Tag Archives: Maria Candida Gentile

Numerous emotions of Pitti Fragranze 2016 – part 2

My first day at Pitti Fragranze 2016 was filled with excitement and numerous emotions as I was smelling different perfumes. For me day 1 is usually the time to greet friends & all the people I knew before and finding out if they came up with something new. After that is a time to make totally new discoveries. Before I tell you about my second day at the fair I want to share one more thing from the day before that I skipped in part 1 post because I didn’t want it to be even longer.

So, on Friday, 9th of September there was one more conference that I attended. I was very eager to listen to it because the topic was very up-to-date. Subject of this very interesting conference was: What makes the big groups want to acquire your brand? It was a talk moderated by Chandler Burr and participants were Catherine Walsh (Walsh House), Lana Giazman (Estee Lauder) and Christophe Cervasel (Atelier Cologne). I had no idea that Christophe will be there. I’m always in touch with him and Atelier Cologne team via emails, we were even supposed to meet when I was on vacations in Paris last year but in the end it didn’t work out. The discussion was quite intense as there were many different opinions in the room. They talked about what makes niche such a tasty bite for cosmetic giants, about many different aspects of acquisition agreements and contracts. Finally when audience joined with questions the conversation moved on to brands that are obviously drowning after a big group bought them and if such state of thing is inevitable. Fans of Atelier Cologne can sleep peacefully as according to Christophe Cervasel, their contract with L’Oreal includes a clause that brand founders are being given creative freedom. Which means L’Oreal won’t interfere in perfumer’s work. I believe in what he said and feel relieved as a fan of the brand. After this event came to an end I approached Christophe, we talked like friends for around 20 more minutes.

Now we can finally move to what I have smelled on Saturday.

Day 2 – 10th of September

I started my day by having a meeting with Neela Vermeire. At this edition of Pitti Fragranze she was presenting her latest collaboration with perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour. The perfume is named Rahele (traveller) and is inspired by trips of Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, Francois Bernier and Jean Thévenot to India. The perfume is a meeting of East and West. For the moment NVC doesn’t give any specific notes for their new perfume and as I was sitting together with Neela, she kept putting my nose to the test. During 30 minutes we had I managed to discover 6 ingredients which she confirmed were correct. More details about this fascinating perfume soon.

Then I was off to see Jean-Philippe Clermont, founder of Atelier des Ors. His stand was located among other brands represented by Kaon and those bottles were definitely eye-catching thanks to their sparkly glass facets and flakes of gold floating inside the bottles. The brand has just introduced a new scent – Iris Fauve. It’s a pretty and powdery iris and musky back note that becomes very sensual and seductive over time. Iris lovers should check it out.

Right next to it was a small stand of Laboratorio Olfattivo. In the central point of their table they displayed MyLO and Nun, two fragrances I wrote about earlier. There was a 3rd new fragrance for which Pitti Fragranze was a first occasion to show it publicly. The scent was named Nerotic. I thought it stands for a combination of words neroli + erotic (which I would be very keen on trying) but in fact it was a mix of words nero (black) + erotic. Unfortunately I don’t remember how this one smelled like and I didn’t get a sample either because there was no one from the brand around.

Next I paid a quick visit to Mert Guzel and Murat Katran, guys behind Nishane. They are still focusing on Fan Your Flames and Hundred Silent Ways which have been very succesful since their launch at Esxence. The brand is getting a lot of attention from visitors and they are still working on distribution in more countries. I certainly wish them good luck and look forward to their future ideas.

The following point of my agenda was a stand of 4160 Tuesdays. Decorated with various cups and mugs like an English tea party you could smell the perfumes by bringing a cup to your nose, almost as if you wanted to take a sip from it. Perfumer Sarah McCartney is an absolutely charming and positively quirky person. At the fair she wore a jacket covered with drawings of flowers in vivid colors. She was impossible to miss because of that. I especially liked her Paris 1948 which is a classic chypre and a funny named Mother Nature’s Naughty Daughters.

In early afternoon I finally made it to the stand of Parfums Dusita where I also caught up with Megan. Meeting Pissara Umavijani, a perfumer who created this brand was a great experience, especially that I see a lot of her on perfume groups on Facebook and we are in touch every now and then. She debuted with her perfume trio only 6 months ago and is very succesful already. Her perfumes are getting a lot of love. In Florence we could discover 2 new creations that Pissara made, those are named Le Sillage Blanc and La Douceur de Siam. First one is a modern take on Bandit by Robert Piguet – smoky, leathery and heavy. Latter one is a sensuous and spicy amber composition. Both present very high level of quality and belong to my Pitti Fragranze 2016 top 5.

After having fun with Ploi I smelled new releases from Oliver & Co. and perfumer Oliver Valverde. He blended two new creations and gave them names Vaninger which is a vanilla perfume spiced with lots of ginger; and Ambergreen which is an ambery scent with green notes in it. They were nice and I will be checking them out when I finally start going through my Pitti Fragranze 2016 box.

