Esxence 2014 in short

This year the Esxence took place for the first time in a Triennale di Milano, and it was bigger than ever. I was searching for something that would attract my attention. But that was like looking for a needle in a haystack. On my first Esxence in 2011 I wanted to see and try everything. That was so optimistically naive.

Underneath the bottles is dried cow shit
Underneath the bottles is dried cow shit

There was everything from Cowsheed cosmetics to cow shit (litteraly) in the concept of a perfume house Orto Parisi. Not as shitty as you would have expected. Perfumes Bergamask, Viride, Boccanera, Brutus and Stercus (listed from the lightest to the strongest) share the same base and all have animalic base and if you want – shitty. Nothing unbearable, just not for an average user.

I found some interesting perfumes from Mendittorosa – Odori d’Anima (Scents of the Soul). Alfa – rich in saffron and Omega, Id, North and South and the latest Le Mat. Quality perfumes for demanding customer. The meaning of the North and South are presented in perfumes, jus like I imagine them. North clean and chilled, South full of different herbs, soil, wind that carry the smell of bushes, sea and salt….Mendittorosa - North & South

I was charmed by Le Mat immediately. Notes of nutmeg, pepper, geranium, patchouli are just so nicely distributed and balanced. All scents are  unique, I like the bottles and the whole picture of the brand.

Jul et Mad did it again with Aqua Sextius. After three very succesful perfumes: Stilettos on Lex, Amour de Palazzo, Terrasse a St-Germain. This is a refreshment bottled,  sparkling and uplifting. Higher concentration gives the perfume luxurious depth and lasting power. Perfect from the beginning to the end. And you can buy only one bottle for her and him. ;-)Ys Uzac managed to bottle the spring greenery and flowers. Perfume was or is not intended for mass production because of very expensive ingredients. I’m in high hopes they will manage to find a way to bring Sacre du Printemps to the production.Ulili - Moroccan Scents candles

Ulili – The Moroccan Scents had on display candles made from natural ingredients with vegetable and  bees wax.  It was hard to decide which one is my favorite. Oum Rabie finally won the prize with intoxicating orange blossom, bay leaf and cardamom. It brought back my childhod memories of a sun tan lotion my mother used to use.  And if you didn’t know – I’m not a candle lover at all. But this might be love at first sight or better first sniff. ;-)

Of course I couldn’t skip visiting my friends at Osmotheque stand. This time I tried just few perfumes. I started with Joy from Jean Patou and ther was no joy really. I cannot like it, no matter what everyone else say. For me it is bunch of pungent flowers starting to decay.  So I moved on to 1000 also from Jean Patou, this is elegant and balanced floral perfume. Next was Deneuve from Catherine Deneuve and I liked it a lot. It has the 90 rich vibe and a celebrity scent that justifies the name on the bottle. Just to confirm nice thoughts of my dear blogging friend The Scented Hound i tried Parure from Guerlain, but I was left with nothing. Absolutely nothing! I don’t know what was that. Again I tried Chypre from Coty and Bandit from Robert Piguet. Nothing new. I love them both. All these vintage scents are recreated from original formulas by Osmotheque. Many of them don’t exist anymore, the others are so badly remastered and many don’t deserve to wear the name of the original.

There were too many new perfumes to check all of them and I’m still behind with previous years. It is hard work for sellers, creators, shop owners and especially sniffers like me.

The bonus of this trip was Klimt and Kandinsky exhibitions in Palazzo Reale. Now that was joy!

 You can find more pictures on my facebook page.




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Esxence 2014: The Art Perfumery Event, Milano


Esxence 2014 new visual
Esxence 2014 new visual

The 6th Edition of Esxence will be in Milano between 20th and 23rd  of March 2014 in a new place, that is Triennale di Milano.

This will be my 4th  Esxence in a row, and I’m really looking forward to see what’s new. At the same time I’m also very frustrated, because I know there are so too many things I haven’t tried yet and a bunch of novelties to discover. But nevertheless I’m always excited to see some of my old friends and I hope to make some new.

