Tag Archives: Making of Cannes

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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infinite possibilities of Esxence 2016 – part 3 of 3

My 2nd day at Esxence was a whirlwind of olfactive stimulus. On that day I managed to discover a couple of new brands as well as visit the stands of brands that are already more established on the market. It was also a bit educational thanks to talks and events taking place in conference room. And outgoing thanks to an evening meeting with Art and Olfaction Awards people and dinner with Tanja. 3rd day was not even one bit less interesting. It was also my final day there.

DAY 3 – 2nd of April

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It was a sunny Saturday with a bit of a morning chill. As soon as I arrived at Piazza Lina Bo Bardi where The Mall was located, my steps were directed to the conference room. Each day the fair was opening at 10:30 and on that day it was also the hour of the first event in auditorium. I wanted to attend a lecture titled: “New Fragrances: A ten-years Review, 2006 to 2015” and the speaker for it was Michael Edwards, who became famous thanks to his book “Fragrances of the World” that many of us consider a perfume bible every perfumista should have. I got a chance to meet Mr Edwards the evening before during the meeting with Saskia Wilson-Brown. We talked a bit, exchanged our business cards. And you know what? This got me astonished because when I gave my card to Mr Edwards he reacted “Chemist in the Bottle? I know who you are, I follow your blog” and I felt incredibly humbled. With that in my mind it was even bigger pleasure to listen to his lecture.

During his speech Mr Edwards kept showing us various charts with fragrances categorized in different ways. First one presented total number of fragrances between 2006 and 2015 divided into female, male and shared fragrances. Digits prove that the amount of male and female fragrances is decreasing at a cost of increasing number of unisex offerings. Next chart was a spectrum of fragrances divided into categories such as haute parfumerie, creators, perfumers, heritage and perfumeries. The rest made a focus on fragrance families and sub-families. Of course the main conclusion was that the amount of perfume launches per year is becoming incredibly high but according to Mr Edwards there are still fields that can be further explored, such as fruity or fruity-floral scents for example. Everyone seemed mesmerized by his passionate talking an at the end he received two rounds of applause. Not surprised at all, it was a great lecture.

Off to smell some more perfume, I grabbed Yukiko (The Perfume Magpie) and we went to discover more scents. We stopped by a booth of the brand named Raw Spirit, attracted by their simple, sleek and elegant bottle design. We have smelled 6 of their perfumes and to my surprise – I liked their vetiver the most!

My next stop was Extrait d’Atelier, a new brand that was just debuting at 8th edition of Esxence. They arrived at the exhibition equipped with 3 fragrances, inspired by 3 different craftsman professions. Maitre Couturier was all about the fashion and was supposed to evoke the designer studio. The scent of lavender, violets, woods, musk and aldehydes was reminiscent of smelling a brand new and clean fabric that has just been ironed. Maitre Chausseur stands for a shoemaker and the perfume smells of smoke, leather and resins. The final one was Maitre Joaillier, the jeweller – the perfume was crispy, woody and a bit clean and had that surprising metallic effect!

Then I decided that I want to try the fragrances by Anatole Lebreton. Anatole himself used to be an actor in theatre, then he was also selling fine chocolates and rare teas. Eventually he ventured into perfumery field and as an amateur he started to learn. Finally he launched a perfume collection. I was quite smitten by his L’Eau Scandaleuse, which was a rather bold and captivating mix of tuberose, leather and castoreum. But it was Incarnata, the powdery smell of iris, violet and other notes that was very much like a lipstick, that was a winner for me.

Right beside there was a booth of Angela Ciampagna. I have met her for the first time half a year earlier at Pitti in Florence, she remembered me from back then. I was introduced to a new collection named Cineres consisting of 2 scents bearing names of Ignes and Fauni. Both smelled very unusual to my nose, they had a lot of pungency and richness. Unfortunately the fragrances were finished very shortly before Esxence and the batches are still in the maceration process so there were no samples available, maybe I will get them later.

Later, after I have made a couple of rounds next to their stand on previous days and it was always busy, I got lucky to pass next to Nicolai stand when it was relatively quiet there. At the stand I met the perfumer herself, renowned Patricia Nicolai who shared with me the details of her latest creation. So… she has done an oud perfume – Oud Sublime that sources a real oud oil from Cambodia (priced at 18,000 EUR / kg) She paired it with deep, dark rose, saffron and other spices. When you hear that you first think that it doesn’t smell innovative because there are a couple oud + rose + saffron perfumes out there. Believe me, Oud Sublime is worth the try as I find it really beautiful. The fragrance was presented in a new bottle as well as in a special coffret in which a bottle has a capacity of 250 ml and comes with a refillable small flacon.

Then I met Megan again who was swooshing around Esxence venue left and right because those were her last hours, she was going back home in early afternoon on Saturday. We briefly discussed what we have tried, what we liked and gave each other some recommendation on what was worth attention.

Then I made it to Neela Vermeire Creations stand once again to photograph their gorgeous stand filled with beautiful flowers. I also briefly stopped by Norwegian house of Malbrum stand but they were busy and had nothing new so I didn’t bother to wait.

Maria Candida Gentile was my next stop. After I really fell for Leuco last year I kept checking new things from this brand. This season they have launched Rrose Selavy, inspired by Marcel Duchamp artistic alter-ego. This perfume had a very green opening reminiscent of cut grass and morning dew. The fragrance also incorporates 3 different rose essential oils. It had a retro vibe that is definitely worth exploring.