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Finally came the time for my meeting with Puredistance. It was very looking forward to it because the brand was showing for the first time their latest perfume made in collaboration with Cecile Zarokian. Luck has it that Cecile and I know each other, I managed to organize things so that my scheduled meeting with Mary Gooding of Puredistance also included Cecile. So the three of us sat together and smelled Sheiduna. It was a great meeting because I could hear directly from a perfumer how did she conduct the creation process. She also told us that she worked with really expensive materials like rose oil, tonka bean absolute or ambergris among others. The perfume is beyond beautiful. It’s warm and filled with sensuality. Plus the longer you smell it on your skin, the more addictive it becomes. With such fragrance even winter won’t be so cold. I was also happy that after all these years I could finally meet Jan Ewoud Vos. He also told me about a special project he is working on. It’s exciting and I really look forward to smell the final result of that assignment.

Following previous years tradition, InterTrade organized this special, closed section of Pitti Fragranze called Unscent. It features only brands in this distributor portfolio and I always have a feeling that these are somehow less known and less popular brands that are displayed at Unscent. To me the biggest problem is that you cannot meet people who stand behind these brands or even a representative delegated from InterTrade. The perfumes are only standing there, you can small as much as you want but that’s it. Still I liked their idea of “guess who’s coming to dinner” – perfumes were standing on plates around knives, forks and glasses as if you came to a fancy dinner. Brands that I could notice there included A Lab on Fire or Agonist among others.

Another perfume that joins my top 5 new releases shown in Florence is a new creation by Maria Candida Gentile. She composed a beautiful and realistic woody citrus fragrance that transports you to Azerbaijan tropical forest in the Caspian Sea area. It’s as happy as walking around the orange groves. It’s name is Lankaran Forest. I wish I could experience it earlier – it feels very summery.

Couple of more releases that I couldn’t even talk about with brand representatives and that left me rather indifferent included Etat Libre d’Orange Attaquer Le Soleil Marquis Sade (such a long name!) or new Parfumerie Generale 27 Limanakia. But on the contrary there was a lovely Cuir Andalou (slightly tweaked compared to the one from half a year ago) by Rania J.

There was also this new brand named Di Ser. This Japanese brand seemed to be getting a lot of attention. When day 2 was almost over I decided to check for myself what all the hype is about. I have to admit that as much as I liked those minimalistic bottles and their 30 ml size I didn’t really fancy any of their perfumes. Especially that 3 or 4 included some nasty oud and few more had hinoki (Japanese cypress) which was a no for me. Well, at least I tried them and found one that was okay.

Finally I tried perfumes from brand known as Beaufort. They were all very dark and mischievous, kind of nasty in their smoky and black oddity. Totally not my style but I was happy I smelled the to learn how weird a perfume could smell. Still there will be people who will like this kind of fragrance.

In the evening I had a dinner with Megan. We wanted to go to that fancy restaurant we saw the other night but you couldn’t get in without reservation until 22:30… So the evening before we booked a table for a reasonable dinner hour. Since we had a few hours after day 2 at Pitti finished, Megan went on a date with Uffizi art gallery while I went for a walk around the city to admire some if its sights.

I walked along River Arno taking pictures of bridges that I was passing, as well as the sculptures that were “guarding” each of them. Eventually I made it to the most famous bridge in Florence – Ponte Vecchio. From there I wandered around busy streets of Florence old town and made it to Piazza della Signoria with its famous Palazzo Vecchio. After I’ve seen it’s fountains and sculptures I went to see the Duomo, the cathedral in Florence. It’s a monumental building made of white and green marble. It makes a breathtaking impression. After I’ve seen all that I walked my way back to the river where I met Megan and we went off to the restaurant.

She was leaving the next morning, I still had a little bit more time.

Day 3 – 11th of September

On the final day of Pitti Fragranze, unlike 2 previous editions I attended, I didn’t have to leave Florence very early in the morning in order to fly back to Poland. This year the plane was departing in the afternoon, meaning that I had time until 11:30 before I had to leave in order to get to the airport in Bologna on time. So effectively I had 90 minutes to say goodbye to everyone.

During that short time I smelled Essence of the Park, a lovely, fresh floral developed for Carthusia by Luca Maffei. I also quickly met with Filippo Sorcinelli of UNUM. After his last creations launched at Esxence he now continues the idea in a new brand – Sauf. He created 3 perfumes with incense that are inspired by church organ music. UnerMi developed OrAnge with Cecile Zarokian. Last point was checking Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier and their new Ambre Mythique, to my surprise I met Ann Gerard there. She now does press and social media stuff for them.

And that’s how my visit to Pitti Fragranze 2016 came to an end. After 12 exciting days in Italy came the time to go back to Poland. I had so much fun visiting Naples, Venice, Verona, Bologna and finally Florence to discover what’s new in niche perfumery. Those last days at the fair passed especially fast as I was having a great time together with Megan and all the perfume people.

All this is a past now but memories are made of bliss and will stay with me forever.

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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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