Pitti Fragranze 2014: news and impressions.

Florence, which is always so full of Americans, is the most beautiful in September when the famous fair-event for all perfume lovers Pitti Fragranze takes place. However, as we know, all good things come to an end, and naturally Pitti wasn’t an exception. Three days (with only Saturday open to the public) this year could count more than 200 brands which presented perfumes, skincare products and selective accessories. A great variety of new launches, bags of samples and, most importantly, the possibility to chat with the noses have been a priceless experience, enough to fill the weekend with sun and happiness.

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Even if the brand has been known since 2011, I discovered it only last Sunday (better late than never). Ys-Uzac is a Switzerland based company, especially (as they told me) loved by Russians. Their complex compositions contain black currant, angelica root, mint, mushroom, smoke and hay notes, which is also what a typical Lithuanian childhood is made of. Each fragrance has a story behind it represented by the name. The design is solid and attractive, the scents are intriguing, the overall impression is more than positive. The newest Ys-Uzac release is this gorgeous Sacre du Printemps. Shortly I’m going to write a more explicit review on all seven fragrances (+Dragon Tatoo).

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Histoires de Parfums presented their new Opéra collection. Carmen is saffron, white flowers, incense and wood. La Dame de Pique is loaded with dark spices, amber, patchouli and leather.

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Turandot is basically about jasmine, orange blossom and patchouli. Norma – aldehydes, ylang-ylang and smooth resins. Lastly, Madame Butterfly expresses its Japanese nature through mandarin, iris and musk. Such an interesting metaphor comparing art with jewels inevitably raises curiosity and encourages to re-study the famous opera pieces to compare the fragrance with the characters. Art inside art. Maybe it could change the angle we used to look from to classics?

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Amouage and their new Journey: the feminine version is fresh and apricoty, revealing warm notes of honey and spices. Extremely feminine, deep, comfortable. Journey for men is more classic, harder, more peppery, has more citrus and wood. The heart opens with tobacco leaves, juniper berries and finally tonka bean turns everything into a divine balsam.

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My beloved Etat Libre d’Orange with Rien Intense Incense must have shocked the sensitive souls. Even the leaflet warns you to apply the product with caution, and there’s a reason for that. The black bomb is loaded with incense, hard leather, spices, amber and patchouli. Oakmoss and musk lift the whole compositon in the air and iris softens it up. Dark as tar, strong as black magic, crawling in circles like a witche’s cat. But suddenly pssss… and everything turns into smoke.  

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Heeley and 100% natural Vetiver Veritas. Slightly bitter, green and smelling of mate.

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Tauer Perfumes with the marvelous gardenia – Sotto La Luna Gardenia. The extremely interesting content smells both of mushrooms and cookies. Somewhat gourmand. The base leaves a warm tonka bean cloud. Andy Tauer announced that next year he’s going to present a perfume dedicated to hyacinth, and in 2016 we should expect tuberose. Can’t wait.

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Another gardenia was launched by the deadly Parisian Robert Piguet. Their Gardenia is a real touch of class and elegance. Ylang-ylang makes it smooth and leather with wood give it that royal quality all Piguet fragrances are famous for.

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“Our perfumes are round”, – says Mona di Orio and changes the famous cube with a champagne cap into smooth oval bottles. At the same time they release the masculine (and Mona’s favourite) Lux and the feminine Nuit Noire. New launches are Orris Fontana and Myrrh Casati. Having sampled both, I remain loyal to my favourite ones – the lemon-and-sugar tuberose and Violette Fumée.

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Miller Harris presents La Fumée Collection, decorated with real gold. Four new fragrances are Arabie, Classic, Ottoman and Maroc. The latter is extremely nice: what would be better for the cool autumn days than a warming scent of dried fruits, honey and incense?

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Penhaligon’s with Trade Routes Collection, dedicated to London, represents the rarest treasures in dizzying abundance; London was the Warehouse of the World. Innocent and naive as an English girl Empressa, spicy Levantium and classic fougère Lothair.

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Grossmith and Sylvan Song, which will be sold only at Fortnum&Mason in London. It smells of extremely graceful incense and flowers, decorated china and the elegance of Lady Violet.

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The black lady Diane Pernet has finally released her perfume line, even blacker and with more spiders. Heavy compositions of patchouli and wild strawberries are quite macabre and exaggerated. However, with such an extravagant creator one simply couldn’t expect something modest. To Be Honest is worth a second try.

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Byredo and their pleasant dusty fruits in Mojave Ghost.

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Jardins d’Ecrivains’ divine candle Memento Mori. A must have.

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Other discoveries to be reviewed separately: perfume through pharmacy in Peccato Originale, Southern Italy in Gabriella Chieffo‘s creations, the elegant French company Paul Emilien and Antonio Alessandria‘s Hommage à la lune mysterious trilogy. Other interesting releases are Lalique, Inspiritv and Carrière Frères candles, pampering La Sultane de Saba body scrubs and Eau d’Italie body and home line. Moreover, Pitti Fragranze every year comes up with a special installation. This time we saw Verba Olent – a hanging exhibition of many different books and excerpts talking about scents and perfumes.

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Chandler Burr made a speech on Aedes de Venustas and had a discussion with the Italian journalist Giovanna Zucconi on her freshly launched home fragrances and perfumes as a form of memory.

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Pitti Fragranze 2014 has been a wonderful event with an unusually strong rise of international visitors. It’s only good news if high quality niche fragrances are expanding not only onto the shelves of selective stores but also in our (dark!) wardrobes/drawers/or wherever we keep our small pleasures. There’s a wide variety of choices to meet the cold 2014 season decently. Don’t get caught unprepared. There’s nothing better than to smell good.

Images – Fragrantica, Style, Pitti Immagine

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