Tag Archives: Neela Vermeire Creations

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.

***

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 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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