whole 10th edition of Esxence might’ve looked like in my report I have to admit that I was quite disappointed this time. New releases from brands that exist for a couple of years now were really good but the offerings from newly created brands that just debuted on the market were plain boring. Most of the stuff smelled repetitive and similar to some other perfume created some years ago. Are they scared of being innovative? To make something that’ll shake the ground? Maybe they play safe now but will improve and open their minds later… I don’t know. I just wanted you to know how I felt and why there weren’t as many photos as usual.

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Golden impressions of Esxence 2018 – day 2

Adventures on my way to Milan might not have been the most pleasant or exciting ones. What happened just happened and I had to deal with it. I was ready to forget about all the obstacles because being at Esxence was some sort of a reward in the end. I was ready for another day at the show. Charged with a typical Italian breakfast (sweet one) I walked my way to the Mall.

One of the best things about my Airbnb in Milan was that I had a private room with my own balcony, so I could enjoy crispy spring morning listening to the birds chirp. Also by total coincidence the owner of the appartement was leaving for the weekend so I had a whole place for myself. First thing in my Friday agenda was to go to a panel talk hosted by Sarah Colton. The topic for it was a discussion about 10 years of Esxence. Panelists – perfumer, journalist, brand owner, fair founder talked how things changed over that time and how each of them was affected by this annual fair.

Afterwards I got a chance to have a private moment at Aedes de Venustas stand. The brand has introduced a new perfume – Musc Encense signed by a perfumer Ralf Schwieger (who also did Iris Nazarena). I was lucky because he was also available at their stand and I talked to him for 5-10 minutes. We discussed the new perfume itself which is a gorgeous blend of slightly animalic musk and incense but all very clear and transparent. I also asked him for some tips how to progress in terms of career in this industry. He was super nice and helpful, I hope his advice will help me.

Meeting with Puredistance is always a pleasure. I missed Mary who was always there but she’s enjoying motherhood right now so that’s completely understandable that she didn’t come to Milan. But other 4 girls were there to meet. The brand didn’t present a new perfume yet although they prepare for a launch closer to the end of the year. Their current news is a slightly changed packaging for 17,5 ml spray. Those vials no longer have a cap but a special pin that prevents accidental spraying. The pin comes with a metal plate with embossed perfume name and fragrance concentration. Plus you also get a metal holder with this travel size as a set.

Next I met with Pissara Umavijani – founder and perfumer of Dusita. She’s always very warm and smiling. For me it was a perfect opportunity to try Erawan. For some unknown reason I didn’t smell it at the preview in Florence. Erawan is leafy green thanks to petitgrain but it also features a very prominent note of wheat. Because of that the perfume is quite challenging but at the same time it’s unusual and creative. Any time I passed by there was a little crowd surrounding Dusita stand.

In the afternoon I took a little break from Esxence in order to visit Hermes boutique. I thought I would go there alone but a friend of mine from Poland wanted to go too, so we went together. The weather was beautiful and magnolias were blooming all around – perfect conditions for a walk. At Hermes we were treated very well and luckily all the things we wanted were available. Therefore I got my set of travel size Hermessence and the sales lady also gave me 2 samples of Eau de Citron Noir to test. We came back by metro to save time – going there and back still took us an hour.

Without a meeting a spend a couple of minutes at Histoires de Parfums stand. I like the brand and have 2 of their fragrances so I really wanted to pay attention to their new releases. A slightly ‘older’ novelties from them is En Aparte collection consisting of 3 fragrances: Irreverent, Outrecuidant and Prolixe. I will explore them more when brands sends me the samples. Hot launch included This is not a Blue Bottle 1.4 and 1.5. Inspired by ying-yang concept one is a natural-smelling synthetic and other is synthetic-smelling natural. Quite intriguing approach I must say.

I remember from the past that many of you said that you don’t like Eau d’Italie for their packaging that reminds you of a shampoo bottle. Well, I do like the bottle and the house so I met with them as well. Fior Fiore translates directly into a flower of flowers and is an ode to jasmine. However this one smells very fresh and green, it lacks indolic elements that I don’t like. It’s feminine and Innocent.
One of the lovely treats at Esxence was prepared by Menditorossa. They were launching two new fragrances however my attention was mostly drawn by Sirio. Not only I find the name captivating (inspired by Sirius, a star) but the fragrance itself was also gorgeous. It smelled like a combination of a fizzy cider made of green apples, a bit of floralties and sensually soft woods sprinkled with vanilla. The perfume tries to answers a question of who we are and where are we going.

Esxence is also a great way of reconnecting with familiar faces you have not seen for a while. I was happy to meet with Kim again. We met for the first time 3 years ago at Pitti. This time she came all the way from New York to be at Esxence and to go on holidays at Lake Como later. She not only observes a niche scene these days but she has opened a little store where she carries a couple of brands. She’s super energetic and truly outgoing. People like her are needed in the perfume world.

My dinner plans for the evening crystallized by accident when I bumped into Hiram Green! Yes, he was in Milan too, it was his first time at Esxence. He didn’t exhibit but I think he enjoyed discovering the fair as a visitor. Plus he had some meetings outside of the Mall for sure. He was meeting with his new Canadian partners from Etiket. And since I happen to be friends with them too I could join them. Call that a coincidence but with so many perfume people gathered in same city at the same time and it just happens. It’s difficult not to bump into someone you know as you walk down the street.

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