Endless Beauty, the installation with a deeper meaning caught my eye at the very entrance into MiCO Pavilion 16. With more than 270 perfume brands exhibiting at Esxence Milan 2022, the offering of fragrances was enormous! Although one person can’t possibly cover all the new perfume launches and brands, here is my choice of fragrances that impressed me the most, plus some insider info you might find interesting!
I returned home from Milan, and as I walked down the street where I live in Zagreb, the thick and syrupy scent of linden trees in full bloom filled my nostrils. This scent grounded me, immediately. Yap, I’m home.
The scent of careless childhood, the end of a school year, the beginning of Summer, and St. John’s Day celebrations. And I felt every nuance of it: this time, during the Fair, I managed to “save” my nose.
Not my feet though, it took me a week to recover from walking around Esxence Milan 2022 and the city itself, in temperatures well over 38C.
And yet, I’d do it all over again! The festive atmosphere of celebrating olfactory art, the joy of gathering of people of perfume, and the optimistic vibes that filled the air even more than perfume mist sprayed on blotters all over the fair, all day long – were simply marvelous, it felt like being transported to the Planet of Perfume.
I tried to sum up the whole Esxence Milan 2022 experience in my previous post – the Overview, and now it’s time to talk about perfume!
Every time before Esxence – The Art Perfumery Event, I make a plan. I fail at it every year again and again, simply because my nerdy plan is always too ambitious. Aim high, right?
This year I planned to visit new brands first, ones that I haven’t met yet. So I started in that direction, but after two rather mediocre offerings, I gave up quickly and went with the flow. I’m sorry, but if you have a brand that person X from country Z buys from Y in Q, and releases 6 new fragrances in two weeks after the acquisition, that kind of makes me suspicious. And if I smell that those perfumes are ready-made, off-the-shelf pseudo niche creations – off I go.
Not everything I’ve smelled or was given samples of (that’s a common practice during perfume fairs…) during Esxence Milan 2022 will find its place in this report: I’m also very suspicious of people that find everything they smell “divineeeee” (especially if gifted) and love everything in sight, so it took me seven days to sort everything out, smell everything again, and these are still my first impressions. Reviews will follow!
Let’s talk about the fragrances picked out for you (I keep thinking about that Endless Beauty concept)!
Esxence Milan 2022 – Most Interesting New Perfumes, Editors Choice
VERDANT DELIRIVM, Santi Burgas, by Santi Burgas
Verdant Delirivm, the new addition to the White Collection is…something else!
Santi doesn’t release dozens of fragrances per year, but when he does! Not an easy one, not a fragrance everyone will fall in love with: quirky, different, full of contrasts, and actually with a name that befits it perfectly.
Delirium it is, ranging from intoxicating aromatic-green notes to fluorescent, pulsing florals with ruffled petals, and then changing direction and rhythm, turning into the direction of discrete, but subtly erotic vanilla-tainted woody bliss. Mint and Jasmin, spices and green leaves, vanilla and lovely woods – that’s the kind of vanilla I enjoy in a composition, simply great.
Provoking, refreshing, soothing, intelligent, passionate, and not afraid to show it. Verdant Delirivm impressed me the most. One of the best perfumes I smelled at Esxence Milan 2022! Perfect for summer!
VETIVER GRIS, Jacques Fath Perfumes, by Jean-Christophe Herault
‘Tis a beauty. A perfume that Jean-Christophe composed on his own, gave it a name, and there was no doubt whatever in his mind about it.
A lovely composition revolving around vetiver from top to the bottom, playing with a most exquisite and memorable hazelnut accord, in the beginning!
The name is a hint, and yes, Vetiver Gris goes into the Iris direction as well, in a most elegant way. Something old, something new, something beautiful, and it all sums up to a fine fragrance, with a solid composition of many complex parts, and yet so light and bright, joyful. I need this NOW!
Can’t forget it, and I keep coming back to it.
Notes: Hazelnut, Bitter Orange and Mandarin Orange, Geranium, Neroli and Galbanum, Iris, Java vetiver oil, Vetiver, and Sinfonide.
ARCADIA, Hiram Green, by Hiram Green
Moving to an all-natural perfume: Arcadia, the newest creation Hiram presented at Esxence Milan 2022 is a fragrant story about an imaginary, unspoiled, isolated, and bucolic place inside us all, somewhat naive and idealistic, untouched by the dirt of the world we are living in.