One of the most occupied stands at Esxence was one of Project Renegades. Why? Because it was a project born from combined forces of Bertrand Duchaufour, Geza Schoen and Mark Buxton. Each of them created one fragrance. Unfortunately I didn’t get to smell them. I think I was repulsed by the tackiness of a bottle. Plus I’m one of those who don’t follow the hype of a perfumer name. As long as I like what I smell, I don’t really care who composed it.

As it was getting closer to the end of the day I kept spending less time at each stand in order to make as many visits as possible. For a few minutes I stopped by a display of Room 1015, who had a debut at previous Esxence. This year the house presented Power Ballad. As explained by Michael Partouche – brand founder, Power Ballad is inspired by the very first kiss in your life. A perfume mixes the mojito-like accord with a smell of a bubble gum and fresh spicy notes.

As part of our lunch break we needed some fresh air for our exhausted noses, so together with Tanja and Yukiko we decided to grab us some food, coffee and go outside. We couldn’t sit right outside the exit because the smell of cigarettes was too intense. Luckily on the rooftop of The Mall there was a small park – a few young trees, some fresh green grass and wooden benches – just enough for us. We enjoyed our meal, had a few funny moments and took a couple of photos together. Then we came back in, Tanja returned to her booth and Yukiko and I continued our exploration.

Attracted by the very refined look of the bottles we decided to stop by and smell the offerings of Dali Haute Parfumerie. The fragrances had a very refined smell to them, they were rich and expensive, done without compromise. Each fragrance was housed in a beautiful bottle with black lacquered cap that on its top was decorated with one of five artworks of Salvador Dali.

Our next stop was at CorsicaEssences a brand that had various things in their offer. At first we smelled very high quality candles, each dedicated to a different season. Even by smelling the glass cloche you could tell that the fragrance in the candle is really strong. Then we moved on to smell 4 personal fragrances. They were also really lovely and they had something different to offer. Finally we also tried room scent diffusers from their offer and those also didn’t disappoint.

Then we tried Nettuno from Mendittorosa. It was a captivating blend of iris and leather with a rather smoky opening phase. The bottle is unusual as the cap is covered with mirror and front of each bottle is decorated with some glass mosaic ornaments. Those decorations are applied by hand ensuring that each bottle of Nettuno will look different. It’s a nice way of having a more personalized version of the scent, even if you cannot exactly influence how it will look like in the end…

Next we have tried Pantheon Roma Dolce Passione, the sweetest perfume I have ever smelled in my career. The smell of hazelnut and dark chocolate was entwining with aroma of honey, strawberries and plums. To me it smelled more alike cherry liquor praline. It was very sweet, seductive, almost toothache inducing but as it kept drying down it was becoming more and more mellow and intriguing. I’m not a gourmand fan myself but I will definitely give this one a try on skin.

Before that I some point I had a short visit at Nu_Be stand. Apparently the brand is changing their name to One of Those. This year they introduced Curium, a perfume inspired by Marie Curie-Skłodowska. It was another perfume at Esxence that was focused on iris accord. In it iris was matched with pepper, red berries, cinnamon and coumarin among other ingredients.

Last minute visits were to a booth of Making of Cannes who debuted in 2015. Together with Yukiko we smelled their 5 perfumes and we were also allowed to smell the not released yet perfume numer 6, done by Cecile Zarokian. It will be introduced in coming months. The shape of a black, 75 ml bottle truly reminded me of a large dice.

Last we did try some offerings from Bahoma London. They had quite a lot of fragrances in their offer but I think what attracted us more were scented candles packaged in fancy jars with animal prints such as zebra, tiger, snake and more. Actually I didn’t smell any perfume there but we got samples so nothing is lost in that matter.

When the clock was showing 18:00, meaning that there are only 30 more minutes until closing, I had to make a round around The Mall to say goodbye to all my friends. After doing that and after having a few more quick chats with friends it was time to leave Esxence. My stay in Milan was almost over. Almost, because in the evening we met with Yukiko again and decided to take a metro to visit Duomo. We took a direct line that made us arrive just in front of the cathedral. We took some photographs there, having fun while doing so and we also had a dinner nearby. Of course we also ventured into Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele so once again I could stand next to Prada boutique.

As it happens since the last couple of years, on Saturday night of the show, Esxence is organizing a themed party for all brand owners, distributors, retailers, shop owners and press people. This year the party was held at Palazzo Giureconsulti, just outside the Piazza Duomo. The theme was La Dolce Vita so many people dressed black & white to match it. I went to the party only for 1 hour because I had to wake up very early the next morning to catch my flight back home. The party with many red lights, stylish music, snacks seemed to last until very late hours. Together with Yukiko and Tanja who was also there we were standing at the balcony, which was having a gorgeous view at Duomo. This was an amazing way to finisz my visit in Milan and to conclude 3rd Esxence in my life.

On Sunday I left at 6:00 in the morning and within 10 hours total I was back home. I truly enjoyed my time spent at Esxence and all the people I’ve met there, be it friends from before or newly met people. From now on it is the time to peacefully go through the numerous samples and decide what I like and what I don’t like.

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