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Esxence Gets Bigger With 12th Edition

Running June 15 to 18, the artistic perfumery show is to move to a more expansive venue in Milan to accommodate more exhibitors, signaling an increasing interest for niche fragrances.

MILAN The artistic perfumery show Esxence — The Art Perfumery Event is gearing up to resume its IRL showcase after a two-year hiatus caused by the pandemic.

To mark the comeback, the event switched to a bigger location, trading The Mall venue for the MiCo-Milano Convention Centre space. The move will enable organizers to increase the exhibition space by 15 percent to accommodate 260 exhibitors over a 75,347-square-foot surface.

“We’re fully booked and even had to decline some requests because we couldn’t squeeze more brands in the venue,” said Maurizio Cavezzali, cofounder of Esxence and chief executive officer of the show’s organizer Equipe Exibit. The fair’s last edition in 2019 had 221 exhibitors and attracted almost 8,000 visitors from 77 countries.

Cavezzali underscored that the bigger location and brands’ attendance signals the increasing interest in niche fragrances from the market. He also highlighted the growing international appeal of the show, further proved by exhibitors hailing from Japan, Australia, Argentina, China, South Korea, Hungary and Hong Kong for the first time.

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The location will be divided into Main Brands and Spotlight, the area dedicated to emerging labels, 70 percent of which will be hailing from abroad, too.

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“We are witnessing a real renaissance for artistic perfumery, with a considerable increase in international and Italian brands that have asked to join the event,” confirmed Esxence cofounder Silvio Levi, underscoring the market’s booming demand, too. “In the last two years, I think people realized that losing the sense of smell [due to COVID-19] is a real damage and have rediscovered the importance and beauty of it as well as its influence on our well-being.”

Levi, who additionally serves as founder and president of the Essencional research center dedicated to artistic perfumery, said that also in light of this approach, in the last months “we have noticed that consumers have not reduced the use of perfume – which is able to offer evasion and emotion — but developed the desire to experiment.”

In recent years Italy has shown an increasing interest in artistic perfumery, which has registered sales of more than 270 million euros last year, accounting for 2.8 percent of the country’s beauty business. More specifically, niche fragrances accounted for 14.2 percent of sales generated in perfumeries and for 30.6 percent of total fragrance sales in Italy.

Esxence’s evolution mirrored this growth, as Cavezzali recalled the different changes of venue over the last decade and the transition from a local event to an international one. “When we first started, we really were just a handful of people believing this category would have developed and grow in the future,” he said.

In sync with Esxence’s commitment to promote olfactory culture in addition to favor business opportunities, a range of talks, lectures and workshops will be staged and accessible to the public during the four-day event. The remainder of the fair will be open to the public on the last two days only.

Developed in collaboration with Essencional, lectures will be hosted by key players of the industry, including Versailles-based international perfumes’ conservatory Osmothèque, anthropologist Annick Le Guérer and “Fragrance of the World” writer Michael Edwards, who will join the event remotely. Additional talks will analyze business opportunities in new markets, with a special focus on Africa; the role of digital in the artistic fragrance business; the evolution of the creative role of “noses” in the industry and sustainability as a central theme in fragrance’s supply chain.

To further telegraph its educational mission, for the first time Esxence will stage an art exhibition developed with IFF. Titled ““Fleeting-Scents in Color,” the showcase will be an excerpt of the exhibit at the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague, Netherlands, which drew a correlation between perfumes and 17th-century landscape paintings, exploring works of art from both a visual and olfactory angle.

To meet the market’s increasing demand for niche cosmetics, too, in 2019 Esxence evolved its Esxkin corner dedicated to international indie beauty brands into a wider and separate area, dubbed “Experience Lab.” The showcase will mark its second edition this year by doubling the number of exhibitors to 60 international players specializing in niche skin care, sun care, makeup, grooming and baby care, among others.

Esxence and Experience Lab are slated to close the Italian season of beauty, as they will follow Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna and the inaugural edition of the Milano Beauty Week event.

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