20 settembre 2017

Fragranze 15: Scent Diary #01

Florence is renowned for Renaissance art but also for the heat in summer and regular attendees to Pitti Fragranze know it very well. Not this year though as a sudden temperature dip with downpours kept the Stazione Leopolda interior cool and enjoyable. Also the wind of the perfume market is ever-changing and this edition shown the first signs of this. In fact while usually booths are mostly divided by Italian distributors, the current layout was divided by brand so that everything was clearly displayed, easily accessible and with a more international appeal. Notably, visitors and exhibitors from overseas notably increased and Fragranze 15 will be remembered as the Pacific edition with successful offerings from brands from Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Let's see the best starting from my choices for Çafleurebon.

Grandiflora Fragrance
Australia’s blooming brand Grandiflora Fragrance wins the prize for the most eyecatching and busiest booth. Founder Saskia Havekes set an uberchic greenhouse bursting with pink roses, hydrangeas and lush exotic greens to let us plunge our noses into the secrets of flowers. I was smitten by the herbal, narcotic piquancy of the latest addition. Boronia, created with the expensive boronia absolute (as precious as  May rose and thus seldom used in perfumes) and  Bertrand Duchaufour laden with the glorious booziness he’s famous for.

From Australia to New Zealand, the mysterious ways of scent led former winemaker Frances Shoemack to team with perfumer Isaac Sinclair (trained by no less than Master Perfumer Maurice Roucel) in Abel, a now Amsterdam based line of five 100% natural perfumes with a holistic approach. I was so amazed by the contemporary elegance of the concept and the flawless balance of their creations. Instant favorites are the ethereal Golden Neroli brightened by a crisp magnolia and mate accord, and the radiance of Cobalt Amber with its powdery, sweet and salty warmth.

Natural perfumery seems to be slowly but steadily increasing over in Europe and creatives and perfumers feel the magic of it, also because of the wider natural palette available today. Japanese brand DI SER  travels to Florence for the second year in a row,  as a bright example of this, bringing uncommon interpretations of trendy naturals they produce in Japan. Mizu is a lively blast of citric greenness thanks to an outstanding yuzu essence while Adameku is a haiku on the blooming joys of a fall garden built around a top notch osmanthus absolute.

Miya Shinma
Tokyo to Paris quicker than a cologne dab, perfumer Miya Shinma introduces Les Eau de Miya Shinma, a sophisticated palette of five colognes matching different colors. Yamabuki (yellow) is an unusual sunny, ylang-ylang based interpretation of Kerria Japonica, the so called Japanese rose. Also Kikyo (purple) is a stimulating mix of warm spices wrapped in a mysterious chypre base.

East meets West: A special acknowledgment goes to the ikebana live performance Profumi del Forte gave in collaboration with Sogetsu Concentus Study Group. Tuscan master Luca Ramacciotti translated a few fragrances from the brand to Ikebana, bridging so Japanese worship for nature with Profumi del Forte connection with the Versilia beautiful territory. I couldn’t help but asking Luca about his favorite ikebana.
As for perfume, ikebana starts, develops and fades. Both use vegetal materials and it’s interesting to see how ikebana can render a perfume re-creating the main idea, the storytelling or the emotional impact playing with its notes. Here I started from some of the Profumi del Forte Mythical Woods notes like ginger and woods to picture the idea of the color of raspberries and saffron”.

Photo by Rimaldo Serra

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