Apicius' Perfume Blog


Global Art of Perfumery 2015 - My Tour at the Fair

How can one host a small perfume fair especially for Germany just 3 weeks before the big Esxence in Milan? The date isn't that bad after all. One or the other new perfume that is to be officially launched at Esxence can already be spotted today in Düsseldorf – even if not all flacon labels have been produced in time.

So, here is my quick personal account of this Pre-Esxence event:

One of these news is the launch of Olfattology – a new series of perfumes from Italy, from Enzo Galardi who is also behind the well-known house Bois 1920. It has 10 fragrances, presented in tiny, squiggly flacons, a little baroque and with caps that to me look like pipettes on a medical bottle. Bois 1920 is widespread, and so I suppose it won't take too long until we find them in the shops.

Even though registration was open to everyone the GAOP is a fair for a professional audience in the first place. The „stars“ among the perfumers are all missing without exception but their brands are represented by their well-informed German distributors.

One such distributor is MiGro Cosmetics. They are showing the Italian brands Acqua delle Langhe and Pineider. Whilst I have seen the first before, the latter was new to me. The manufacturer of high-classed leather goods leaves it with just one „Cuoio“, otherwise everything is quite within the Italian perfume tradition. I was especially pleased by an Assoluta di Neroli e Gelsomino. The name sounds horrible to me and lets me expect a flower bomb but in fact it is a nice and discreet fragrance with a fresh touch.

„Royaume du Parfum“ - so new that not all the packagings have been finished yet. I don't mind, these 4 Frenchmen have an Arab touch, with a classic oud, musk, rose and a not so classic „Star Platinum“.

Unfortunately there is sad news as well. The distributor of Il Profvmo informed me that in exchange for recent launches, parts of the existing lineup are being discontinued. This also applies to my favorite „Aventure“. It is still listed on the Il Profvmo webside so I'd better buy one on stock soon.

Another completely new brand is Ateliers Des Ors. The perfumes come in nice, big bottles with a sunbeam design. Without exception, the content was made by a French perfumer named Marie – sorry, I could not find out more. The web presentation is still under construction but I hope to see a press release soon.

Generally, the Italians seem to be a bit over-represented but I may have got this impression just because they interest me so much. Omnia Profumo have come with their complete lineup, and with their perfumer. Ronin and Louce from the German Parfumo have had an interview with them so I stayed in the background.

Nowadays, almost every perfume house refers to the Arab perfume tradition with at least one oud. It is all the more regrettable that the Arab brands show such a poor presence in Europe, especially with their high-classed fragrances. At least one representative is present in Düsseldorf: AJ Arabia with their Black series. Black II was allowed on my skin – a complex, attractive fragrance. I especially liked the sillage of it. The young man who travelled all the way from Abu-Dhabi stressed that these fragrances were made rather in accordance with the European tradition. This becomes clear to me now that I see who we list as a perfumer: Jean-Claude Astier! Is Micallef going to conquer the world marked a second time starting in Arabia?

Owners of niche brands have a freedom to do things that are forbidden in mainstream perfumery. A perfume series that refers to the Chinese five elements theory will interest a few but others will dispose such marketing as New-Age nonsense. I am referring to Essence of Chi, and I had a long talk to their creator and founder Deane Wyland-Fries. She talked about a process of 5 years that she spent with her perfumer from Grasse. In the end she had learned a lot about perfume - and the perfumer a lot about the 5 elements. The fragrances are all fine, light and discreet, yet complex enough to make them worth a close look. And IMHO they do not fit in a certain clichée of esoteric or New-Age inspired perfumery. I don't exactly know what is behind this theory but my element must be metal. Smelling this perfume gave me instant pictures and impressions.

Not everybody wants to afford an expensive stand at the fair. I spoke to a young lady from Berlin, Isabelle Raposo. She created her own fragrance. After lots of positive feedback by her friends she decided to bring it to the market. Launching one's own perfume – isn't that the dream of many Parfumos? The name is Isabeau, it is light and citrusy, and it comes in a nice flacon. I wish her good luck with finding a distributor!

The more popular niche perfumery becomes the less risks are being taken. There is a tendency to repeat the same concepts over and over again. It is not the establishment but very often the career changers who bring in new ideas. One of them is the owner of Arts & Scents from Germany with her loud and trendy presentations. Unfortunately, I had already smelled too much when I arrived at their stand. All I can say for the moment is that there is a personal touch, and that they are worth a closer look.

Finally, the best: I met Spyros Drosopoulos, a Dutch self-made perfumer with Greek roots. He presents his new brand Baruti after a legal issue over the name of his former brand Magnetic Scents. Nevertheless, some of the old fragrances (i.e. Indigo) made it into the new linup, with slight changes. I have already reviewed some of his older fragrances, and I can say that I find him a very promising newcomer. His fragrances all have a very distinct personal touch. They are definitely on the more expressive side and IMHO must be especially attractive to those who are just starting with niche perfumery. Smelling his fragrances today made it clear to me to what extent the established niche perfume brands repeat the same topics over and over again. But here are new ideas and creativety!

What would life be without a touch of luxury! With all that bustling activity in our city centers it is not so easy to create an appropriate situation for perfume, and for perfume purchase. And the impersonal facilities of a Hilton congress hotel are not any better.

The final highlight of my visit was a personal invitation to the „Opera lounge“. Apart from the hustle and bustle of the fair Histoires de Parfum had booked their own room, in order to present the Opera series in an appropriate way to a chosen few. Half-lighted by candles, black and red velvet. Listening to Maria Callas in the background, sipping on my prosecco I was looking at the edition: 5 perfumes, each one in an individual Art-Deko-style flacon, each one dedicated to one specific opera, and named after the year of the premiere. They come in fine red-lacquered boxes that fit together with hidden magnets. Inside, next to the flacon, you see the tiny key – of a musical box! Each one contains the melody of the most famous aria of that opera.

The fragrances are all beautiful and, of course, have lots of grandezza: lady-like, diva-like, opulent with lots of white flowers. What a present!

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