Esxence 2014: news and impressions.

There is no doubt that Esxence must be known for everyone who is interested in perfumes. The annual event takes place in Milan and lasts 4 days: the first two are reserved for people who work in the sector and negotiate about purchase and distribution. The last two days are open for all other ordinary mortals – how could one miss such a great opportunity? Even if, in my opinion, the snobbish Esxence atmosphere has nothing to do with lovely and welcoming Pitti Fragranze in Florence, who cares about the atmosphere when there are thousands of perfume bottles waiting for you, each containing a different story to tell?

It is physically impossible to smell everything and even to stop by each exhibitor. It takes just a moment to make your head spin and even perfumes you seemed to know well appear unrecognizable. Enormous effort is put by every brand to present their products in the most appealing manner. Mouilliettes have gone out of fashion: now perfumes are sprayed in Martini glasses, graceful goblets, decanters, ceramic roses, feathers, plastic masks, ties and cloth strips. Not only do such inventions help to save time and (why not?) perfume, but also it is the best way to present the very heart of the perfume skipping (sometimes misleading) head notes.

Now briefly about the most impressive news.

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The always wonderful Etat Libre d’Orange team presented its first cologne. Fresh herbal citrus scent comes in as a breath of fresh air you have been waiting for so long. Where does the trick hide? – my question seemed logical considering what Etat Libre d’Orange are known for. I expected an evil ingredient messing up with the innocent composition.  The irony is that… nothing changes. This cologne is fresh and juicy not only at the beginning. It does not fade away in an hour but stays on skin unchanged always. A nice scent, they say. I agree and include it in my wish list.

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Another fresh perfume for hot summer days is Eau d’Italie Graine de Joie. A good looking red bottle contains redcurrant and pomegranate inside. Musky freesia creates an impression of something clean and crisp, whilst sour berries cheer you up and bring you energy. An nice scent which will definitely be appreciated by many customers, yet a little banal and monotonous. Like red berry Fanta.

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Hudson Yards by Bond No. 9 will reach the shelves in April. I am not a big fan of their so called fresh perfumes, since I would prefer to use them as air fresheners. The latest release is not much different from others: lily of the valley, peppercorn, musky litchi-apples. Not very convincing. However, I once again applaud their wonderful Chinatown and Manhattan.

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Montale has prepared two new releases – Aoud Orange and Aoud Melody. What is wrong with all those neverending oud versions everywhere? Aoud Orange tells everything with its name: it is saffron chypre orange with dry white mouldy patchouli right behind it. Aoud Melody is warmer, spicy with strong sandalwood. The latter is more appealing and acceptable, though I still cannot understand all the buzz about Montale, except the ladies in love with tiny dogs, botox, Chocolate Greedy and Intense Tiare. I still want their Intense Cafe though for next autumn.

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The Different Company new release Une Nuit Magnetique caresses both the nose and the soul. Clear blueberries, plums and fresh ginger with jasmine, rose and tuberose in the heart.  Slow and melancholy, a little stiff and magical – like a navy summer night with chirping cicadas and fern flowers.

 

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The Vagabond Prince with Enchanted Forest. Blackcurrant, basil, vetiver, resins. Russian pancakes with jam and kitschy yet somehow appealing image. The other two – Swan Princess and Land of Warriors had loads of sweet powdery iris (the latter being more interesting thanks to oregano and rhubarb). The fragrances are strong and synthetic, almost brassy. I would gladly take the red one though. For the bottle.

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Orto Parisi perfumes have the nose of Nasomatto founder Alessandro Gualtieri put in them. Allusions to the body odors and fluids are shocking yet interesting. Example – Boccanera with dark chocolate notes and associations with a black fleshy mouth or… anus. “This line is liberation from the chains of civilization and return to our body gardens. ” Try it yourself.

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Carner Barcelona El Born. Chocolate, lollipops, fresh figs. A Spanish smell of contrasts. Sweet and caramelly at the beginning, it soon gets inedible and becomes an idea. Very tempting. I cannot wait to test it again once it is launched, since all Carner perfumes are definitely worth trying. A new discovered love and must have –Tardes.

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Parfums du Château de Versailles with Promenade a Versailles for him and for her. A time machine towards powdered wigs and white socks. To be reviewed soon.

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Other impressive discoveries (better late than never).

Les Parfums de Rosine Rose d’Homme.

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Odin 02 Owari

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Parfums de Nicolaï Musc Intense, Maharanih Intense, L’Eau Chic, Week End

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Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Vitae

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Histoires de Parfums 1725 Casanova

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Caron Parfum Sacré

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Robert Piguet Cravache

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Chanel Bois des Iles

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One of the biggest disappointments – Keiko Mecheri all three Loukhoum versions and her new Bois Satin.

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Some Esxence moments:

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Photos @Esxence @Extrait @Fragrantica

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