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PITTI FRAGRANZE, FLORENCE 14-16.09.2018. – Adventures of a Curious Nose Report, Part II          

 The Pitti Fragranze fair is truly worth visiting: well organized, with an excellent portfolio, stimulating, a perfect place to discover new trends, network and establish new contacts. Furthermore, it is not just about events taking place at the exhibition halls of Stazione Leopolda: organizers provided a large number of unique occasions linked to olfactory culture, in the presence of creators and some in the places closed to general public, all around the city! 48 events on 28 different locations, to be exact!

Fragranze at Giardino Bardini, in the Bobboli Gardens, at Palazzo Pitti (fashion and perfume), Rendez-Vous with creators, guided tours of Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, Guess the Note at Farmacia SS Annunziata, Fragrances to bite and drink, opening of the new Essential Store Campomarzio70, Filippo Sorcinelli events but_not_today and Sinestesia dell’anima, and Lorenzo Villoresi’s Extraordinary Essences session. Miles and miles of walking and running from one location to another, but hey! You are running around one of the most beautiful cities in the world!

La Città delle Fragranze!

These were my favorites:

FILIPPO SORCINELLI:

SINESTESIA DELL’ANIMA

„A journey into the Spirituality that involves the five senses. It’s possible to listen and see what the Soul says, taste through feel, touch, remember through smell. After handling the artistic direction of Synesthesia  – the first Italian festival dedicated to this phenomenon – Filippo Sorcinelli, creator of UNUM Parfums directed the vocal octet Extrait de Musique connecting music and scent together with words and readings by the abbot Bernardo Francesco Gianni, on the dual occasion of Pitti Fragranze and the Millenium Jubilee of San Miniato al Monte in Florence.“

This journey started by a long walk along Arno, and then climbing stairs leading to this famous basilica, standing atop one of the highest points in Florence. I think there are 400 steps leading to it, starting from the Michelangelo Plaza! Steps worth climbing! I managed to make it, even with my foot badly swollen. The view of Florence is spectacular! Thanks, Filippo! It was worth it…

It has been described as one of the finest Romanesque structures in Tuscany: what a spectacular setting for Extrait de Musique collection (previously SAUF), with perfume names that refer to organ stops. Two new additions are Unda Maris 8 and Violon Basse 16. Not any organ stops: knobs are faithful reproductions of the “Grand Orgue” of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris! Heavenly extraits du parfum!

The atmosphere, the music, Filippo at the organ, voices: like angels singing. I must admit I cried during this soul touching performance, and I don’t think that I was the only one bursting into tears during Sancta Maria…I was truly moved by sheer beauty pouring all over me, triggering all my senses.

but_not_today at Palazzo Capponi

„The event held at Palazzo Capponi, in the same rooms where Hannibal Lecter – a movie directed by Ridley Scott and starring Anthony Hopkins – was filmed. Through the atmosphere, history and stories of the Capponi family, guests were able to relive important moments from the movie, passing through rooms where Doctor Lecter lived during his years of „exile“: the courtyard, the study where he wrote his letter to Clarice, the library, all the way to the great hall with red damask curtains, which still hosts the famous piano, that, on this occasion, was played by Filippo Sorcinelli with participation of Giovanna Donni. „

If you are a fan of „The Silence of the Lambs“ as I am, you will immediately remember the atmosphere, the mood, the words, and the consequences.

There we gathered at the famous Palazzo Capponi, and again: all senses were touched. Food served, drinks poured, perfume sprayed, while music filled our ears. What an exquisite performance! Filippo creates lasting memories!

but_not_today is a new addition to Unum Collection, and a perfume I’ve been waiting for ever since I got a sniff of it’s first version, during Esxence Milano earlier this year. Yes, it was worth waiting, and it most certainly deserves my full review. Soon. In my opinion, it is one of the most unique perfumes of Pitti 2018: 42 notes of blood and 18 of the White Lily (as the brand says), dark, bloody red bottle and cap, with lavish packaging and presentation…I am in love (again)! Congratulations, Filippo!

In the meanwhile, you can visit brand new Filippo Sorcinelli Brand website, because there’s something else new as well: UNUM 10ml travel spray sizes are now available for purchase (35EUR)!