This year the lectures are open for public all 4 days, so if you happen to be there take the opportunity to attend some. Michael Edward’s and Osmotheque lectures are awesome. It is free, all you have to do is to ask for invitation. Events calendar is out so check it now and here is the brand list, which is quite long so there will be much work to do.

You can find more information on Esxence website.

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Maison des Reves Gourmandise, Poudre, Mousse au Cafe – Short Review

mousse au cafe

I’m a huge coffee addict, not only when it comes to drinking coffee but also when smelling it. I can’t start a day without a coffee. I tried to substitute coffee with tea in the morning. No go! It’s like I have ruined my day right at the beginning.

That is probably the reason I love coffee in perfumes too. Two years ago I received set of three samples from Maison des Reves. All three perfumes can be mixed as the manufacturer suggests. But I was never a fan of  layering perfumes, so I’ll skip this.

Gourmandise is a nice winter warmer.  Opening is like sirup made of hibiscus and ylang-ylang, there is just light presence of coconut. After few hours it develops to a beautiful delicious and soft vanilla with some flowers in background. Perfume is not chokingly sweet. It is like a vanilla biscuit sprinkled with rose water. It stays close to skin. I don’t detect cinnamon at all and there is just a dash of suede leather somewhere after an hour after application. I think this would work very well also with salty summer skin.

Notes: coconut, blackberry, orchid, hibiscus, ylang-ylang, leather, white musk, vanilla and cinnamon.

Poudre has something annoying in the opening. One ingredient makes a mess here. And I don’t have enough skills to find out what it is. It strongly reminds me of a baby chamomile shampoo or some cosmetic product that my mother used when bathing me.  Poudre in not powdery at all.

Notes: bergamot, bois de rose, sweet orange, amber, tonka broad bean.

Mousse au Cafe is coffee just on a first sniff. I detect a pinch of something green, which stays to the middle of the development and disappears in the drydown. This perfume smells according to notes listed. If you are familiar with Werther’s Original caramels, this would be the closest description. I find it very cosy and serves as substitute to my craving for a coffee. It’s sweetness is toned down thanks to  woody nuances of creamy sandalwood.

My favorite and quite expensive is New Haarlem by Bond No.9, where lavender gives some freshness to the composition. Thierry Mugler’s Pure Coffee is also one of good ones, but too much vetiver makes it tangy and therefore more masculine.

Notes: coffee, milk, caramel, vanilla, sandalwood.

The Smell of Coffee
The Smell of Coffee (Photo credit: Dalal Al-Wazzan)

All three last on me for several hours, although the sillage is very moderate. They were created in 2011 by Loredana Beschi.

I haven’t heard of this Italian brand again since the Esxence 2011. I cannot find any reviews of this perfumes except of these on Fragrantica.

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L’Artisan Parfumeur Timbuktu – Perfume Review

Bush Gardens in Timbuktu
Bush Gardens in Timbuktu

For all who wondered where am I, I must inform you I’m still here, alive and kicking – somehow like a worm on a hot sun ;-).

I want to forget the year 2013 as soon as possible and for 2014 I wish you all best or at least nothing worse than a previous year. I just want to move forward, even if that means as slow as a snail.

I hope this year I will be able to write more than just few posts. I’m  planning to visit Esxence Perfume Fair in Milano again and I’m really looking forward to it.

Today I blindly picked a sample from my sample box and it was Timbuktu. One of my first samples and neglected for a long time. In few years my taste have evolved and now I’m able to appreciate this wonderful perfume.

Timbuktu is a part L’Artisan Parfumeur’s travel collection and was created in 2004 by Bertrand Duchaufour.  It is inspired by fragrance ritual named Wusulan, where African women from Mali scent their hair and skin.

Perfume main ingredients are: green mango,  karo-karounde, pink pepper, cardamom and vetiver, papyrus wood, incense, and patchouli .

