15 aprile 2018

Esxence 2018: Scent Diary #1

I scouted quite a few other intriguing new perfumes from Esxence 2018 as I also posted on ÇaFleureBon. Here it is my report about fun and trends to be followed soon by more insights.
The tenth edition has been a celebration of the community that through the years Esxence has been able to gather” said the bad girl of perfumery Sarah Colton introducing the panel Ten Years of Esxence – Assessing the Dividends & Planning the Future. And what best gathers the perfume bad girls and boys for some real fun more than an Esxence official Gala?

Fun with perfumer Alex Lee
This year’s Cocktail Prolongé & DJ Set was held at Circolo Filologico, an amazing art nouveau building at the very heart of Milan and the dress code was “a touch of gold”, many inspirations that in a way reflect the upcoming trends in fragrances, but I will talk about it later.
To spice up the opening cocktail Silvio Levi invited Hilde Soliani who is famous for her lip-smacking concoctions as much as for her dramatic temperament that led her into theatrical incursions. Also the buffet had a touch of gold as the saffron laden; fragrant Milanese risotto (my favorite edible gold indeed!) was served. While the music started pumping and lights dimmed everybody rocked the dance floor. Let the fun start!

The Perris Montecarlo booth
Perfectly matching with “a touch of gold”, let me name the Calabrian gold, Bergamot from Reggio to introduce the first trend emerging from Esxence 2018: Zest is Best. The brightest example of this trend is the White Collection introduced by Perris Montecarlo. Mandarino di Sicilia and Cedro di Diamante are simply joyful but the real gem is Bergamotto di Calabria where Gian Luca Perris and Luca Maffei exploit rare traditional and high-tech specialties like the unique bergamot oil sponged the old way from top notch producer Capua 1880 allied to the fruity freshness of Himalayan Timur pepper Mane introduced last fall at Pitti Fragranze.

Antonio Aleesandria's Sicilian lemons
I enjoyed a few sneak sniffs and loved the thirst-quenching Fara by Antonio Alessandria debuting next fall, this trend is definitely going to stay for longtime. You can swear it’s true when even a full frontal oud based brand like The House of Oud takes a depart in its new line THOO, an uplifting trio of eaux which star is a beautiful blue tea and chamomile themed concoction The Time signed by perfumer Cristian Calabrò. In fact after more than ten years of Arabian gold galore where (real and fake) oud has leaked from the most expensive attars down to the cheapest drugstore shower gel, people now long for more luminous fragrances letting the Middle Eastern most coveted wood finally rest as just one of the ingredients in the perfumer’s palette.

Circolo filologico milanese (via repubblica.it)

L'Iris de Fath
Along with oud, there’s a departure from monolithic Orientals in favor of another rising trend: Timeless Elegance. Best in show of this multifaceted refinement is the extrait de parfum L’Iris de Fath, the stunning restoration of the fragrant chimera known as Iris Gris which I will review later. Neela Vermeire Creations has always made a statement of French refinement and this is again true of the new bubbling leathery iris in Niral. This classicism now radiates also from the sage laden carnal snuggle of Aedes de Venustas Musc Encensé which muskiness perfectly complements the stained glass ceiling of Circolo Filologico.
Timeless elegance meets glowing florals in Cornaline, the latest tempting introduction by Anatole Lebreton which captures the carrot orange mellowness of the stone dipped in a sundrenched ylang ylang harmony. Exploring a pillar of masculine elegance, perfumer Fanny Bal pours in Masque Milano (homage to) Hemingway all the charme of the 1950s thanks to the crystal-clear mineral nuttiness of a special Laboratoire Monique Rémy vetiver heart extraction. Even a Master Chopper of scratchy woods like Arturetto Landi smoothed his axe under the artistic direction of Silvio Levi in the avant-garde leathery green Calé Sottosopra.

EDI - Essenza Design Italiano
The floral trend continues to grow now also boosted by this desire for lightness. An exquisite embodiment of the updated jeune fille en fleur is the new Eau d’Italie Fior Fiore created by Master Perfumer Olivier Cresp. Creative Director Marina Sersale took inspiration from the jasmine trellis decorating the exclusive Hotel Le Sirenuse champagne bar to portray a luminous spring romantic date in Positano. Another discovery in this emerging trend is the ethereal violet in Tonatto’s EDI Essenza Design Italiano was created as a site specifi perfume for Triennale Design Museum in Milan and is housed in a light arcades flacon by Designer Astrid Luglio. You know Flower Power prevails when a fabric inspired brand Uèrmì launched its first outspokenly floral, OR±DAMASK, a soft rose by Master Perfumer Maurice Roucel.

DI SER booth
Together with these trends, as the “Middle Eastern big sillage” fades out the concept of Terroir taked the stage. First, Australia which in the last years gained an international audience with brands like Naomi Goodsir (who just won a French FIFI 2018 for Nuit de Bakelite), Grandiflora and Map of the Heart. Fort & Manle and GoldField & Banks are newer brands that continue to define “Aussie style”. Japanese brands like Miya Shinma and DI SER with their unique and precious perfumes based on uncompromising contrasts are also defining a “J-style” far from the western fragrant cliché of the Rising Sun.

Homoelegans booth
Usually relying on cupcakes, macarons and popcorn smells, gourmands have become a staple in perfumery. Now finally, the quest for less obvious perfumes marks a neo-gourmand wave. You can feel it sipping the turmeric infused milk of Gabriella Chieffo Lattedoro (inspired by resilience and serenity, other ongoing themes) or the Persian nan-e badami cookies in Isabey Tendre Nuit. The most refined delicatessen served at Esxence though is the latest Homoelegans Ivre de vie where Maurizio Cerizza depicts La Môme in Paris smashing a bunch of red roses on freshly baked baguettes and a glass of Bordeaux.

Wild Society fragrant suitcase
Special mention goes to perfumes & suitcases. Since I saw more than one booth featuring both, I suspect we’ll see in the future more about fragrant travelers. Worth mentioning is The Different Company owner Luc Gabriel’s latest project called Wild Society – Le parfum en liberté which offers affordable travel solutions for perfume lovers. Created by perfumer Emilie Coppermann, Nubes is a refreshing mix of earth and sparking notes that definitely makes your nose craving for more journeys and adventures.

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