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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 2 of 3

First day at Esxence was really exciting. I was back in Milan and I was happy I could meet again with all my friends who run different perfume brands with different concepts and ideas in their mind. That was just day 1, the next days were supposed to bring even more fun.

DAY 2 – 1st of April

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I began that day by stopping by a booth of Anais Biguine. I was intending to visit her the day earlier but she was very busy each time I was passing by. At the very beginning of the day her display was not so crowded yet so we got a chance to talk. At the central part of her area there was a Jardins d’Ecrivains display. On the right there was Les Cocottes des Paris trio and left side was dedicated to her new brand – Gri Gri, three perfumes inspired by the art of tattooing your skin. They are named Moko Maori, Tara Mantra and Ukiyo-E. My favourite was the latter one made in Japanese style, then I liked Tara Mantra with intensive saffron.

The next stop was at the small but eye-catching stand of Olivier Durbano. He didn’t present a new perfume at the moment as he tends to introduce his launches at Pitti but he had a gorgeous display. At the front table there were shiny bowls filled with water with perfumes standing on top of a transparent cubes – that gave the impressions as if the flacons were on top of the water surface. At the shelf in the back he had his extraits lined up as a rainbow and there were also necklaces of Olivier’s design. On the wall there were many scarves with prints also made by him.

The next brand, one that I never got to try before was American line Coolife. They had 3 fragrances so far and just introduced 4th one, Le Quatrieme Parfum. In the end the line will consist of 7 scents, each one dedicated to a different chakra. I quite enjoyed some of their perfumes during a very brief test on paper, so I will have to definitely try them on skin at some point.

Later I visited a nicely decorated stand of Premiere Note. This brand appeared on the market in 2015 with 5 compositions. The idea of this brand is that the perfumes are made as simple as possible because they are meant to be layered with each other in order to create more complex blend that will also have some uniqueness as it will be the wearers decision how many sprays of which fragrance are they going to mix with another one. I have never been a fan of perfume mix-n-match concept but to each their own. However I liked their 2 novelties: Ambre Kashmir and Himalayan Oud. They were richer, more oriental and definitely more complex.

Now off to a little break from sniffing. I made my way to the conference room to participate in a talk titled “what is the future of niche in France?” Pascal Caussat (NEZ – The Olfactive Magazine journalist) and his 4 guests: Francois Duquesne (Beauty Enterprise), Francois Henin (Jovoy), Renata Faizutdinova (Sensunique) & Johann Vitrey (Intertrade Europe) had a fierce discussion centered around brands like L’Artisan Parfumeur or Juliette Has a Gun and their availability at Sephora. Together with people sitting in the audience we tried to come up with what niche really means nowadays. Unfortunately no final version was made as we were out of time.

Next I had a quick stop at the booth of Hadarah, a brand from UAE. The bottles were really glossy with many golden elements. I was introduced to a full line but none of the fragrances really attracted my attention. I kind of fell like the visual part of the brand must be the crucial way of drawing potential customers.

After looking for another brand I could smell I have found the ideal place for my nose, the stand of UNUM. Now this was one of the most strange displays at Esxence. Their entire area was covered with bubble wrap and it was enveloped by a mysterious atmosphere of darkness since there was not much light, except of a big black table with top that was also the source of light. The contrast of that light and black bottles was kind of creating the dramatic effect and darkness of the stand. Filippo Sorcinelli introduced 2 new creations: Ennui_Noir and Symphonie-Passion. Both were interesting and coherent with earlier releases. I still consider Rosa Nigra my favorite from him.

In the afternoon finally it was the time to visit the stand of Masque. Their booth was kind of enclosed, giving visitors somore more privacy when they were talking with brand founders, Riccardo Tedeschi and Alessandro Brun. Their latest fragrance named L’Attesa is a true symphony of iris notes. The opening of bubbly champagne evolves into woody, earthy and kind of rooty iris. It’s powdery and woody at the same time. Perfumer Luca Maffei used an iris absolue with high percentage of irons and he also developed a special material for this fragrance – a CO2 absolute of beer! It gives that rooty, yeast-ish effect that enhances the iris performance in this perfume. It’s a magical creation, something to drool over if you’re an iris fanatic.

Next in line was Uer Mi booth. If you remember from my report from last year, this brand creates perfumes that evoke different fabrics. This year they introduced two new fragrances. Or White and Or Cashmere. The first one is inspired by a new fabric made of milk protein – it smelled very sensual of powdery iris, rich and aromatic tonka and a bit of leather. The other one was more musky and woody, with some rum too. Both fragrances were developed by Cecile Zarokian.

Not moving far away from the topic of Cecile, I came to smell new fragrances in Fath’s Essentialls collection from Jacques Fath. That’s where I met Cecile herself and she gave me an introduction to 4 fragrances she worked on. There was Green Water, based on a fragrance from 1947, a warm and citrusy Vers Le Sud, sensual Bel Ambre and marine Curacao Bay.

Going back to a conference room I came to meet with a friend Sarah Colton (we met during my first Esxence ever) who was introducing her new book titled “Bad Girl’s Perfume.” She entered the room as Beyonce – Run the World was playing. As soon as she started reading excerpts from her book I knew this will be an easy and funny read as at the very beginning she wrote that Biblical Eve was the first bad girl as she made Adam eat the forbidden apple. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay until the end of this presentation because I had a meeting.

A meeting with Puredistance it was, where I grabbed Mary Gooding and we went for lunch and to talk about what’s new. She told me just some small bits about recently announced Sheiduna that will be most likely launched in 6 months from now. It was nice to spend some time with their team, take some photos of bottles, of us and so on.

Affinessence was one of my last discoveries that I made on Friday. Collection called Notes de Fond had a very unique approach of creating a fragrance using only… base notes. The founder believes that a perfume without light top notes and floral heart notes, with only base incorporated into a scent, will make a fragrance last much longer and will leave a long aroma trail behind the wearer. I’m not sure if I agree with that but some perfumes were good, especially Cedre-Iris and Vanille-Benjoin but at 300 EUR per 100 ml bottle I have many doubts.

My last meeting on Friday was with Nicolas Chabot, founder of revived Le Galion and now also a creator of a new brand called Aether. For Le Galion he introduced me to 2 new creations – Cologne, which was an up-to-date interpretation of classic cologne. The other one named Cologne Nocturne was very modern and sophisticated. I liked it a lot. These two were made by Rodrigo Flores-Roux. Aether is the very opposite of Le Galion as it relies purely on synthetic aroma materials. It’s becoming a trend that many start to follow. I have nothing against non natural ingredients and I really liked Rose Alcane.

This will conclude day 2 of my report. In the evening I had a meeting with Tanja Bochnig, Saskia Wilson-Brown (Art and Olfaction Awards) and judges of the awards, since over the course of the day the finalists of this year edition were announced. It was also Tanja’s birthday so I invited her for a dinner. It was late, we were tired but the food was delicious.

As you can see the post has grown really long so I will split day 2 and 3 and will write part 3  of the report separately to cover my final day at Esxence.

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