First day at Pitti Fragranze was a great one. Maybe I didn’t smell as many new things as I had planned but on the other hand I very much enjoyed the possibility of meeting friends again. There’s a certain group of people there that I’m very fond of and no matter if they are introducing a new perfume or not I’m always happy to spend some time talking to them. It’s a great way to learn how they’ve been for the last 6 months, how was their last perfume received on the marked after an official launch. It’s also a great occasion to get a little preview of their new projects.
Even though I spend a bigger part of Friday on many friendly conversations and meetings, my inner perfume radar was working at its best. So during day 1 I did a reconnaissance of the entire expo area and took mind notes of booths I definitely had to visit the next day. After a lovely Friday evening with friends a Saturday came and I had a plan in my mind as to how I was going to manage my time effectively and do a lot of sniffing. At the end of the day I was quite happy with a result.
I started the day by visiting Grandiflora. Flower shop of the same name is run by Saskia Havekes in Sydney, Australia & couple of years ago they made a decision to branch into perfumery that focuses on flowers. I’ve heard of this brand but never tried their fragrances, so now was a perfect opportunity. Especially that this was the 1st time Grandiflora came to Pitti. Their stand, decorated by tons of flowers was definitely the most beautiful one out there. The brand has changed their previous packaging to a 50 ml black glass bottle. Their newly launched creation is called Boronia and features a note of this Australia native flower. Bertrand Duchaufour is the perfumer. However my favorite was Queen of the Night, a beautiful take on night-blooming cereus.
Right next to them there was a stand of Uermi, a brand that creates fragrances inspired by various types of fabric, both traditional and more modern ones. Their latest collaboration with Cecile Zarokian brought Or Kanabo to their offer. It’s inspired by a fabric obtained from hemp. The perfume is earthy, rooty and smoky. Definitely not my favorite from them but I can see people liking it.
While exploring the area of Stazione Leopolda I almost missed Nomenclature. They got very little exhibiting spaces, were hidden behind a front table that displayed a different brand & sadly I didn’t meet brand creators either. After being ignored by their distributor for quite a while someone finally noticed me so I could ask to get a chance to smell Holy_wood (tester was actually hidden and presentation bottle was a spoof). The perfume is a Clearwood™ bomb and not what I hoped for. It’s a modern, synthetic patchouli fraction but I expected it will be more balanced with rose. But it’s not.
Profumi del Forte prepared 2 new creations that were launching at Pitti Fragranze. Vetiver Moderno was a nice composition that didn’t have that much of vetiver that one would think just by looking at its name. It features notes like lemon, carnation, iris, lavender and other notes. And of course vetiver too. Second composition is named Toscanello. It had a lot of rum, coffee, cocoa and tobacco as well. It was rather sweet, sticky and rather straight in your face. Definitely not my kind of thing.
Miller et Bertaux presented Indian Study / Santal +++, a very woody and dry fragrance flavored with chai spices. I actually don’t remember the smell, as the only thing a person responsible for the stand did was handing out paper strips. No storytelling about the perfume and its inspiration.
Few steps away was a stand of Italian brand Laboratorio Olfattivo represented by their distributor Kaon. They were proudly announcing the arrival of a new fragrance in their portfolio. This novelty is named Vanhera and was created by perfumer Luca Maffei. His 3rd perfume for this house is a dark, kind of dirty vanilla blended with multiple spicy notes. On the first impression it was a like but not a love, but at the moment I won’t have a chance to give it a try at home, because they didn’t have any samples left. I think my favorite of his creations has nothing to worry about.
Right opposite was situated another stand. But it wasn’t just a normal stand. It was a triple stand of 3 different lines owned by just 1 perfumer. If you thought of Pierre Guillaume – you were right. At this one booth you could meet Parfumerie Generale, Huitieme Art and Phaedon. But first things first. Parfumerie Generale presented new addition to their rework series: 5.1 Suede Osmanthus. I quite liked the combination of apricot-smelling osmanthus with a fuzzy suede note. Huitieme Art replaced their ‘cyclops’ bottle with same bottle that is used for PG but it’s covered with black on the inside. New Aqaysos was nice but it’s far from beating Shermine, my favorite in this line. Phaedon had new Ilanguara on display. It had lots of ylang combined with resins, balms and woods.