 

LORENZO VILLORESI – VILLA VILLORESI 

Lorenzo Villoresi organized special talks and a visit to his garden and terrace containing the selection of aromatic plants and plants for perfumery coming from different countries around the world. Upon arrival, I had to wait a bit, since I didn’t confirm my attendance by mail (so not like me, but ah, no wonder: I was Pitti overwhelmed with TMI!). Mr. Villoresi kindly welcomed us and made this little exception, enabling me to tell you more about his Secret Garden

This event took place in the ancient 15th century Villa Villoresi, in Via de’ Bardi 12 with lush gardens and lovely terraces overlooking the river of Arno.

Well, maybe not so secret in the future, as Mr. Villoresi is planning to offer this amazing place to the world. This is where a future Academy and Museum will offer courses, events, and seminars. I must say I am looking forward to this, it is really amazing to see all the aromatic plants growing and blooming on: I know that these plans have been postponed for a couple of years, but I also see this is something worth waiting for.

In the garden you can see, touch and smell mint, vetiver, citrus trees – including Combava, Sichuan Pepper, Styrax (!), Calendula, Orris, Tuberose, sage, and thyme…etc.

A frangipani bush in full bloom!!!

In his brief introduction, Mr. Villoresi said something that I absolutely agree with: How can you talk or write about perfume notes if you haven’t smelled them in their natural form? How can you talk about Frangipani without ever smelling its flower? It is important to have the opportunity to smell, touch and feel a particular plant, if possible. Raw materials as well. All my life I’ve been sniffing around me, and I couldn’t agree more. You simply have to sniff and keep sniffing! He also showed various raw materials presented in the Conference Room in numerous jars. Like orris roots:

I also think he enjoyed our reactions to his beautiful gardens, too. We were like little kids and I hope the plants didn’t mind so many people touching them, squeezing the leaves and pushing noses into delicate flowers…What a great experience! The view from his terrace is breathtaking, too!

The boutique area on the ground floor is impressive as well: perfumes, potpourri, home fragrances collection, vintage collection, books and tools, white Carrara marble or Ebony shaving accessories (!!!), Travertine Marble dishes…oh! The home of Alamut, Aura Maris, Teint de Neige and Acqua di Colonia…since 1990., celebrating Tuscany. This perfume accompanied me home:

I am very grateful for all these experiences. As my way of thanking all these wonderful people, my message is sublimed in this quote:

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away.”

Thank you for taking my breath away!

 

The Plum Girl

Elena Cvjetkovic

Photos: The Plum Girl Archive

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I am drawn to candlelight, candlelight during every season of the year. That flicker of the fire contained is fascinating (yes, there is a little pyromaniac in all of us), soothing, meditative and very emotional. I could just stare at candlelight for hours, thoughts swirling like candlelight on the wind, feeling…well, it certainly makes me feel safe somehow. Reflective. Attractive. An atavism, I know it is, dating back to times when controlled fire meant life. It made me think about occasions and emotions lightning some has stirred, just this month: I lighted birthday candles for dear people, to celebrate life. Commemorative candles, for ones who passed away. Candles symbolizing hope. Spiritual ones, like a prayer. Scented candles, at home, to calm and relax, tune senses, create a certain atmosphere…

Don’t you love candles? A soft, moving light to delight and captivate, excite…candles are a part of the illusion, the fantasy. Their light creates the magical glow so different from the aggressive illumination of the contemporary world we are exposed to. One single candle can transform a room into a mystique place, make it promising or its scent can take you on a journey, transport you to a different place or time, evoking memories. There is a nostalgia involved, as well as the promise of the future.
One sniff at a scented candle, and it’s like pixie magic! Yes, aromatherapy as well. But what really matters is the power of our olfactory memories. Some researches done say that each and every scent we encounter stays engraved in our memory for ten years. Ten years!

The scent is one of the strongest senses linked to our memories, feelings, things, and people you long for. A candle can represent the ambiance you wish to create or make people associate the scent with your presence. Your mood can change based on scent, too. Furthermore, choosing the right candle says a lot about who you are, and back to the above written, just how people will remember you for the next ten years. You or your home, the person you are or the atmosphere they will associate with you. I strongly believe that it is worth the effort!

So, how do you wish to be remembered? Many niche perfume brands make fine, scented candles as well. Depending on your perfume of choice, mood or atmosphere you wish to (re)create, it might be quite demanding to narrow your choice. One is just not enough!

This is my newest list of must-have’s:

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Aedes De Venustas: with deep, powerful green and dark notes imbued with incense and ganja. For me it is fresh and dark at the same time, green like spring grass and mystical as dark hidden places you are afraid to enter, yummy like rhubarb and fascinating like a fine incense. As I said, a strange fragrance…good kind of strange, sexy strange… I liked it. Definitely different. A bit crazy.

