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!


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.


“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


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


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!

What happens when a Millennial takes things into her own hands, writes a project, finds funding, and develops her own perfume brand? Because she really-really wants to do just that and won’t take a no for an answer? 27_87 Perfumes Barcelona, that’s what happens:

Romy Kowalewski is the founder, 27_87 Perfumes Barcelona is the name of the brand, as well as the date/year of her birth. She won’t disclose the month (“People needn’t know my horoscope sign as well!”, she laughed when I asked), but she readily speaks about her fragrances with a big, contagious smile. Why Barcelona? Well, among other reasons (it’s a beautiful city, lively, business-oriented, and great to live in) – Puig is here…And all the other resources you need to start-up a perfume brand.

Millennials are also citizens of the World: Romy, born and raised in Germany, living and working in Spain, traveling around Europe on a regular basis. I was lucky to catch her during my short stay in Barcelona. We managed to grab a couple of freshly squeezed organic drinks, and chit-chat a bit:

27_87 is a new niche perfumes brand: it all started in 2016., The first fragrances released were Wandervogel, Elixir de Bombe, #hashtag and Hamaca. Genetic Bliss is the newest addition (2018.), forming the Next Generation Collection together with #hashtag. Unisex (of course!), 87 ml Eau De Parfums, created by renowned perfumers, using quality materials.

Everything is well-thought about: I admire attention given to design and presentation. Minimalist, white opaque (and one black) bottles, carefully designed packaging contrasting the white canvas of bottles – suggesting that you write your own fragrant story. Different packaging of the bottles is telling you more about the inspiration, ingredients or the perfume itself. I really enjoy holding these bottles: funny, but it feels like you’re holding a smartphone! I tested and wore the whole collection, it felt somehow carefree, here-and-now, just-do-it, optimistic and vibrant. Quite refreshing! Long-lasting too, a couple of spritzes are more than enough. Carefully crafted, these fragrances did not fall of some big company’s shelf, nor are they a byproduct of some grand perfumer’s assistant’s assistant, or composed of cheap synthetics: Romy knows what she wants, from the very beginning…I’d love to watch her negotiate 😀

The whole 27_87 collection is revolving around some key aspects of a “Millennial” lifestyle: it’s all about your daily social media presence, tweeting, posting, hash-tagging, vlogging, blogging, chatting, capturing insta moments of a day – technology driven. Traveling light and easy whenever you feel the itch, feeling at home wherever you land. Leaving sea salt on your skin and in your hair after the sunset on a beach, relaxing, chilling, and meditating. Feeling sexy and wild, partying, loving like there’s no tomorrow. Being unique, happy about yourself, with the utmost joy of living. Perfumes? Yes. Boring? Never. Too complicated? Naaah, who’s got time for that? Perfumers? Yup, it’s great to have some “strong” names, but what really mattered was to get the Zeitgeist feeling right.

Let’s start from the newest one, the “black sheep” in this family:

Genetic Bliss

The “black sheep” in this family: Genetic Bliss was released in 2018., and it’s the first fragrance that comes in a black bottle. Why? It’s composed of 100% synthetic materials, and Romy told me very proudly in Florence that she managed to obtain the very best and hard to get ones – 5 captives, Akigalawood – Belambre – Moxolane – Javanol and Georgywood. You might remember these as experienced in Molecules, one by one. Again, the whole story gets individual, because it does depend on your skin: if you are a fan of molecular perfumery you’ll enjoy this fragrance. When I’m wearing it, I leave a trail of goody-woody feeling around me. Very linear, expectedly abstract, a well-blended scent, fir-like on my skin at the beginning with just a slight accent of deeper, ambery tones. Longevity is good, sillage massive: I also get a lovely creamy sandalwood whiff on my skin, obviously due to Javanol. Later on, warm, soft oud-like notes rise, with a musky aura. If this is my personal skin scent made olfactory visible, I like it very much, thank you. It made me visualize my own skin like it’s covered with the most delicious, dark honey. I couldn’t stop sniffing my wrists, just to make sure that I still feel it.

Perfumer: Jordi Fernandez.

Notes: Akigalawood – Belambre – Moxolane – Javanol – Georgywood (TM)


My favorite. Every time I wear it, I’m like: yesssss/big smile! With a clean, clear and sparkling opening, this is a refreshing, aldehydes, jump-start-wake-up-call! It feels slightly metallic, like the cold but familiar metallic surface, of an iPhone or iPad. Perfect for any time you need a quick positive energy boost: very uplifting, fresh, and mineral-water bubbly. I wore it on hot summer days and it felt great, but I also enjoyed it during colder weather when I felt that I needed something to pick me up and get me going through the day. Later on, as the perfume develops, #hashtag shows its softer side, staying cool, but becoming comforting as well: if you can imagine frankincense being “cool”, this is it! Violet leaves are moist green, iris notes are soft and cold at the same time, very slightly musky, and the whole composition remains fresh even during dry down. The musky-woody-cedar accord feels tingly, adding surprisingly calm but sharp urban vibe! The more I thought about it, sometimes it reminded me of a well air-conditioned, glass and steel corporate office room, other times of moments when I entered an old, stone-built church at noon, on a hot August day: just when I reach to take my straw hat off, the incense-scented coldness from inside glides over the hot skin, bringing finely-scented immediate relief. Longevity is remarkable, although I keep spritzing on during a day, just to feel that energetic start again. The Nose behind this fragrance is Daniela Andrier (the “German connection” in Givaudan? She signs quite a long list of perfumes, and I must admit that I like very much what she’s done for Etat Libre d’Orange, for example). Hit me, baby, one more time! The message conveyed by the brand is: “Blog, tweet, regram. #hashtag is the story we smell.” I’m not a Millennial, but I love wearing #hashtag. What an instant upper!
Notes: Aldehydes, Violet Leaves, Iris, Frankincense, Cedarwood, Musk.


