Tag Archives: Parfums de Nicolai

Perfume paradise of Esxence 2017 – day 2

First day at Esxence was truly exciting. I had a chance to talk to some of my friends (but not all of them yet) plus I managed to meet few new faces. As I was discovering I somehow managed to decide what I liked the most during day 1. I knew there’s still a lot to smell during next two days and I was happy to broaden my horizons. The fun was starting for another day.

Day 2 – Friday, 24th of March

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This day had an early start. Even though Esxence doors were closed until 10:30 in the morning people with passes could enter to get to the conference room as at 9:45 there was a planned talk show titled “The naked truth: Christophe Laudamiel’s Fragrance Manifesto: Liberte, Egalite, Fragrancsite.” Unfortunately the whole thing got a little out of control. It was delayed by 25 minutes. I had to leave in the early stage because I had a meeting. I wish I could stay and get to the clue…

The meeting I rushed to, leaving conference room behind me was with one of my favorite brands – Carner Barcelona. In Milan they were proudly presenting a new series of fragrances called White Collection. 3 fragrances that bear names of Besos, Latin Lover & Sweet William were developed with perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux. These are floral compositions but each is really different. Besos has lots of powdery iris and it dries down to the scent similar to Nivea body cream. Latin Lover features ylang, magnolia and violet. Sweet William has dianthus and iris.

Next I stopped by Volnay stand where I met Muriel Madeleine and I learned that they are showcasing new fragrance called Mimeomai. I remembered it as a pretty fragrance, very positive and suitable for spring. It was a complex blend of spices, woods and floral notes.

After that I went to visit a booth run by Nicolaï. Patricia was busy but their press representative, Damien Flynn found some time to talk. He introduced me to the brand’s latest novelty – Rose Royale. It’s a rather simple eau de toilette, almost like a soliflore. It emanates of gentle, pure and innocent character. What I especially liked about it is pretty accentuated black currant note.

Then I made a stop at big stand that belonged to Histoires de Parfums. It was eye-catching I must say because their stand was made of some sort of paper harmonicas that were able to hold some weight without falling apart. Plus there was some source of light inside that made the paper glow with a warm light. Shame nobody noticed me when I was there to smell their new This is not a Blue Bottle 1.2 and 1.3. So I just smelled them and moved on.

When I felt that my legs are a bit tired I just made a casual stop to chat with Nishane guys or to chat with Pissara. I’m very thankful they had some time for me every day and allowed me to restore some energy at their stands, despite the fact they were so busy all the time. At some point of the day I finally met Val, our one and only cookie queen. I was indeed enamored to meet her again. I knew she was coming but with all the driving to Milan she didn’t make it there on first day. We sat, had a chat and laugh for a while. I also got a personal bag with some cookies (de-li-cious, way too little for my appetite!). As you might expect she was chilling out with Vero Kern a lot.

Just in time when I needed a break from sniffing, it was about time to revisit the conference room and learn something new. I really wanted to hear the next talk. Its title: “Staying ahead: how to remain creative in today’s competitive niche perfumery” (see it here) Lectures like that are really mind opening to my and I can learn a lot from them. Some statements made were quite daring and provoking an opinion exchange which is really the reason of such panel talks.

Later in the afternoon I managed to discover a new brand that had its debut at Esxence 2017. This Italian brand is named Naso di Raza and they had 9 fragrances at the table if I remember correctly. What was getting attention were the caps, as the cubes had some rubber wires protruding from them, forming loops. Luca Maffei and Cecile Zarokian each made 1 fragrance for them. I especially liked Giuseppe (by Luca) which was an abundance of neroli. Very pretty and summery scent.

After that I managed to meet Santiago Burgas Bou of Santi Burgas. He was presenting a new collection of fragrances named Palindrome. Two scents are simply named Palindrome I and II. Both were a bit smoky, resinous and containing a lot of spices. Not a bad stuff at all, especially that they were made together with Rodrigo Flores-Roux.

As the day was passing by I finally experienced one of the happiest people encounters you possibly could imagine. I met Portia of Australian Perfume Junkies. He’s a very energetic and quirky person. There were lots of hugs and smiles when we met. I also brough him a chocolate from Poland which I hope he liked. Even though it was a very short meeting as Portia appeared at The Mall only for 2 hours maybe (he and his partner preferred to do sightseeing in Milan) but I’m glad we finally met in person after so many years of following each other online.