Hiram’s Arcadia is a classic Fougere at its core, but interpreted in a poetic way: gentlest ever accords blend with each other, moving deliberately slowly. Refined, absolutely unisex, and a nod to times long gone. Not bright Fougere at all, not like fresh fern – it’s rather tame, with a touch of softest, sweet incense in the background, somehow touchingly nostalgic. I like it very much.
Arcadia reminds me of good people and kind deeds: when you do good to others, or FEEL good being done to you, this is what it smells like.
I enjoyed my conversation with Hiram so much – that I forgot to take any photos!
Notes: bergamot, lavender, jasmine, rose, spices, resins, tonka bean, aged patchouli, New Caledonian sandalwood
ENCORE DU TEMPS, Meo Fusciuni Parfums, by Giuseppe Imprezzabile
Meo, dear Meo created Encore du Temps as a love dedication to his wife Frederica: this one is for HER.
The poetic sensibility of Giuseppe seemed to bloom in Laos, where time stopped to exist, and being present and deeply rooted in the current moment resulted in a beautiful flowery perfume, with a very delicate opening – fresh but dreamy, tender but with sensual Osmanthus and Champaca duo dancing above delicate sweetness, very addictive.
Very emotional, and touching – at the same time quite calming. Love that nurtures, and protects, love that makes time irrelevant. I’m in love.
Notes: Green Tea, Bergamot and Mandarin Orange, Osmanthus, Magnolia and Champaca, Mate, Sandalwood, and Benzoin.
RIVIERA VERBENA, Nicolai, by Patricia de Nikolai
More “green”, this time so Nikolai: Riviera Verbena is breezy, elegant, and refined fragrance with a beautiful citrusy-aromatic opening, bitter-salty from the beginning.
A well-executed perfume, easy to appreciate and wear – I liked the way it moves from salty to minty, from accentuated Verbena to floral nuances, the change of textures is smooth and relaxing. Plus, I really love Verbena as raw material, so Riviera Verbena hit just the right spot.
An easy-going, relaxed but always classy Summer-in-Mediterranean vibe I love to surrender to.
Notes: Lemon, Petitgrain, Mint, Thyme, Green Grass and Black Currant, Verbena, Calone, Jasmine and Rose, Vetiver, White Musk, and Patchouli
PAPILEFIKO, Nishane, by Dominique Ropion
The new Time Capsule collection by Nishane (4 new fragrances) – speaks Esperanto. Papilefiko, constructed from the words Papilia Efiko, means Butterfly Effect:
Master Ropion seems to have been inspired by the idea, but contrary to what you might expect, his vision of the Butterfly effect doesn’t portray a gentle, fragile-winged, vulnerable creature that lives and dies inside one day, helpless and weak, unaware of what it is doing: this Butterfly leaves an effect that is deep and meaningful, a series of sparks burst when it deliberately moves its wings made of cardamom and coriander, thus leading to a great-scale variation of reality filled with slightly indolic (jasmine) and balsamic (fir) notes, ending in the realization of grandeur one small action can lead to, rolling in deep and mossy-dark tones.
Very Nishane, very grand.
Notes: Coriander, Citruses and Cardamom, Lavender, Jasmine and Artemisia, Styrax, Balsam Fir, and Moss
I rather liked their line of fragrances composed by Luca Maffei, loved Rose and Me, skipped Mystic Sugar, and came back to smell the new Coreterno Hardkor presented during Esxence Milan 2022. My jaw simply dropped when I smelled it first, it’s fun, engaging, vibrant and so – alive!
Not what you might expect either, not a mass of solid and non-degradable matter, not extremely graphic or explicit. Hardkor is rather inviting, interesting, and engaging.
The opening is mildly fruity-seductive, its heart soft-floral, and the drydown bourbon-leathery, slightly smokey. “The echoing click-clack of shoes against the cobblestone softens into the night.” I could identify with this feeling, walking the streets of Milan late into the night.
FIG INFUSION, Essential Parfums, by Nathalie Lorson
I wrote about Essential Parfums, and what a great discovery of the fair this brand was for me in my previous post – Esxence Milan 2022 Overview, and I must return to Fig Infusion. Fresh and green, but with a tremendous performance (if you’re into it)! It has a nice balance between slightly green figs and woody parts of the fragrance, nice contrasts of fresh and warm, it’s easy to wear and it behaves nicely on the skin.
