Tag Archives: Olivier Durbano

Blooming inspirations of Pitti Fragranze 2017 – part 1

My summer holiday in Italy this year was a fantastic experience. For a really long time I had no idea where to spend my vacations so I’m happy that thanks to some research and tips found by my mom I planned such a great trip. I finally saw more of Milan, tasted a little bit of dolce vita during my stay at Lake Como & enjoyed my short stays in Genoa and Pisa. But most anticipated part of my Italian voyage was going to Florence for another edition of Pitti Fragranze. It was a true cherry on top.

I arrived early in the afternoon on Thursday, a little bit more than half a day before the show was starting. On the occasion of lovely weather I went for a walk to revisit popular Florentine places, such as Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore, Ponte Vecchio or Basilica di Santa Maria Novella. This time I also went to a famous Santa Maria Novella apothecary & shop. It’s a beautiful place. I bought a bottle of SMN Citta di Kyoto, a gentle cologne combining iris with lotus flower.

As I was getting hungry I tried to ask my friends if any of them was already in Florence and wanted to eat something together. But it turned out that they either had different plans, didn’t arrive yet or were simply not interested in joining me. Just when I was ready to give up and just sit by myself and eat, I was passing next to a restaurant when I was spotted by Andy Tauer. What a coincidence! I joined him at the table for Aperol Spritz and a dish of pasta. We had a nice chat. We also met Sarah McCartney and Olivier Valverde. Florence was clearly being taken over by perfume people.

Next day the Pitti Fragranze fair was starting at 10 AM. I went there a little bit earlier but thanks to using Pitti App on my phone I didn’t have to wait for a paper press pass & was able to enter as one of the first. First round in Stazione Leopolda is usually greeting with all friends. First hour passed quickly and at 11 AM I attended a Mane conference of the RAW project. This time they focused on spices in perfumery, especially on pepper & sustainability of their resources. But before that I had a chance to chat to Olivier Durbano, who presented Labradorite, his perfume #13. It’s a smoked tuberose with some not overdone animalics. I also met Nicolas Chabot, a guy behind Le Galion and Aether. At his stand I smelled new Aether Celluloid, a fantastic iris with cashmeran.

When the clock was showing it’s almost 1 PM I went out for a planned meeting with Puredistance. The brand wasn’t attending Pitti this year but Mary Gooding and Nele Tammiste were in Florence to meet with some people. We went out for a lunch together. We decided to snack at a nearby cafe bar and it was the best decision. Each of us had a great piece of foccachia with tomato sauce and melted cheese, plus we had 3 different sweet treats. Puredistance is preparing for a global launch of Warszawa right now. I enjoyed meeting with them and seeing new graphics they made.

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Further explorations brough me to Andy Tauer. We laughed again because of our accidental meeting on previous evening. He has shown his new Tauerville Patch Flash to me which is pretty unusual and not very patchouli take on this note. There was also AT Attar in Tauer Perfumes collection. Andy outdid himself with the packaging. A 5ml attar is packed in a miniature pentagonal flacon made of blue glass. So cute! I also had a chance to smell his soaps. Loved mandarin one.

Gabriella Chieffo stand was eye-catching for another year in a row. Using metal fence, polyurethane foam and paint her team created an installation that was bringing clouds to one’s mind. A well thought background to present Quasicielo (‘almost heaven’) a lovely composition of tart citrus top notes with spicy, aromatic heart and warm, resinous base. At the end of the fair I concluded it was one of my favorite fragrances this Pitti. It’s not a perfect fragrance but it doesn’t have to be. It’s first perfume made entirely by Gabriella. Previously she had lots of help from Luca Maffei.

Sarah McCartney stand was nearby so I was offered a full presentation of Our Modern Lives, a new project next to 4160 Tuesdays. There are 7 natural fragrances inspired by yoga and different moods of the day, plus 2 synthetics that are free from allergens. You can mix & match, layer them. The idea is to select one natural and one synthetic and blend them. Body sprays with 3% fragrance (see photo) were quite nice already, but 10% EdP are also available. What is very attractive about OML are the labels, featuring gorgeous drawings of plants and herbs that match ingredients.

At a combined booth of Eau d’Italie and Altaia I was able to smell 2 novelties – one for each of these two brands owned by Marina Sersale and Sebastian Alvarez Murena. For Eau d’Italie they presented Rosa Greta. Inspired by a person of Greta Garbo and her love affair, the perfume is a delicate, feminine and innocent floral bouquet with dominant rose note. Altaia presented Tuberose in Blue, a gentle white floral, tuberose for non tuberose lovers as I called it after blotter test.