Immediately after I applied it I smelled something very familiar to me and after a while I found out it was a combination of karo-karounde with vetiver and cardamom. It is one shade of the scent I found also in Etro’s perfume Shaal Nur. Fortunately in Timbuktu it is blended better so the fragrance stays fresh all the time and it prevents it from being too heavy . The perfume is green-woody and soft at the same time. It has very good lasting power and it wears like an aura – it stays close to the person but radiates around you like a silky veil.

It is not the perfume I could wear daily .  It is a simple masterpiece, a must try for every parfumista. I would love to smell  it on a man, but also on a woman this works great in it gives light exotic impression.

Photo by  Wolle8ball, Wikimedia Commons, some rights reserved.

You can find some reviews here: Bois de Jasmin, Now Smell This, The Non-Blonde, What Men Should Smell Like


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By Kilian: In the Garden of Good and Evil & 50 Shades of Grey

I love perfume as much as I love reading. The only problem is that I don’t have enough time to read as much I would love to. Usually I manage to stick some pages in to my busy day only during my summer holiday.

I went to the library to get the famous book Fifty Shades of Gray by E L James and in the same day I got some samples from generous Kilian Hennessy. If that wasn’t lovely coincidence or what! But…

Fifty Shades of Grey and By Kilian samples
Fifty Shades of Grey and By Kilian samples

The book is nice, easy summer reading. The perfumes from The Garden of Good and Evil collection: In the city of Sin, Good girl gone Bad (I believe to think that of myself ;-) ) and Forbidden Games are the same. Not so much adequate to the names given. But they fit the story.

Good girl gone Bad, created by Alberto Morillas, has some twist I like. Jasmine, tuberose, osmanthus narcissus and cedar give the composition nice impression of stale air. That’s not of sweat, but hall full of above mentioned flowers (starting to decay – I guess this is due to indoles) and some smoke of good aromatic cigarillos. This perfume reminds me of Jasmine et Cigarette from Etat Libre d’Orange, only that I get here more ashtray effect than nice cigarillo smoke.

I admit I have expected story to be more rough and feelings were similar for the fragrances. I find Good girl gone Bad pretty enough to wear. The other two created by Calice Becker are nice, but to me they don’t differentiate enough from all similar perfumes on the market for much lower price.

Forbidden Games is my least favorite. I think here it was the intention to recreate the forbidden fruit, not just one, but bunch of it.

I must say that I like the bottle design and the box with snake that comes with it.

The final conclusion is, that this is a little girl who want’s us to think she is grown up and  unfortunately she is not quite up to it.

If you have read 50 Shades of Gray, what perfume would you suggest for Mr. Grey? I think Bulgari Black would suit him quite well.

The other reviews about these three: The Black Narcissus, Extravaganzi, Perfume Posse, EauMGEnhanced by Zemanta

What’s your pack for the summer holiday?

Here’s mine for third time in a row now.  I just add something new from year to year. The reliable bunch includes: Diptyque-Eau Lente, Balmain-Vent Vert, Parfumerie Generale-Psychotrope, Corps et Ames, Bois Naufrage, Iris Oriental, Bois Blond, The Different Company-Parfum des Sens and Bois, Sublime Balkiss, Il Profumo-Aria di Mare, Pioggia Salata, Huitieme Art-Naiviris, Calypso-Marine, Dior-Dune.

It seems I have used up Heeley’s Sel Marin.

Samples for the summer holiday
Samples for the summer holiday

This year I’ll add The Different Company’s Sel de Vetiver and L’Eau d’Issey from Issey Miyake.

My favorites are Dune, Vent Vert and  Odalisque.

What are your choices for summer holiday?

Esxence 2013 – Lecture on Tuberose

Polianthes tuberosa
Polianthes tuberosa (Photo credit: kim77_au)

One of great privileges at Milano Esxence are lectures held from Osmotheque, Michael Edwards and other famous names and experts from the perfume world. Lectures are free of charge. First lecture I attended was about Tuberose, a flower which had not been used in perfumery until very lately. The scent is obtained by enflourage technique. It takes over 1200 kilos of buds to get 200 grams of tuberose absolute, which makes one of the most costly natural raw materials to use. So today synthetic substitute is generally used in commercial perfumes.

