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Pensive, meditative, soulful, abstract and inspiring perfumes of Pitti, plus two bonuses from Sweden: I started my Pitti Fragranze reports with Roses, moved to Scents, Tastes and Heritage of Mediterranean, and now it’s time for my last Florence 2019 report.

This took a bit longer than usual because I’ve been busy writing a couple of reviews in the meantime, traveling a bit, procrastinating a little, handling my regular work tasks, and generally slowing down as Autumn rolls in.

 

Excuse me, truth is that I simply enjoyed wearing these fragrances and having some ME time with them!

This is just a quick overview – some of these new fragrances I’ve already reviewed, more shall follow:

Francesca Bianchi Perfumes

Two new releases were presented: The Black Knight recently reviewed for ÇaFleureBon here, and Lost in Heaven.

Lost in Heaven is still making me search for the right words: this is a story about innocence lost, adult love and its fragility, and both sides of a coin: lightness and darker hues meet gently in yet another breathtaking creation by Francesca.

She did it again – it’s personal, and yes, there is one accord not officially listed – I’ll tell you all about it when I finish my review.

Parfums Dusita

Pissara Umavijani proudly presented her newest fragrance, semi-officially launched during Pitti and TWFA Cannes: Le Pavillon d’Or.

Mint seems to be trending lately, but Pissara handles it differently, and my first impression was that this fragrance differs from all the previous ones in the line – just like Splendiris, and yet it shares recognizable Dusita‘s DNA.

Le Pavillon d’Or is not about materialistic bling-bling cover-me-in-gold: not that kind of shine. This is all about inner wealth derived from pure happiness and joy of living.

Beautifully blended, starting fresh and green, featuring sweet Heliotrope accord over smooth orris, and including a lush floral-fruity bouquet where Boronia plays a significant role. Fig-leaves accord can be felt too all the way to the quiet, warm drydown shades of frankincense and myrrh combined, pearly-soft, warm, and woody-sweet at the end.

Le Pavillon d’Or feels like gentle and elegant floriental flower petals painted on my skin, and at the drydown I did get a feeling as if I was covered with subtle golden powder, making my skin feel smooth and glowing like honey. It certainly seems like it’s going to bring some joy in cold, damp and dark Winter days approaching!

Mendittorosa

Talento inspired me to write a fable, a fairytale in one single night: the story about Mint and Rose.

You can find the complete review for ÇaFleureBon here, and I’ll spam you a bit more with photos of the bottle, one of the most beautifully executed ones I’ve ever seen, the whole art concept is wonderful inside out:

“Talent is the divine spark of light in us,  Mendittorosa Talento is a fragrant ode to it.

Olivier Durbano Parfums

New: SpeM PetraM, Numbered Limited Edition 2019 Eau de Parfum

inspiration: Maria Magdalena. Soulfulness. Stone of hope.

Poetry:

“Vial of Humanity with a sacred price,

given, received, Talent.

Poured Incense Tears of Joy.”

Olivier came from Grasse to Pitti to exhibit his work, to open his heart and share his creations with perfume lovers, introducing SpeM PetraM.

Spiritual, meditative, and philosophical approach Olivier represents in his fragrances revolves this time around Spikenard/Nard/Muskroot, an ancient perfume ingredient, and all the M’s are a reference to Mary Magdalene. Olivier chose a piece of jewelry to decorate the stand and illustrate the fragrance (see the photo above).

SpeM PetraM is cool and mineral- salty at the beginning, softened by bright incense and smoky woods with an interesting evolution, turning even bitter.

A pinch of sweetness slowly moving in can be felt later, a few rose petals rising out of balsam fir – sprinkled with traces of cinnamon as the fragrance becomes warmer, softer, but still with occasional whiffs of mineral sparkles and dimmed incense protruding every now and then.

Timothy Han

From the award winning debut fragrance She Came to Stay (inspired by Simone de Beauvoir’s 1943 existential novel of the same name) I’ve had a soft spot for Timothy. The Decay of an Angel followed, inspired by Yukio Mishima’s 1971 novel of the same name. Books and perfumes, oh what a joy!

The new fragrance, presented at Pitti is Heart of Darkness – here you can see it’s the source of inspiration, an 1899 novella of the same name. This is a journey by steamer up the Congo River!

Dark, damp jungle woods, sapphire green river water, smoke and leather, wet earth and rain: a broody voyage into unknown.

27_87 Barcelona

Sonar is the newest 2019 release, 6th fragrance in total! This brand doesn’t release dozens of new fragrances per year. One at a time, carefully threading its path – Romy is a smart and dedicated young woman, she’s come to stay.

You can find my 27_87 perfume reviews here, my favorite still being Hashtag (from Now Line, like Genetic Bliss) but Sonar (from Wild Line, together with Elixir de Bombe) is now seriously challenging that position.

