MILAN — A wave of artistic perfumery washed over the city recently, as the Esxence trade show set up shop at the Triennale Design Museum, the second edition of Unscent bowed at Excelsior and niche distributor Campomarzio 70 showcased its wares at a showroom in Via Dante.
The sixth edition of Esxence, held from March 20 to 23, saw its attendance rise to 5,937 visitors, a nearly 3 percent increase over 2013. Bond No. 9 president and founder Laurice Rahme was among them, presenting her new Hudson Yards and Shelter Island fragrances and scoping out new contacts in the Italian market, which she said was important for the brand. She noted Esxence was relevant as a fair with a “European feeling,” whereas the Tax Free World Association show in Cannes was more international.
France was well represented at the stands. Etat Libre d’Orange, the cheeky Parisian brand founded in 2006, was present at the fair for the first time with its own booth, introducing an intense version of its Rien scent. Founder Etienne de Swardt said key markets for the company included Italy, the U.K. and the Middle East: Etat Libre d’Orange has 29 scents and exports 15 of them, with distribution in 350 to 400 doors total.
Jardin de France, an artisanal perfume label founded in Amboise, France, in 1920, was at the fair for the second year, presenting a new line of four eaux de parfum available in 50-ml. and 100-ml. bottles. Called Jardin des Hespérides, the line is a tribute to mythological nymphs of ancient Greece.
Karine Lambert, a member of the company’s export team, said Jardin de France sells in selective perfumeries in numerous countries, including Italy, Spain, Switzerland close to home, and Singapore and Japan further afield, and the brand is interested in approaching the U.S. market. “Each country has its specific features,” she noted. “In Japan, they like smaller sizes, so we’re working on making the 1920 cologne line available in 30 ml.” to meet the demands of consumers there.
Other companies were focused on addressing business-to-business needs. Les Parfumables, a French firm based in Limoges, was showcasing ceramic cards and custom-made designs capable of retaining scent for longer periods than the ubiquitous paper smelling strips.
Italian firms at the fair were playing up their cultural cachet: Newcomer Pantheon Roma introduced four high-concentration scents constructed around the steamy love affair of Renaissance artist Raphael and Margherita Luti, the daughter of a baker. Notte d’amore (“night of love”) is an ambery oud, while Il Giardino (“the garden”) is earthy and woody, Raffaello is deep and leathery and Donna Margherita is rich with tuberose.
A team of 30 artisanal fragrance veterans in the Marche region — where Raphael was born — devised the line of extraits de parfum, which is only available in 50-ml. bottles in 15 selective perfumeries in Italy, such as Mazzolari in Milan and Floris House in Turin. “We want to replicate what we’ve done in Italy over the past six months abroad,” said Leone Fadelli, brand developer, noting Pantheon Roma wants to maintain a very limited distribution network.
Dubai-based Ajmal Perfumes was courting European distributors at the fair with its Eternal by Ajmal niche luxury brand of fragrances and oils in crystal bottles with gold-plated caps. With 150 points of sale across the Middle East, the company is now targeting a more international pool of customers, said the firm’s head of export Farrukh Kidwai: Eternal by Ajmal is available at Harvey Nichols in Turkey and Douglas in Russia, as well as two flagships in Egypt.
“People think coming out of the Middle East that [the fragrances] will be very strong and loud, but what we have developed here is primarily keeping in mind Europe and North America and Australia, so this caters to their taste,” Kidwai said.
Unscent, an alternative and even more niche show, for its second edition opted to blend into the scenery at luxury concept store Excelsior, with original displays including, for instance, a Lamborghini engine alongside a leather car repair tool kit of fragrances, used to introduce the limited edition of 999 L-Automobili Lamborghini scents. Placed on various floors and thus accessible to fragrance professionals and unsuspecting shoppers alike, each installation sought to expose people to perfumes and the creative inspiration behind them.
“Last year [at the first edition of Unscent], a lot of clients said, ‘What you’ve done is beautiful, but I don’t know how I can make it work in my store,’” said Celso Fadelli, chief executive officer of Intertrade Europe and cofounder of Unscent. “So we tried to respond to this need.…You give your customer an experience — it’s no longer just a store, but a container of art and events.”
Perfumer Danielle Ryan was on hand, explaining the ideas behind her Roads collection of fragrances, which make up just one branch of Roads Luxury Group Ltd., the Dublin-based culture and lifestyle group she founded. “All of our fragrances are loosely based on a theme or story, an idea. So each of them could be for example a place or an emotion or a period of time,” she said, describing the rosy Graduate 1954 as “my ode to women’s development from the Fifties till now,” and Bitter End as a tribute to Ireland’s barren west coast.
Blood Concept creators Antonio Zuddas and Giovanni Castelli — who is also the founder of Acqua di Stresa — said their latest fragrances, XL (for Xylem) and PH (for Phloem), took their long-standing “celebration of life” through the natural processes behind it one step further by “artistically interpreting the ‘blood’ of vegetation, of trees,” noted Zuddas.
“We wanted [to develop] fragrances that had notes of tension and energy, that gave the idea of reaching for the sky,” added Castelli.
For Acqua di Stresa’s Unscent installation, Castelli partnered with head chef Francesco Luoni of the luxurious Castello Dal Pozzo’s restaurant by Lake Maggiore: Visitors were invited to smell Acqua di Stresa Rosa Nobilis before sampling gourmet finger food, to “savor” the perfume in a new way.
Agonist, the brand created by Niclas Lydeen and Christine Gustafsson, introduced Solaris, a scent inspired by the midsummer sun in Sweden. With strong citrus notes, the fragrance was presented in a beautiful handcrafted glass bottle with clear and red-orange circles in a totemlike structure.
Meanwhile, there were several new international brands on Campomarzio 70’s exclusive roster, including New York-based Von Eusersdorff, Amsterdam-based Zenology and Ramón Monegal Barcelona.
Monegal, a fourth-generation perfumer of the Myrurgia company that has long supplied the Spanish royal family with its fragrances, created his own high-end line of eaux de parfum in 2009, which now totals 14. Entre Naranjos, for instance, is composed of absolute orange blossom essence, clementines, lemon petitgrain, neroli, amber and patchouli.
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)