Chill&Cozy. Yey, we’re on Summer holidays again, but this time it’s a lazy Sunday afternoon, laying down (after a great lunch) in a hammock (hamaca) tied between two trees…Your skin still has some traces of that coconut sun-tan lotion left on it, it’s vanilla sweet and sunshine glowing, it’s balsamic, and yet quite marine. If you’re into sun-tan-sea-beach-sweet and juicy kisses fragrance, Hamaca is what you can wear all year round, because it might be just a little bit too heavy for Summer/high C temperatures. If you layer it with #hashtag, then it won’t. That’s what I did and it worked out just fine.
Notes: Marine Accord, Sandalwood, Coconut, Tonka Bean, Vanilla

Elixir de Bombe

From the Diversity Collection: the name behind this fragrance is Mark Buxton, who’s been awfully busy lately. A fruity-leather-ambery fragrance, Rapbsberry Beret… Pink lip-balm flirty, sweetish-spicy in the opening. If you like fragrances that sport fruits’n’flowers/vanilla’n’spice in strong dosages, this fragrance delivers. On my skin raspberries on leather turn later rather Labdanum resinous, warm and hazy. Even a bit sour, in a good way. My son (16) loves it: he says it’s fresh-teasy-fruity-punch is fun. Making this a “young-people-friendly fragrance for partying” (he got me with that last remark, didn’t he?).
Notes: Tangerine, Red Pepper, Ginger, Ylang-ylang, Rock Rose, Raspberry, Caramel, Leather, Amber


The name says it all: wondering birds. Actually, it used to be Wanderlust, but that had to be changed. A strong desire to travel, to hit the road, to be on the move, to experience new places and people with all of your senses. That feeling, when you open your suitcase and start packing. That feeling, when you dig your toes into a sandy beach, just next morning upon arrival from a cold and smoggy urban jungle.
This is a fresh-green fragrance. The opening is fresh and minty, like ice-tea with crushed mint leaves. I really enjoy that mint-anise touch, which again reminds me of a time when we had a glass (or two) of Ouozo in a small village on Corfu Island one Summer…Even the dry-down reminds me of that island-hopping Summer vacation, spending a couple of days in one place, quickly moving to another, packing and unpacking, ferries, backpacks and buses, and long evening walks along empty beaches. Created by Shyamala Maisondieu (signing Hamaca as well), responsible for Besos/Carner Barcelona, among other fragrances on her list. Love it!
Notes: Mint, Shiso Leaves, Marine Accord, Anise, Fennel, White Floral, Caramel, Leather, Amber

Layering tips:

You can be anything you want to be or mix and match for fun of creating your own olfactive story! Here are my favorite three combinations:

#hashtag/in the morning + Wandervogel/in the afternoon: Good morning Monday (wrk,wrk)! At the end of the day, just when I feel exhausted, Wandervogel mint&anise make me feel fresh again. #hashtag’s woody tones underline well the caramel’n’leather notes of Wandervogel later on, turning sweeter on my skin, and cold-weather appropriate. Or just any kind of weather-appropriate…
#hashtag / Hamaca: or the other way around! I am fond of ocean/sea/beach&sun&sand fragrances, so I can wear them just about anytime and anywhere. That coconut in Hamaca blends so well with the #hashtag, so I’ll probably be wearing every possible combination of these two.
Genetic Bliss / Wandervogel: Like taking a walk through a mint-tree forest. Wandervogel gives me this icy mint green freshness and Genetic Bliss provides lovely brownish, woody-earthy tones. Great morning to evening combination, in any season of the year. Ok, I guess I could mix Wandervogel with any and all of these fragrances, but this layering gave interesting results: I could feel it in colors and tastes: it resembles fresh mint leaves dipped into chestnut honey.

Or, just feel free to create your own combo if you’re into layering. This is where the discovery kit comes in handy: you can order 5x2ml vials with a brochure and descriptions – 25 EUR. These fragrances come in 85 ml Eau De Parfum/145 EUR, except Genetic Bliss/185 EUR, available at 27_87 Perfumes Barcelona website.

Enjoy moments of Millennial bliss, even if you are not a Millennial! Keep it playful. (Spring is in the air…)

The Plum Girl
Elena Cvjetkovic
Photos: The Plum Girl, 27_87 Perfumes Barcelona
Samples were provided by 27_87 Perfumes Barcelona, opinions of my own.
Notes: as declared by 27_87 Perfumes Barcelona

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