Among new faces that arrived at 2017 edition of Pitti Fragranze I noticed a familiar face from before. Barbara Herman was attending the fair. It was actually my first contact with her brand – Eris Parfums. I liked the idea of her initial fragrance trio, trying to create modern versions of big vintage perfumes. I especially liked Night Flower, which was inspired by Guerlain Shalimar. On the other hand the new release, called Mx. defies gender segregation. On my skin it smelled of super creamy sandalwood with a coconut tinge. It seemed popular, many people were buzzing about it.

That’s it for a round-up of 1st day at Pitti Fragranze. When you attend it for a few years there comes a moment when you realize that year by year you smell less perfume and you spend more time talking to people. We gradually become closer friends so it wouldn’t feel right to cut out the conversation after a few minutes. Yet I think I did my best and tried a decent number of new releases, especially on 2nd day of the show. More of Pitti report coming soon! Stay tuned!

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Numerous emotions of Pitti Fragranze 2016 – part 1

A true jewel in a crown of my great Italian holidays was a visit to Florence, a third one in my life, in order to attend Pitti Fragranze – an international fair that opened its doors for all fragrance enthusiasts for 14th time. I got to Florence from Bologna by train in the afternoon of September 8th. My AirBnB was really close to the Firenze Santa Maria Novella station so it took me maybe 15 minutes of walking to find the address. It surely was a really hot afternoon.

Few hours later Megan – my fragrance companion for the last editions of both Esxence and Pitti, made her arrival in the city. She called me when she got to her place & we decided to meet for a late dinner to eat something good and to discuss what do we want to see and smell during the fair. Our lists were quite similar which was perfect for walking and smelling the perfume together. We were really excited about the next morning that would mark opening of the fair.

Day 1 – 9th of September

On the previous night I didn’t sleep very well because of the warm night and surely because of my excitement too. But a thought of all new perfume releases waiting for me made me feel pumped up, so I didn’t feel tired at all. Shortly before 10 AM I headed for Stazione Leopolda where Pitti takes place. I was staying only 5 minutes away from it which was very convenient. This year I could either wait in a queue to get a printed press pass or I could quickly download a Pitti app on my phone and have my pass in digital version. Even though I wanted a printed pass as a token from the fair, I decided to use a pass on my phone in order to save time. A quick scan and I was inside.

Minute after minute the place was getting more busy and buzzy that at some point it was like a perfumed beehive. First booth that attracted our attention belonged to Olivier Durbano. His stand was decorated with blue bottles and necklaces that served as a display for his new perfume #12 – Lapis Lazuli, a fragrance about the Sky Stone. It was a lovely aromatic perfume with smoke, iris, rose, spices and unusual accord of wheat. And sapphire-like color of the juice is just gorgeous.

Next I made it to the stand of Maison Gabriella Chieffo. As usual her display was attracting attention. Decorated with black branches and little nests that were housing bottles of this brand’s creations. Main focus was made on a new launch called Taersia – a smoky tuberose twisted with myrrh, ginger and coffee. I found this perfume to be pretty interesting even though I don’t like tuberose in general. Since Taersia is about falling in love, Gabriella asked her guests for photos of them with a face expression associated with this feeling. She then used these photos to hang on wooden branches to enrich the display. I liked the idea of a stand evolving after time.

Then I was almost literally “grabbed” by a representative of this new Spanish brand from Barcelona named 27 87 Perfumes. They debuted half a year earlier and have three fragrances: #Hashtag, Elixir de Bombe and Wanderlust. I liked the latter one the most, since it smelled like a playful variation of a freshness of mint toothpaste. These perfumes definitely stick to a modern perfumery concept that seem to be targeted more towards younger perfume lovers and millennials.

Right opposite was a stand of my friend Angela Ciampagna who arranged her collection in a fantastic way. It looked like a mix of laboratory equipment with glass flasks but what really caught my eye were these little cage-like domes with perfumes and plants inside of them. They really gave a pretty nice visual effect. Angela still focuses on Cineres CollectionIgnes and Fauni and no new perfumes were introduced at Pitti, which is good. No need to rush things.

Later I stopped at the stand owned by Nicolai. During my holidays I got an email from them with a press release of an upcoming fragrance. This fragrance was a main attraction of the brand during the fair. After a brilliant Oud Sublime introduced half a year ago, Patricia de Nicolai played with oud again and created Incense Oud – a smoky and woody variation of this raw material. The quality here definitely exceeds many other oud fragrances that are available on the market right now.