Abstract, yet the connection is evident: Sonar is the electric music festival in Barcelona.

The atmosphere is laden with stage smoke, dance trance, people moving around the crowd with glasses of beer in their hands, vibrant joy. It smells like burnt rubber and electric wires on the floor, different kinds of party-till-you-drop scents, and yet it is so refreshing.

I had a chance to smell this fragrance on Romy while it was still in the pre-production phase about a year ago, and I knew that something good is brewing! I’m absolutely thrilled with Sonar!

Completely different tuberose – bright, solar, uplifting, refreshing and very interesting! The more I wear it, the more I like it: “a little party never hurt nobody – come and dive into the strobe light and fume of the night!

27_87 is also introducing small changes in packaging and collections labeling: 87 ml bottles and creative approach remain.

Bonus: From Sweden, With Love

V/siteur

is a new perfume brand founded by Janne Rainer Vuorenmaa from Sweden. Janne speaks with almost palpable passion about three perfumes to start the line with Beach Bizzare, Cabaret Nocturne (previously Pensao Amor), and Thousand Lakes, signed by Patrice Revillard, Cecile Zarokian, and Marie Schnirer.

Janne, you are ready to go!

I sat there in Florence, all ears, listening to him talk about Thousand Lakes with sparkle and haze of times lost and long gone in his eyes, reminiscing about his childhood memory encapsulated in this dark, broody, and a very intriguing perfume revoking Finnish forests, a dark lake, and sauna rituals.

Past and present mix like blurry dreams and sharp reality, memories are translated into pensive olfactory stories, reminding us that we are mere – visitors.

V/siteur is arriving soon!

Not Perfumes

“Demanding full freedom to create olfactory art, without any restrictions on the use of ingredients apart from the ethical rules I set for myself while maintaining total honesty and integrity, I created NOT perfumes.

Very concentrated, radically honest artisan Extracts that come from Sweden with a warning. Yet, some crazy people like me offer their skin to them! The pleasure is mine.

Johanna Venables tolerates no-nonsense: her perfume descriptions on the website start with “Marketing Nonsense” texts, and fragrances are made in limited edition batches, depending on her access to raw materials. Fair and honest niche, at its best.

Just like SOMA: now sold out, might be in production sometime again. I wish it would because this enchanted gardenia left me drooling, and if you know me better you’d know that this doesn’t happen often.

Looking forward to exploring further this brand!

Zucker kommt zu letzt: The Wild Bunch!

I’m immensely grateful for this opportunity to meet, talk to, discuss perfumes, sniff each other, laugh and cry over perfumes with beautiful people of Pitti!

Not everyone I’ve met is on this photo but you can get the feeling from just looking at those smiles!

Now I can take my time and focus on further testing, wearing, sniffing and writing: I’m happy: Pitti 2019 was a good niche perfumes exhibition.

The Plum Girl

Elena Cvjetkovic

Photos: The Plum Girl, V/siteur, Not, 27_87

Disclaimer

Ah, the Millennials! Gen Y, born between early ‘80ies to early ’00s!

Who are they, this cohort of young people, generally marked by increased use and easy-going familiarity with digital technology, media, and communications? Are they App-friendly dreamers? Achievers? Peter Pans? Well, it’s a Millennial World we are living in now, take a better look around. They’re not kids anymore, and they’ve turned out just fine!

Every time I think about Barcelona I hear Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballe (Barcelona! It was the first time that we met…Barcelona! How can I forget!), see broken pieces of colorful ceramic tiles forming a big lizard, I feel sea salt touching fingertips of Christopher Colombo high up on his monument and hear parrots nesting on a palm tree.

Freddie’s song sparkles and echoes on Placa d’Espana. The Magic Fountain is a free music and light show that is not to be missed, a fantastic display of water, light, and music.

I keep returning to this city, each and every time discovering it all over again. The most photogenic city in the World, they say? It certainly is! When you look at the sandy beech of Barcelonetta (just a walking distance from Plaza Catalunya)

or Rambla with its distinctive pavement, the almost finished Cathedral Sagrada Familia

Barri Gotic

or Parc Guell

you will find this true. These are must-see spots but there are so many hidden streets and corners, palaces and old Roman ruins, gardens brimmed with lush flowers and amazing fountains.

I’ve always had a soft spot for cities located at any sea or ocean coastline, I can’t imagine living far far away from the sea. The Mediterranean culture is a strong connection for me: I feel at home in Barcelona!

Just take a look at numbers: more than 270000 people living there are – foreigners. Roughly 1 million tourists visit Barcelona per week and this is the largest metropolis on the Mediterranean sea!

The scents and sounds of Barcelona…mornings are slow until 10 AM but nights are lively after 10 PM!

