Hello perfume people. I’m sorry but I didn’t post a pre-teaser to say I would be going to Pitti Fragranze but I did manage to get there for a couple of days to a very warm Florence. Well nearly two days as I didn’t stay for the entire time but it was enough to smell some lovely fumes but on the other hand I didn’t see all of the perfumes that were on my list, let alone look out for anything new. I discovered plenty of Florence’s charms though and was over the moon to get to the Uffizi Gallery and walk the streets and take in the sights.
Pitti Fragranze is now into its 14th edition and this year’s theme was Numbers & Flowers. Pitti is a feast not only for the nose but also for the eyes. I was impressed by the design of the show and the vibrant colours that permeated the interior and exterior. True to the theme, the space was decked out with plenty of flowers and numbers. The outdoor area was also rather funky with brightly coloured meeting spaces that looked like nomadic tents.
Anyway let’s get on with the show. Here’s a taster of what I smelt and sniffed at Pitti on Day One.
First up was a visit to Olivier Durbano who is definitely one of the loveliest men in fragrance land and new perfume Lapis Lazuli, Sky Stone #12. It’s the twelfth perfume in the collection and is coloured a vibrant blue to match the stone. This is a bold, aromatic fragrance even medicinal at first with a host of unusual notes including plant milk and spelt. I loved the tea tree in Lapis Lazuli, Sky Stone #12 that gave the perfume an edgy potency. Durbano has also opened a store in Grasse that I can’t wait to see that will showcase his perfumes, jewellery and scarves.
Next onwards to Arquiste and Carlos Huber (with his new moustache), that perfectly complements his two new fragrances Él and Ella (he and she in Spanish). Él is the more masculine and Ella is the feminine bombshell. Huber told me the scents were inspired by his father and the 70’s Acapulco disco scene at Le Club. As soon as he told me this I was half way there. Plus when he said to think of Donna Summer to get into the mood, this was the clincher. So all I can say is that I Feel Love for these scents in a big way. Ella is without doubt a special floral. It’s big and sexy but also has interesting twists. On my skin the scent has a lot of hyacinth as well as a big blooming bouquet of more accessible flowers, honey and a touch of animalics. It’s a perfume that definitely could have been worn in the 70’s. It has that big, bold, bright feel but also a resolutely modern twist to kickstart a night out in 2016. It’s a shift for Arquiste who typically makes more elegantly mannered perfumes. This is anything but. Rodrigo Flores-Roux is the perfumer.
Richard Lüscher Britos had their sixth terroir, all natural perfume on display. The design of the stand was one of my favourites and their new fragrance is 32°N 08°E Morocco Nana Mint. They did actually have the perfume at Esxence back in March but it wasn’t ready however I will say that it’s well worth the wait. Malvin Richard told me the story of the perfume as he unfolded a silk scarf containing beautiful images, all with a story to tell. This is all about the mint and it smells great, which is a feat in itself as often it’s difficult to get past the toothpaste link. Here perfumer Delphine Thierry has the balance just right. 32°N 08°E Morocco Nana Mint is sweetened and absolutely divine. It is definitely my favourite in the range along with 44° N 03°E – Causse Méjean signed by Andy Tauer.
Now onwards to Gabriella Chieffo who always has a great story to accompany her scents and this time is no exception.
“And in that moment when you realize it is a perfect trap, you feel a cut open in your stomach and you give birth to another you, but with the wrong shadow”. (Gabriella Chieffo)
Here she was showcasing new tuberose focused fragrance Taersìa, by her collaborator Luca Maffei (who also signed the gorgeous Acquasala, one of the new wave aquatics). It’s quirky and rather beautiful wrapped in coffee, myrrh and incense. Her stand also looked fabulous. She typically has one of the best areas at Pitti and Esxence in terms of design and impact and I’m always intrigued to see her visuals.
Onwards to Jul et Mad and a big hi to the lovely Madelina Stoica-Blanchard who is one half of the team, along with her husband Julien Blanchard. Le Secret du Paradis Rouge is the new perfume in the collection. Inspired by the red city of Marrakesh, and the secret rihad where Madelina and Julien spent their honeymoon, it is another creation from Luca Maffei who signed Néa and Garuda in last year’s Les White Middle Eastern styled trio. Néa was a big success for the brand and Maffei as it won the Art & Ofaction Award for Excellence In Perfumery. Le Secret du Paradis has the Maffei signature that links to Néa but is slightly dialled down in the sweetie department but remains a big floral with a floaty, plumped up orange blossom feel.