Then I briefly met with Neela Vermeire of Neela Vermeire Creations. She sprayed some of her new fragrance named Rahele on my arm and simply told me to walk around with it for some time and smell it every now and then to check how it develops. She was having an appointment so I walked away. But I will be able to tell you more from NVC in my report from day 2 as I had a booked meeting that day. I’m glad I did that. She’s always busy so it was good to have 30 minutes for us.

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After that I wandered into a Kaon box (remember that brands at Pitti don’t have a separate booth for each but are grouped together by their Italian distributor). I noticed that our favorite couple: Julien and Madalina from Jul et Mad are free, so I rushed to say hi and to discover their novelty. A year and a half after Les Whites were introduces, a couple finally revealed their new scent. Secrets du Paradis Rouge is their another collaboration with perfumer Luca Maffei and was inspired by the couple’s honeymoon in Morocco. It’s a beautiful gourmand-ish creation with lots of orange blossom, mild spices and flowers. It’s delightful and will smell great in a colder weather.

Then I took a break from sniffing (not really!) and I went to a lecture from the RAW series (it was initiated last year with bergamot) that in 2016 edition was focused on patchouli. The entire conference room was decorated with patchouli plants in decorative pots. People from Mane Fragrances told us about history, cultivation, harvest process and all things related to obtain patchouli in a sustainable way. Then we learned about different extraction methods that can be used on patchouli. As those were discussed, blotters with mentioned patchouli extracts were being spread around the room so that everyone could smell them. The odor profiles were varying from a dirty, earthy smells, through something more woody and finishing on more fruity facets or even ones that smelled almost like a laundry. Very weird impression. Then a topic moved on to chypre genre and they let us smell some actual perfumes with different patchouli extracts.

Wiser with some knowledge about patchouli I stopped to say hi to Nicolas Chabot, founder of Le Galion and Aether. Of course there was a purpose of that visit as some time earlier that year I learned that the brand is working on a new masculine fragrance. And there it was, waiting for me to smell it. The perfume name is Sang Bleu and it’s an uber manly chypre. It’s a very rugged and sexy fragrance paired with an attractive visual from Robert Greco. It presents a naked, hairy & muscular men – ideal candidate to wear Sang Bleu I guess.

In the same area there was Celine Verleure of Olfactive Studio, so after I finished talking to Nicolas, I smoothly started a talk with her. After a rather succesful fund-raising she was proud a new bottle design the brand will be using from now on. She was also really keen on introducing me to Close Up, a new scent made in collaboration with Annick Menardo. It’s a beautiful and multi-faceted oriental amber perfume. I’m sure it will bloom beautifully on skin in the winter.

It’s always great to meet Arquiste founder Carlos Huber since perfumes appearing in his line are always worth attention. For this year editions he worked again with Rodrigo Flores-Roux. The results are 2 fragrances inspired by Armando’s Le Club in Acapulco of 1978: Él for him and Ella for her. The first one is a full-fledged spicy and woody fougere for real men (with hairy chest as a must!) while Ella is a chypre-floral with some animalic side to it. People will like these two.

Then I made a quick stop by a stand of Aedes de Venustas where I was introduced to their new creation. Grenadille d’Afrique is a complete opposite of previous Cierge de Lune. It’s very dark, heavy, woody but almost oily. It polarized me and it’s something that I would probably not wear on a daily basis; but people will crave for it as it’s a perfume that you just cannot stay indifferent to.

Later in the afternoon I managed to meet with Andy Tauer. He belongs to that group of people who are so popular among perfume lovers that they are basically busy for the entire day and are hard to find without someone at their stand. When I came he was finishing a meeting with someone so I jumped just after that. Andy showed me his 2 new pieces. One of them belongs to a Tauerville collection and it’s a Tuberose Flash while the other is from regular Tauer Perfumes line. That one is named Au Coeur du Desert and is a revisited L’Air du Desert Marocain. This new interpretation is even stronger and more intensive, made in extrait de parfum concentration.

That pretty much sums up what I discovered during the first day of Pitti Fragranze 2016. When the clock reached 18:00 marking the end of day 1, everyone was invited for cocktails, drinks and snacks at Numbers & Flowers party. During day one I also went to one more presentation and visited few more brands. I will include them in next part so that they can have similar text volume. In the evening Megan and I had a dinner together. Then I slept like a baby.

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