I think it’s a great city for art and history lovers but foodies and hedonists as well. Like when you sit down in a restaurant with your friends after sunset, order amb tomàquet (toasts smeared with tomato, salt, olive oil, and garlic), a pitcher of Sangria or any other fine wine from this region and nibble on so many varieties of – tapas.

Or when you enter the famous Bouqueria Market, where you can find the essence of Barcelona’s food culture – meat and poultry, local hams and sausages, an amazing assortment of fish, baked goods, condiments, cheeses, olive oils, fruits, vegetables and jamon jamon hanging everywhere!

Yet, this city is full of contrasts: you might want to visit the Picasso Museum and get lost deep in the Gothic Quarter of the city (my favorite part of Barcelona), where a maze of winding streets leads to pretty squares and beautiful buildings.

Don’t look at the map too often: the beauty of this part of the city is in wandering the backstreets and discovering the hidden museums, churches, markets, and landmarks for yourself…and it does remind me of Carner’s new perfume Megalium (read my full review Carner Barcelona – the new collection), when I take a closer look at these remains of an ancient Roman temple:

Carner Barcelona, definitely. You get the precise feeling and full meaning of their perfumes here. Just as you can easily connect with Ramon Monegal and Rosendo Mateu, together with Santi Burgas proudly exhibited in the spotlight of niche perfumeries. Don’t miss stopping and shop at La Basílica Galería, located between the ancient walls of a building in the historic Jewish quarter of Barcelona or Perfumerías Regia, related to the Museum of Perfumes. The Regia boutique goes back to 1928. when a young perfumer Josep Giralt decided to participate in the World Exhibition of 1929. In Barcelona. His small shop became a sensation and a quite exquisite perfumery.

There are many other olfactory connections to Barcelona. Let’s not forget that the mighty Puig is also based here, with owned brands such as Carolina Herrera, Nina Ricci, Paco Rabanne, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Penhaligon’s and L’Artisan Parfumeur; licenses such as Prada, Valentino, Christian Louboutin and Comme des Garçons and revenues of €1,935 million in 2017!

Some new brands emerged as well: during my stay I had an opportunity to meet Romy Kowalewsky, the founder of 27_87 („I gave the World the date and year of my birth, won’t tell you the month, you don’t need to know my horoscope sign!“, she laughs…).

It took her five years to start from a written project: determination and passion combined created unconventional perfumes. She invited perfumers Max Buxton (with countless niche projects behind him), Daniela Andrier (many Prada creations) and Shyamala Maisondieu (worked for Diesel, Lanvin, Tom Ford etc.) to create something – completely different. Bold and ah! so Millennial? Her story is very inspiring.

So here we are, talking about Wanderlust, Elixir de Bombe, Hamaca and #hashtag perfumes:


My more detailed review of 27_87 will follow, and I am certainly looking forward to something that’s Romy now working on, soon to be revealed (psssst!).

When you start walking the wide sidewalk of boulevard Passeig de Gracia, very near to Gaudi’s Casa Milà and Casa Batllo there is a small niche perfumery close to those magnificent buildings:

Perfumerías Regia. On its entrance only those who are searching for it will notice this sign:

Museum of Perfumes or Museu del Perfum in Catalan!

You have to walk through the perfumery and at its end is a narrow hallway leading to an ordinary door, locked and so ordinary looking. The entrance ticket is 5EUR and just me and my friend were there at the time, although crowds of tourists swarmed this street.

At the first glimpse, I was overwhelmed! This collection holds more than five thousand perfume related artifacts and it is a must-see place for any perfume lover!

Well, for the next two hours all you could hear coming from that direction were my oooh’s and aaaah’s: I was in heaven!

Let me show you just small bits and pieces of this amazing collection: the first part of the collection features Egyptian, Etruscan, Greek and Roman containers for fragrance:

Then you can move on to the second part, with creations of Guerlain, L.T. Piver, Roger & Gallet, Jean-Marie Farina, and others:

Further on, various brands from different parts of the World are displayed, vintage beauties:

I even found this display featuring vintage Neva perfumes from Croatia (Croacia), fragrances my grandmother used on everyday basis:

And so much more!

When you visit Barcelona, take it easy. Slow down. Look around you and enjoy!

Start your day with a cup of coffee with milk (cafe con leche), get used to crowds of tourists and try to siesta.

Learn some Catalan: Bon dia or Bona tarda is not that hard to remember. I always ask: Com es diu en catala?/How do you say…in Catalan – because I genuinely do want to learn…and no n’hi ha prou amb una llengua! (One language is never enough…)

Barcelona – La musica vibró
Barcelona – Y ella nos unió
And if God willing we will meet again, someday…

The Plum Girl
Photos: The Plum Girl