Even though perfume was the order of the day at Esxence, there were a lot of great people to meet there. I made new friends and met people in the industry including perfumers, creative directors and media related roles that I admire and respect.
I finally met Michelyn Camen, Editor in Chief of CaFleureBon that I write for (pictured on the left with Olivier Durbano). She is a New Yorker who moves at the speed of light and seemed to know everyone at Esxence. I met a lot of great people courtesy of Michelyn. I will also say that pretty much everyone at Esxence had heard of CaFleureBon so credit is due to Michelyn for building such a great website for the perfume world. It’s not until you start your own site that you realise how much work goes into each post and what an amazing feat it is to be able to deliver a story each day. Michelyn likes her gourmands that I have to say are growing rapidly on me as well. I’m realising I quite like a fruity note – hello Bombay Bling. Michelyn’s travelling companion Eric Weiser from Twisted Lily in Brooklyn was great company too and if I ever want to open a perfume store I will be in touch to pick up a few tips.
I also met Lucasz Szcześniak aka Chemist in the Bottle (pictured here with Ann Gerard) whose blog was well known at Esxence and we went around quite a few of the stands together. It was wonderful to compare notes. He likes his iris perfumes, that’s one thing I now know for sure.
Another blogger I met was Val The Cookie Queen who writes for Australian Perfume Junkies (she’s pictured here being interviewed by Mark Behnke from Colgonoisseur). Val loves her Vero Profumo perfumes, and let’s face it, who doesn’t? Vero’s perfumes are stunningly beautiful. Val also has very clear and established perfume tastes whereas I’m still working through the perfumed landscape and finding my preferences. We had two breakfasts together and she along with Judith and the Cookie Monster were great company.
I was pretty stoked to meet Pierre Guillaume as I adore his work. He is also a lot of fun around the dinner table. Olivier Durbano was divine and his work has a real sense of creative passion linked to stories and stones. Neela Vermeire was as gorgeous as everyone has said she would be (pictured on the left). Anaïs Biguine from Jardins d’Ecrivain has the best vintage boho style going on, hands down. She also has a great new addition to the line with Marlowe. Stephane Humbert Lucas reminded me a little of Serge Gainsbourg, cool and offbeat in that way only the French seem to be able to pull off (photo on the right).
Ann Gerard patiently guided me through her range and I think I may have mentioned this already but I adore Rose Cut. Simon, Amanda and Kate from Grossmith London are fabulous people with an amazing story to tell of coincidences and fate in the renewal of this great old English perfume house (pictured on the left). Alessandro Brun from Masque Milano patiently took me through his range of perfumes – an outstanding collection (photo on the right). Olivier le Didroux from Beauty Enterprise for Aedes de Venustas showed Lucasz and me the collection that I have to say is pitch perfect. He was also able to change languages in an instant. I think he said he was fluent in five – however many it was very impressive. It was a pleasure to meet Nicolas Chabot from Le Galion, and witness a top notch revival of this classic French house.
Viktoria Minya was very gracious as I kept popping back to try and catch a moment with her, and it wasn’t until my final day there that I could have a few words. I’m a huge fan of her perfumes and I’ve reviewed all of them – Hedonist, Eau de Hongrie, Hedonist Rose, and Hedonist Iris.
New perfume brand Atelier des Ors has a lovely leather entitled Cuir Sacré and founder Jean-Philippe Clermont (pictured with Michelyn Camen) was also very patient taking Lucasz and me through his perfume range. Cuir Sacré was also Lucasz’s favourite. I also briefly met Cécile Zarokian who is a talented perfumer who created the gorgeous Tango for Masque Milano. I also enjoyed meeting Carolina Ilacqua from Teo Cabanel as I have a soft spot for their elegantly French creations. I know I’ve already mentioned it, but the new creation Lace Garden will be perfect for the spring and summer months.
A special shout out goes to Mary Gooding from Puredistance, their communications manager who was extremely good company. Their new release Puredistance White is a gorgeous bright beautiful blast of sunlight.