Next onto Maître Parfumeur et Gantier, the house founded by Jean-François Laporte. The maison is now under new ownership and even though I knew of a few classics in the range, I had never tried the perfumes. So the opportunity presented itself and I was right there. Maîson Parfumeur et Gantier is known for its amber perfumes – Ambre Precieux and Ambre Dorée. New perfume Ambre Mythique is a welcome addition that slots perfectly into the range and is a delicious homage to the desert in Oman with lashings of vanilla, sandalwood, labdanum and myrrh.
You couldn’t miss Neela Vermeire at Pitti as her stand was near the entrance and was always full of people. She is a perfumista’s favourite and a really lovely woman to boot. You will be very pleased to know that she has a new perfume and it’s called Rahele (traveller). Inspired by voyages to India in the 17th century by French visitors, Rahele is a slight change in style for the range, in that it feels it has a somewhat lighter presence and a more accessible appeal. I like the new direction. As with all Neela Vermeire perfumes it’s drop dead gorgeous and if you like florals with osmanthus and delicate touches of spice you will be captivated by this perfume. Signed by Bertrand Duchaufour, Rahele is a sparkling addition to the line.
Neela’s Take Two perfume sets are also available from retailers and her website. Take Two features 2 x 15ml perfumes of either Bombay Bling, Ashoka, Trayee, Mohur and Pichola. This is not a mix and match scenario but is absolutely perfect for presents. Give one away and keep one for yourself!
Then it was full steam ahead to Puredistance and new perfume Sheiduna, created by perfumer Cécile Zarokian who had a few new releases at Pitti Fragranze (Or Ange from Uermi and Nerotic from Laborotorio Olfativo). Sheiduna is the first oriental in the Puredistance collection and pays tribute to a more sensual side that we haven’t seen before. If last year’s White is bright and joyful, Sheiduna has a similar shiny sheen but feels a little more exotic and alluring. If White was a wake up call to experience a joyful life, Sheiduna is more about disrobing. It smells rosy and very plumped up and I can imagine clothes falling to the floor when spraying this. Puredistance also snapped photos of people smelling Sheiduna, to capture a range of emotions. My photo is pictured above. Bemused, love? Well I really liked the perfume but was not so sure about being photographed.
Andy Tauer is always uber busy at these shows. He is an independent Swiss perfumer who likes to keep us up to date with his perfumery and where he’s at with his business. I enjoy reading his blog and finding out about the challenges in perfumery when you’re doing it alone in an increasingly competitive market. I had to walk by so many times to wait for a chance until he was free and it was right before the close of the show for the day. Hallelujah! He had two new perfumes at Pitti, one in his main line and the other in the more accessible Tauerville collection.
Au Coeur Du Désert is going to please the great many fans of L’Air Du Désert Marocain as the new scent is a stronger extrait de parfum version, although I will check at a later stage to see how different they are but on first sniff I love this a lot. The second release is Tuberose Flash, the latest addition to his Flash series or Flashies as I colloquially call them. This is a much more recognisable classically styled tuberose perfume than the more abstract Sotta La Luna Tuberose. These are two great releases from Tauer that will make his fans rather happy. I was also very happy to meet bloggers Ermano Picco and Chemist In The Bottle there and we sprayed Andy’s perfumes while he took a few polaroids that was a lot of fun.
There are also perfume sessions going on amidst all of the sniffing. The most interesting talk I attended focussed on patchouli and the various extractions / distillations from Mane. I found this absolutely fascinating as we had the chance to smell each iteration and notice the changes in what they can remove, dial up, dial down etc to create very different patchoulis. I also dipped into a few other sessions but I’ll save that for another time.
And that’s a wrap for Day One. I’ll also add that the day was nicely rounded off by cocktails outside for a day well spent. I’ll be back with more on Pitti, so stay tuned.
Are you tempted by any of these new fragrances? Let me know if you’re looking forward to smelling any of these new / upcoming releases.
Notes : Images all by Megan In Sainte Maxime