It’s the most wonderful time of the year (bim bom bim bom)… it’s the Esxence time! The true Christmas for every perfumista. The time when we all can channel our inner child in a toy shop a.k.a. do nothing but play with perfumes and eat tiramisu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sounds heavenly? Because it is a true heaven on Earth. In Milan to be exact.
This year’s edition was also very special, because for the first time Esxence presented a niche beauty selection (a separate post is coming soon). This particular post will be a super short summary of new perfume releases, brand discoveries and trends. I most likely smelled over 100 perfumes so seriously. Give me some to write more in-depth and thorough reviews.
New hot releases
There were couple of new launches that I really enjoyed. Of course Splendiris from Dusita was a blind must. So sorry for the spoiler, but it is an enchanting fragrance, which for sure goes to my wishlist. I personally was blown away by Tassili from Maison Rebatchi (a lively herbal leather) and Dodo from Zoologist Perfumes (a fougere lychee). Spirito by Meo Fusciuni (click here for the interview) was also highly talked about. It was interesting to smell Houbigant’s new Collection Privee with a modern spin of brand’s 1913 classic – Quelques Fleurs. Also Dorin released an updated edition of Un Air de Paris in order to celebrate 130th anniversary of constructing the Eiffel Tower. I know, I know. The fans of original formulas might be hesitant, but don’t worry. Neither Houbigant nor Dorin butchered their classic fragrances. Just gave them a modern update.
But surprisingly, the brand that got everyone talking was Olfactive Studio. I cannot count how many times I heard ‘you absolutely must go to Olfactive Studio’s counter’ or ‘have you tried Olfactive Studio’s flowers yet?’. The flowers were: Violet Shot (still unfinished), Iris Shot (sorry, but Dusita still wins) and Rose Shot (more roses coming!). Olfactive Studio is of course known for connecting perfumes with photography, which leads me to my next point.
An interdisciplinary approach
Recently more perfume brands start to link the world of scents with another sense. Thanks to this interdisciplinary approach I listened to a either a special piano composition (Santal Piano by L’orchestre) or live harp performance (Triskell by Anima Mundi) while sniffing new fragrance. However the biggest highlight was, without any doubt, the presentation of Keep Glazed by The House of Oud. For this launch arabic brand collaborated with renowned Canadian Haute Patisserie. Miss Ksenia Penkina created a sublime and highly sophisticated dessert inspired by notes of fragrance and appearance of the bottle. Trust me, it was really delicious.
Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose
After last year’s red bottle craziness (read more) now the red flower is on top. I do not exactly know how and when, but rose became really trendy. The last couple of years iris seemed to be a number one flower, but well… Enough is enough, right? And honestly, as a big rose lover, I ain’t mad at it. There’s a Place by Francesca Dell’Oro, Experimentum Crucis by Etait Libre d’Orange or, Lover Kills by Masque Milano and many more. All those fragrances were all about different incarnation of a rose. Even Nez the Olfactory Magazine dedicated a special edition issue to the rose. But my personal favorite was Rose De Mai by Perris Monte Carlo – a very fresh, wet and slightly ‘cold’ rose. Just stunning!
Not just Italy and France
As Luca Turin in Perfumes the Guide quite rightly pointed out, France and Italy are loosing their monopoly on perfume world. Thanks to this each year we can discover more and more international brands. I was so pleased to be introduced to Goldfield & Banks – a fantastic niche brand from Australia. Unlike the last Pitti, there was not a single brand from my native Poland, but at least Switzerland had an extremely strong representation of Anima Mundi, Perfume.Sucks and Perris Swiss Laboratory skincare brand.
For someone who is constantly on a hunt for new niche brands this Esxence edition was quite disappointing. Sure Jardin de Parfums from the UAE had a nice range of creations. But there was nothing revolutionary, nor breathtaking. Luckily during a private viewing I was introduced to interesting french-american project called Sous le Manteau. With sleek, genderless packaging, without any gold or jewels their creations spoke for themselves. From The Love Test that one has to take in order to determine, which fragrance suits one the best to high quality of ingredients everything seems to be extremely well curated about this brand. But then again this brand exists since 2016 and some of you probably know their creations quite well.
For me it was the first time on the Esxence and definitely not the last. Now with a desk filled with goodies, clean nose and mind I am ready to further discover many fragrances that I mentioned. Esxence thank you for having me and see you next year!
Love, Kasia xx