At 15:00 I had a long-awaited meeting with Julien Blanchard and Madalina Stoica-Blanchard, a lovely couple who created Jul et Mad. This spring they introduced to the world their new fragrance children – a brand new series within Les Whites collection. Just like the previous one it consists of 3 fragrances however this time the source of inspiration lies in art, in three different masterpieces. Created by perfumer Stephanie Bakouche (I met her at the stand & it was actually her who told me about the fragrances) are Mon Seul Desir – an oriental blend rich in resins, spices but also with a great amount of osmanthus and orange. Other one made in her studio is Fugit Amor (my favorite) combines ginger,cardamom, carnation and loads of vetiver. With Stephanie we concluded that it smells fantastic on my skin but it also changed drastically on it, as it turned into fougere-like smell that reminded me of high-class barbershop soap. To tell the truth – I loved it! Final one from the atelier of Luca Maffei is Bella Donna a connection of mulberry, rose, jasmine, saffron and numerous other ingredients. It’s intoxicating!

Also on Friday I finally had a chance to discover Berdoues and their Collection Grand Crus. I really liked those simple, rectangular bottles with different patterns printed on the back side of the flacon to distinguish one fragrance from another. They presented new in the line named Maasai Mara, which blends notes of buchu, chamomile and labdanum. A truly interesting and unusual concoction.

at 16:00 I had a meeting with people from Jacques Fath. After this brand has been brough back on the market they continue to do a really good job in terms of creation and originality. This March Rania Barakat Naim, founder of the brand has presented a new collection done in collaboration with Luca Maffei. I’m glad I had a full hour reserved for them because when we sat down and started smelling & when Luca joined us we had many thoughts to exchange. Beautiful fragrances: Rosso Epicureo, L’Oree du Bois, Les Frivolites and Lilas Exquis are housed in simple yet pretty bottles and they have gorgeous colors of the liquid. My favorite was Rosso Epicureo.

Last thing I did on Friday was to meet with Masque Milano team. Their stand, adorned in lots of red looked very similar to the previous edition. They had this sort of square box area with a hidden couch that allowed you to sit comfortably and smell the fragrances in more peaceful environment. At the stand I met Alessandro Brun who invited few more people to come and listen to the story together with me. We’ve gone together through some IFF raw materials and accords used in two new creations from the brand and in the end we smelled perfume. Mandala is a smoky, heavy oriental that basically doesn’t contain any light notes. It just goes straight to the point. Times Square on the other hand is the essence of New York, it smells like make up, lipgloss, street food and city traffic. Bizarre but truly appealing.

In the evening Masque was throwing a party to celebrate their double launch. It was held at the ground floor of 10 Corso Como, a concept store & a cafe restaurant. After meeting friends and having some drinks we decided to stay at the very place for the dinner.

That sums up my experience of second day at Esxence 2017.

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Sweet little gifts – 10 ideas for Christmas

December is here and it’s hard to believe how fast the time goes by. Ready or not ready for it, now is the time to begin the Christmas shopping madness. Here in Poland most shops and galleries were ready for winter Holiday season as early as first week of November. And believe me, I won’t be surprised if this kind of sellers approach easily killed any will of Christmas shopping inside you. Personally I’m done with my shopping since a while ago. But lets not give up faith just yet! Lets hope that Christmas spirit will twinkle in our hearts again when the time is right.

When it comes to giving gifts and presents there are many different approaches. Some like them big & expensive, some like them hand-made, some like to give practical gifts and so on… Personally I especially like those small, sweet little gifts rather than bigger ones. I believe that it’s not a talent to go into a shop and get an expensive gadget they show on tv. Finding something small, useful, meaningful, something straight from the heart requires more exploring than visiting just 1 shop. Those gifts are like lucky charms, with their magic they can warm up your heart even on the most frosty day of Winter. Here are a couple of my ideas for perfumed sweet little gifts.

atelier-cologne-hand

If you’re a fan of Atelier Cologne, or know someone who is a fan of this brand you might want to have a look at their newly launched hand creams. Scented with Orange Sanguine, Pomelo Paradis, Bergamote Soleil and Rose Anonyme they make a nice addition to a morning ritual of perfuming your body. They could be used on your pulse points before spraying to make the fragrance last even longer. Tubes are 30 ml only but believe me – little goes a long way. Big plus for those creams being nicely packed with fragrance, my hands smelled delicious after I used a bergamot one. Cost of 1 tube is €20 / $25 but it’s totally worth if you like the brand. It’s a small self-indulgent treat.