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Honour Woman, Amouage – my choice of the day, or better yet, of the night: a white floral fragrance inspired by the tragic predicament of Madame Butterfly. “The white floral is used to signify the discourse of Madame Butterfly’s love. Tuberose is used to represent danger. Jasmine means attachment. Gardenia is secret love. Lily of the Valley is the purity of the heart. White carnation is innocence and faithfulness. On another level, the white floral represents a tragic love in which honor, fidelity, and innocence have been betrayed. A resin base of frankincense, amber, and opoponax is used to represent the tragic end of Madame’s Butterfly “To Die With Honor”. Amouage has a fine offer of scented candles, it breaks my heart to have to choose just one for this blog.

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Extravagance Russe, Diana Vreeland: Now there’s a perfume with a great story and a candle to go along with it. Dedicated to Mrs. Diana Vreeland, who once said: “Fragrances fill the senses with the mysterious.” Maybe her name won’t ring a bell to you, but she ruled the fashion world for decades. She was the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue, among other fashion-significant engagements that lasted for more than 20years. This is the official description: “Extravagance Russe by Clement Gavarry was created as an homage to Mrs. Vreeland’s love of Orientalism. Capturing the essence of amber’s sacred and mystical note in perfumery, the fragrance goes deep into the collective olfactory memory. It maintains the original codes of amber within a contemporary structure. The scent harmoniously wraps luxurious resins and balsams with precious vanilla bourbon and musk for an enhanced impression of skin like and captivating sensuality.“ Extravagant, luxurious and slightly mysterious – definitely to be remembered by. Planning a romantic dinner? Well, I would ignite this one. For just the two of us…imageLorenzo Villoresi: Available in 7 fragrances, to suit a variety of occasions and create different atmospheres: “Alamut: warm and sensual, a voyage in the Orient: the flowers of One Thousand and One Nights, the Amber, the Musk and the precious woods. Diamante: crisp and lively, with notes of Citrus, Tea, and Lavender. Enriched by green and spicy nuances. Iperborea: Sparkling green top note of fresh flowers, with citrus notes and light fruity hints, with a radiant heart of lily of the valley and magnolia, mimosa and cyclamen. Piper Nigrum: Oriental and North African markets. Aromatic and peppery. Spring Blossoms: Soft and gentle fragrance based on spring flowers. Teint de Neige: The gentle scent of talcum powders, a soft, embracing fragrance, yet intense and persistent. Yerbamate: A boundless green land touching the sky. The scent of grass, of the new-mown hay, of countless herbs and flowers scattered in the fields.“
Choosing just one? Awwww! Hard choice, yap, I know…that depends on the olfactory message you are about to send.

imageTeint de Neige is the one I find exquisite for this time of year, a perfect winter scent. It’s warm, cozy but fresh, a bit powdery: reminds me of laying in bed under a huge fluffy duvet, looking out of the window on heaps of fresh snow on a sunny Winter morning…very old school, classy and feminine. Definitely a“happy winter day“ scent.

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Eight&Bob – check out my story here. It’s more than a “business office“ candle, really: makes you feel…well, powerful is the first word that comes to my mind. In all the meanings that just crossed your mind. Ha. On the other hand, Egypt really takes me back to – Egypt, that’s it!

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Byredo – if you are a book lover, try Bibliotheque. For sheer happiness, ignite Carousel. Yummy figs and Mediterranean breeze lover? Take home your Figue Glacee. Love that fresh smell of clean laundry in your bedroom? That’s what Cotton Poplin provides. These and other fine Byredo candles are made for unisex olfactory pleasure.

There are so many more, a whole fascinating world of niche fragrance candles! If you wish to recreate a certain ambiance at your home or office, feel free to contact me for detailed recommendations.

You might say that candles I write about are “expensive“. Just calculate how much money you have spent in the last couple of years on various scented candles that made you wonder why anyone labeled them “scented“ in the first place? Were you amazed by those? Did they burn for at least 40 hours? Secondly, these fine candles provide up to 60 hours of burning time. Last but not least – they do emit fragrance, due to a higher percentage of perfume concentrate.  I’d rather spend some money on an excellent candle than on an unmemorable night out including mediocre dinner and drinks. It’s just like the wine: you get what you pay for…and in the term of scents, even more: a lasting memory. Ten years minimum, remember?

In my next blog I will focus on Advent and Xmas candles: stay tuned and scent-happy! :-*

The Plum Girl
Photos/candles: Parfumerija Lana, Parfumerija Top

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