It reminds me of the scent that rises when I cut off branches that are hanging too low on my fig tree early in the morning, once I pile all the branches with fresh and dewy green leaves on a pile.
Figs on this tree are not quite ripe yet, but in a day or two they just might fall off the tree – still green, still bitter if you bite into them. I enjoy wearing it, and again – I’m quite surprised how long it lasts on my skin. Essential Parfums collection is quite big, and I suggest you try them out – they’re a good value for money, accenting what’s in the bottle and not outside it.
The whole collection is one of my best discoveries of Esxence Milan 2022.
Notes: fig accord, mandarin, clementine, freesia, orange blossom, black tea, Virginian cedarwood, sandalwood, benzoin.
M V2Q, Puredistance, by Antoine Lie
20 years ago Jan Ewoud Vos registered the brand Puredistance. It took five years after the registration to launch the first fragrance, and the rest is history. The new M V2Q will be launched this September, V stands for “version2” of M, Q is for the new James Bond techniques, and “VanQuish” for the name of an Aston Martin used in a James Bond movie. So, what does the new James Bond smell like?
If you want to compare it to M, it’s easiest to say that this is Daniel Craig compared to Sean Connery: 28% Extrait version, of course. Or, an Aston Martin burning hectolitres of gasoline, compared to a new generation hybrid or an electric technological miracle.
M V2Q is a smooth operator with a seductive smile, a twinkle in its eye, and deliberately slow movements. Spiced up, but refreshingly, well-groomed, with beautiful orange blossom and Jasmin Sambac melting into a solid, but finely crafted wooden structure.
And I managed to run into Antoine Lie, right there, in front of the Esxence Milan 2022 famous Mirror! Blurry, the lightning was terrible, but here we are, yay!
Notes: Orange blossom (Morocco), Pink peppercorn (Réunion), Lavender essence (Provence), Cinnamon (Madagascar), Cypriol (India), Pine tar (France), Jasmine Sambac (India), Patchouli (Indonesia), Vanilla (Madagascar), Labdanum (Spain), Tonka (Venezuela), Cedarwood (Texas).
NEMUS, Fragments by NVC, Neela Vermeire Creations, perfumer to be revealed
Three fragrances I was looking forward to, fragments of life, spirit, energy, of being: I was so happy to see Neela after all this time! Nemus was my love at first sniff, a lifeforce in green, a wake-up call. I liked this fragment immediately.
But, that’s not all it has to offer, oh, it changes with time, showing different fragments within a fragment -bitter, green, herbaceous, a sharp awakening after a long dream.
Its undercurrents are deep, soft, and voluptuous, it felt like being awoken abruptly and then hugged, calmed, and promised that everything will be all right. I love the way it moves and develops. It is always a pleasure to meet Neela, and I’m so happy she came to Esxence Milan 2022!
Notes: Bergamot, Lemon, Ginger, Cedrat, Clary Sage, Cedar, Frankincense, Nargamota, Oudh, Tea, Patchouli, Geranium, Ambergris.
Illustrations that visually explain notes of every perfume in the collection were made by Massimo Alfaioli (author of The Plum Girl Blog illustration).
NEROLI MEDITERRANEO, Perris Monte Carlo, by Gian Luca Perris
The whole citrusy, Italy Collection by Perris is lovely, and Neroli Mediterraneo is a fragrance I came back to, every day of Esxence Milan 2022: it is so sumptuous, refreshing, quite long-lasting, and with a gentle drydown made of Musk, Iris and Cedarwood. Perfect for summer (tested in temperatures around 40C, and it works)!
I also must mention Vetiver Java by Perris, pushing forward the dark side of Vetiver, accentuating its smoky and earthy facets, so this is a combo I would happily wear: Neroli Mediterraneo during the day, and Vetiver Java in the evening. Great combo.
And again: I kept coming back to the Perris stand, just to spray some Neroli Mediterraneo, to refresh myself – and I forgot to take a photo!
Neroli Mediterraneo Notes: Calabrian bergamot, Sicilian Bitter Orange and Sicilian Mandarin, Petitgrain, Geranium, Ginger, Neroli, Timur, and Orange Blossom, Musk, Cedar, and Iris.