hiram-green-travel

I think that by now we’ve all heard about Hiram Green & many of us have fallen for at least one of his beautiful, extraordinary, all-natural creations. For me the biggest hit in his range is the latest release, Arbole Arbole about which you can read here. If somehow deciding to buy a bottle was a tough decision to make (I agree €135 per 50 ml is not a bargain price) you’ll be happy and probably less hesitating to go for it when you find out that Hiram has recently introduced a travel format of all his creations. It’s a great way to have some of the perfume you love at a more reasonable price. They retail for €39 and are presented in those lovely spray vials. Aren’t they adorable?

eos-lip

Windy Winter days can be pretty damaging for your skin, especially when it’s snowing or hailing. As much as we usually care about our hands and faces by using richer creams that can shield us from cold temperature, we often forget about our lips. With EOS lip balm you won’t! This lip balm comes in a sphere shape and is hidden in a cute colorful packaging that looks like a ball. You can choose between many colors, each representing different aroma/flavor of the balm. Plus they are available in regular, softening, shimmering and SPF variants. And they’re a real cheap thrill!

yves-rocher

Enjoy Christmas atmosphere even when you’re taking a shower, thanks to Holiday specials from Yves Rocher. Indulge yourself with delightful flavors of Clementine & Spices, Cranberry & Almond or Pear & Cocoa. Your body will feel pampered and you won’t have to worry about your waist for these cosmetics don’t have any calories! Each line consists of peeling shower gel, bath & shower gel, hand cream, body lotion, liquid soap and lip balm. Price per product is €4-5.

taketwo

Over the years many of us became true followers of Neela Vermeire and India-inspired perfumes she creates in collaboration with her friend Bertrand Duchaufour. For no particular reason fans of NVC overlook this fabulous gesture towards customers that Neela launched in March/April this year. Take Two is an awesome gift – two vials of a perfume, 15 ml each. They’re packed together in a simple box but additionally each vial comes in a separate mini box. Ideal way to give both to dear perfume friends, or just gift one and… keep the other one for yourself! A set like this costs €125 (EU shipping included). Take Two is available in all NVC scents except Mohur Extrait.

nicolai-candles

Especially for Christmas this year Parfums de Nicolai treats us to 3 lovely candles that will keep everyone in a good mood this Winter Holidays. Composed by Patricia de Nicolai we have Or – a composition of cedar, cinnamon & orange. Myrrhe – which sources from pine, myrrh and liquorice. Finally there is Encens – a blend of benzoin and cistus. They’re bound to keep spirits high.

white-xmas-tea

Christmas without good tea is no Christmas at all. When it comes to tea, apart from buying artisanal blends from local vendor I’m a big fan of teas offered by Harney & Sons. I’m a devoted consumer of their Hot Cinnamon Spice which is a perfect marriage of black tea, orange peel and cinnamon. It’s naturally spicy and sweet, just delicious. This year I’ve found a new contender worth attention, that’s why I have put it on my Christmas wish list. White Christmas Tea is a blend of white tea with almonds, vanilla and cardamom. And that tin is adorable. $10 for 20 sachets.

ritual-of-light

From Rituals… A Ritual of Light limited edition series of cosmetics fragranced with sweet orange and cinnamon. Line includes body cream, shower foam, body scrub + bath foam. Fragrance sticks diffuser, candle and even tea with same scent are available. Every product comes in a lovely packaging that elegantly combines black bottles and jars with a shiny golden caps or lids, all decorated with sparkling stars. Prices vary from €4,5 for tea to €42,5 for a 1000 g candle.

tauer-soap

Tauer Perfumes and Andy Tauer have a treat for all brand enthusiasts – a returning Christmas treat of a luxurious glycerine (transparent) soap. From Tauer website: “Mandarines ambrées is a fragrant delight created around natural red mandarine oil, sweet Messina orange oil and refreshing lemon grass. The citrus chord is balanced with hints of amber gris and lasts wonderfully on skin. The perfume is generously dosed at 4% and will scent also your rooms if unpacked.” I didn’t have a chance to smell it but knowing Andy’s talent it would smell divine. 100 g bar costs almost €14.

chieffo-skincare

Few months ago Maison Gabriella Chieffo developed a new cosmetic line. Perfumed with their best-selling fragrance – Acquasala those products should soothe your senses with a pure, spiritual smell that combines salty & marine notes with incense. Via brand website: “The spiritual, contemplative and regenerating power of Acquasala valorizes the magic of gestures that, through our skin touch our soul with gentle hands”. Available as 100 ml body oil (€42), 300 ml foam bath (€34) and 250 ml body lotion (€42). Each product is packaged in funny, house-shaped box.

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Would you like to find one of those underneath your Christmas tree?

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