I like La Parfumerie Moderne for a while now and was always captivated by the fact that each of their perfumes is meant to evoke the atmosphere of a different hotel at a specific time in the past. I had a chat with founder of this maison – Philippe Neirinck who told me about the fragrances I didn’t try yet (I was only familar with Cuir X) plus of course I tried their new launch and I can tell you without hesitation that it is amazing. AMAZING! Belles Rives has a real Florentine iris butter, osmanthus, a little bit of vetiver and frankincense. On the skin it smells like an ultra luxurious treatment. Iris here is buttery, creamy but also powdery. Very elegant and sophisticated. It’s one that I definitely want to add to my collection. It’s different enough to add to my other iris perfumes.
At Carthusia stand the visitors willing to smell a new fragrance were in for a huge surprise. The brand is known for creating fragrances that are more light and usually feature many traditional floral, herbal or citrus notes. But not this time. Terra Mia composed for them by Luca Maffei is a very heavy gourmand. It overflows with coffee and hazelnut cream enhanced by pink pepper, orange blossom and ambery notes. To my personal taste it was way too much and I don’t think I will try to convince myself to give it a full day wear. Quick Sniffs will be as far as I can cope with this scent.
Technique Indiscrete appeared this year at Pitti Fragranze thanks to donations of this brand’s fans as the founder started an Indiegogo campaign in order to raise money to afford a costly exhibiting space. But he made it & thanks to that everyone could try some of new works of Libertin Louison. Unfortunately he was quite busy talking to someone any time I tried to talk to him myself, so at least I tried Sanguis Terrae and Fleur de Papier without learning more about them. I liked the latter one.
Then I had a meeting with Pissara Umavijani, creator and perfumer of Parfums Dusita. I’m sure you’re familiar with her since she does many activities on social media and is a very beautiful woman too. Her team was focusing on La Douceur de Siam and Le Sillage Blanc that are still relatively new on the market. However those who are considered friends of Pissara were given a little preview of her new creation. Fleur de Lalita is a wonderful perfume, just as expected of Pissara. I don’t want to go into any details since it was only a preview and not a single bottle of it exists yet – she only had few travel sprays of it. There’s a high chance that it will be launched in spring 2018 during Esxence.
Any Esxence or Pitti wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t have a chance to talk with Neela Vermeire, a head of Neela Vermeire Creations. I love talking to her because she is always very honest and expects the same from the other person. So we talked about the new perfumes launching at Pitti, a little bit about the industry, about life and problems we face. She also answered my straightforward question that she and Bertrand Duchaufour are working on something new, so get ready for a surprise from NVC, probably around Esxence time as well. Her friendship means a lot to me.
Final steps led me to Unscent, a separated part of Pitti Fragranze where you can meet the brands represented by Intertrade. Their motto for this year was ‘fragrance is who you are’. As much as I like the concept and that they come up with different layout and decorations each year, I don’t like the fact that you can hardly find someone to talk to, if you wanted to learn about inspirations behind certain fragrances. Brand creators are not there, but neither are disribution representatives.
For the very last I went (this time with Megan) to smell the perfumes of Francesca Bianchi. She’s from Italy but lives in the Netherlands nowadays. She’s also a nose behind her brand. With Megan we both found the fragrances rather interesting. I liked Angel’s Dust the most while she was more fond of The Dark Side. On the other hand Sex and the Sea is the one that is selling best.
And that’s how 2nd day of Pitti Fragranze came to an end. Sunday, a final day of the show was also a day when I was going to return to Poland. I appeared at Stazione Leopolda only to bid farewell to old friends and new friends. This adventure, as well as my summer holidays were about to end. With good memories and a little smile on my face I was sitting on a bus to the airport in Bologna. My flight was delayed 2 hours due to technical issues but in the end I arrived home late in the evening. Sharing my impressions with you was a great joy, as it allowed me to re-live my adventures in Italy and the perfume fair in Florence. I’m sure that reviews of new perfumes will bring lots of joy to us all.