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 the 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, the 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:
„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 with 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 the 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 the 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 forever since I got a sniff of its 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 the 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: 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
Photos: The Plum Girl Archive