PETALI E SPADE, Nobile 1942, by Antonio Alessandria
Antonio was supposed to come to Esxence Milan 2022, and I was so looking forward to seeing him.
Alas, his stand (Antonio Alessandria Profumi) remained empty, so I called him and he told me to visit Nobile 1942 and try the new perfume he created for this brand: Petali e Spade (Petals and Swords), belonging to the New Nobile 1942 Premium line,
I love his style, rich, textured, and passionate – so it is with Petali e Spade as well! Bright aldehydes wrap around soft peaches, and I somehow feel transported into a closed courtyard of a Mediterranian stone mansion – the garden I feel surrounded by is providing shade, and yet my skin feels sun-kissed. It’s a happy fragrance, easy-going and relaxed, with beautiful fresh apricots, not jammy-fruity, never sweet, but rather fresh, fizzy, cool, and invigorating.
Tea and Magnolia accords add softness to Petali e Spade, and the dry down is soft and tender and it remains sparkly until the end.
It’s a beautiful fragrance featuring a cheerful and bright peach, nicely used Aldehydes, and a smooth, musky, and light drydown. Lovely for spring and summer,
I’m not a big fan of hard-hitting fruity fragrances – this fragrance does not fall into that category and it’s a very elegant composition!
Notes: White Peach, Aldehydes, Bergamot and Tea, Jasmine, Magnolia and Osmanthus, Vanilla, Sandalwood, Myrrh, Musk, and Amber.
VICTORIA, Frassai, by Irina Burlakova (MANE)
I met with Natalia Outeda (again) at Pitti Fragranze in Florence last year, and we talked about her collection, new perfumes, and life in general. In the meantime, Victoria was launched: dedicated to Victoria Ocampo, an Argentinian writer, editor, translator, and publisher.
And…whoa! I remember smelling it in Florence, there were no samples available then, but as I smelled it again at Esxence Milan 2022, feeling creamy tuberose rolling around my nostrils immediately past the aqueous and delicate lychee-rose opening, I couldn’t stop thinking: what a powerful force of life!
This tuberose-oud combo is eclectic, rich, and sensual, and the way it performs in hot weather is simply great. Nothing is overdone, everything is finely blended, and yet it is very specific.
Notes: Petitgrain, Litsea Cubeba, Pink Lychee Jungle Essence™, Tuberose Absolute, Styrax, Morning Rose, Oud, Patchouli, Olibanum, Castoreum.
Insider Info: New Perfume Launches Coming Up in 2022!
IRIS DE FATH, EdP VERSION, COMING UP!
You know what this is, right? Iris de Fath, the Jacques Fath Parfums remake of the iconic Iris Gris (and I did go to Osmotheque stand to smell the original formula again).
Patrice Revillard has been working on creating an EdP formula for the past three years, and Rania Naim (creative director) and Patrice (perfumer) told me at their stand that we can expect it to launch this September!
No, it’s not just about “thinning” the formula down: Patrice had to create a whole new formula for the EdP concentration, for several reasons, but still making it as close to Iris de Fath as possible. Now, this is something I’m looking forward to.
ANGELOS CREATIONS OLFACTIVES: NEW FRAGRANCES AND PROJECTS
I met with Angelos Balamis and had the privilege of smelling some of his new creations. Angelos is an artisan perfumer, with very recognizable handwriting in perfume composing. Figue de Vertu, associated with his very impressive Eau de Vertu, is a “fig” you’ll simply adore: this fragrance is so sunny, bright, and optimistic, with the slightest touch of refreshing coconut and salty caramels melting in your mouth.
Vibrant, entertaining (a lot is going on here under the fig tree), and joyful! We also spoke about other projects he’s engaged in and he is hard working and very busy. Keep your eyes on Angelos, his creativity is shining bright!
Notes: Lime, Ginger, Bergamot, Pomelo, and Clary Sage, Coconut, Fig, Mimosa absolute, Tuberose, Jasmine, Heliotrope, Champaca, and Lily-of-the-Valley, Caramel, Sandalwood, Ambergris, Salt, Mineral notes, Musk, Oakmoss, Hinoki Wood and Patchouli.
VISITEUR PARFUM: A NEW PERFUME BY SULTAN PASHA, LAUNCHING SOON
I was so happy that Janne Rainer Vuorenmaa, founder of Visiteur decided to visit Esxence Milan 2022! We are all visitors after all, right Janne?
I’ve been following and reviewing perfumes from this brand since it first started, and you can read my reviews of my beloved Cabaret Nocturne and Thousand Lakes, but something else is coming up! A new perfume, by Sultan Pasha! With a sprayer, of course!
The funny side to this story is this: Janne forgot all samples of his new perfume at home in Sweden. But I still managed to smell it: when I met with Sultan in front of Pavilion 16, we hugged and kissed. And – darn, he smelled good. Not only did he smell great, but the perfume transfer happened, and I felt the fragrance on my face for good fifteen minutes!
The name still has to be confirmed, so I won’t reveal the working version.
Looking forward to it: as far as I understood, Janne might launch it soon! Keep your eyes and noses open. Visiteur doesn’t launch a ton of perfumes every year, Janne carefully curates his line of fragrances, and I can only expect the best from these two wonderful people.
FRANCESCA BIANCHI PERFUMES: A NEW PERFUME IS COMING UP!
Francesca Bianchi launched her new Libertine Neroli just a while before Esxence Milan 2022, and this perfume is a part of her regular Francesca Bianchi Collection, but also a starting point for a line of perfumes revolving around one element, raw material, or an accord.
Her Libertine Neroli is simply wonderful: it is not Neroli taken out of Sex and The Sea Neroli, it’s Francesca nailing it (again), and one more thing – not the most important, BUT: I sprayed just a little bit on my hand last night around 11 PM, and I woke up feeling enveloped in it.
I need to spend some alone time with Libertine Neroli, one of the best Neroli-centered perfumes I have ever smelled, and my review will follow. Can you guess what’s next?
Remember when we were teasing Francesca in various Facebook groups during her life about how she pronounces Musk? It was Muuuuusc.
So, a Muuuuuusc perfume it shall be! Launching this September! Need I say more?
GILT, SARAH BAKER PERFUMES, BY CHRIS MAURICE
Sarah Baker continues the line of oud-led fragrances created by Chris Maurice for Sarah Baker Perfumes: Gilt (resembling gold) is the new creation, and an Extrait de parfum (Loudo and Symmetry are the other two). What does Gilt smell like?
Well, it has gourmand elements, especially in the opening. Butterscotch accord is prominent straight from the beginning, although dipped into orange blossom and bergamot. Later on, ouds gently protrude but are enveloped in dark chocolate, amber, and musks.
That dark chocolate accord combined with oud is quite interesting, it feels like a centerpiece placed into a gilt picture frame. This is a new perfume, launching soon.
Notes: Butterscotch, Orange Blossom, Bergamot, Petitgrain, Cypriol, Laos Oud, Suyufi Agarwood, Dark Chocolate, Sweet Myrrh, Musk, Amber, Vanilla.
PERFUME SUCKS: PERFUMERY RAW MATERIALS EDUCATION AND KIT + DIY PERFUME KITS
Andreas showed me his Perfume Raw Materials kit, a new project besides his Perfume Hacking Kits – which are DIY a Perfume Sucks fragrance at home. So, With Love From Zurich has gained a new dimension: the list of raw materials I saw included in this kit is lengthy, and I wish him luck with this new project.
I’m not quite sure if it is for Switzerland only, or if he plans to go international with this project.
Another thing: after shipping nightmares, Andreas managed to add 30 ml sizes this spring, if you haven’t noticed. I also took a couple of his gourmand-Orris purple candies at his stand, which I love.
At one moment, while dead-tired from walking for hours around Pavilion 16, we even managed to – dance together, on Perfume Sucks stand: if your feet hurt, that sucks. Dance! Even when your feet hurt – dance!
Coming up, Part III: Esxence Milan 2022 – new collections from well-known niche brands, and a couple of totally new brands.
I hope you’ve enjoyed your read and found perfumes that might interest you – let me know.
When I look at this list now, I can see that it was influenced a bit by high temperatures, so there it is – this could easily be named Best New Summer Fragrances – I’m only human. More testing and wearing will follow anyway, and so shall reviews of chosen perfumes!
If you’ve enjoyed your read, you can support The Plum Girl as an independent perfume site by buying me a Coffee. Feel free to use the button below, thank you!