It is classified as “white floral”, like jasmine and orange blossom. The span of facets this flower gives gets from metallic, medicinal, rubbery at the beginning to the intensive creamy, buttery at full bloom to the rotten, earthy, dewy when the flower dies.

We had a chance to try several so-called iconic tuberose perfumes, but first we were introduced to pure tuberose. After that we started to test fragrances among them was Robert Piguet’s FracasFracas created by Germaine Cellier was first launched in 1948 and reissued in 1998. It’s perfume that is easy to love.

Next one was Chloë by Chloë (1975), a very romantic floral perfume. Created by IFF .

Very well-known perfume with tuberose was Giorgio from Giorgio Beverly Hills (1981), composed by Bob Aliano, which was so strong it was banned from restaurants due to huge sillage.

Ysatis (1984), amber, floral, woody perfume from Givenchy is still one of my old favorites. The nose behind is Dominique Ropion.

The following is not appreciated by many, but very well known to us all (even non-perfumistas). That is Poison (1985) from Christian Dior created by Eduard Flechier. Dark  sensuality is brought out with flowers, spices, fruits, woods. Wearing this you cannot get unnoticed.

Panthere (1986) from Cartier is also one of fabulous perfumes in a gorgeous bottle. I find the bottle stopper like a piece of art. Created by Alberto Morillas this is another elegant amber, floral, spicy perfume.

Patricia Nicolaï created Number One in 1989 a lush perfume with jasmine, tuberose and orange blossom, and received an award for best perfume creator.

Not very successful but very beautiful perfume, and the bottle, is Fragile (1999) from Jean Paul Gaultier. It’s creator is Francis Kurkdjian.

The must-try perfume in this range is Tubereuse Criminelle (1999) from Serge Lutens, created by Christopher Sheldrake. The opening of this one is really medicinal.

Mahora (2000) lovely floriental with tuberose and lots of ylang-ylang from Guerlain and created by Jean Paul Guerlain, wasn’t on a market for long. I’m not sure what was the real reason for this  but it is a great loss. Soon it was replaced by Mayotte and available only in Les Parisiennes series.

Of course no great perfume house shouldn’t go without one tuberose scent in their range. The same stands for Caron’s Tubereuse (2003). This scent is refreshed with citruses and is much lighter from all here mentioned fragrances. The nose is Richard Fraysse.

Carnal Flower (2005) from Frederic Malle, created by Dominique Ropion. This is the fragrance with the highest percentage of tuberose in the formula now in the market.

The conclusion is that this was the most interesting and inspiring lecture. I wouldn’t mind wearing and owning any of above mentioned perfumes.

Many thanks to the lecturer Emmanuelle Giron from Osmotheque.

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Neela Vermeire Creations Ashoka – new perfume

Neela Vermeire at her Esxence stand (2013)
Neela Vermeire at her Esxence stand (2013)

At Esxence Milan I had an opportunity to try new perfume named Ashoka from Neela Vermeire Creations. Neela Vermeire created this pefrume in collaboration with perfumer Berthrand Duchafour. Neela explained the perfume’s pyramid is revversed. That means it has base notes in positon of top notes. You can find that in Eau des Merveilles from Hermes.

Ashoka is a tribute to an emperor, whose own evolution from ruthless conqueror to benevolent emperor is reflected in Ashoka’s journey from the fierce opening to softly floral heart and the gentle embrace of its richly complex drydown.

At Ashoka opening I smelled leather, maybe some galbanum or these were only crushed fig leaves. The effect is dry, green, balsamic. My first impression was that this is strange and so different from all other perfumes in Neela’s collection. But very quickly fig milk and more flowery notes emerged. It is lactonic and with skin (at least mine) gets very nice. I wouldn’t say gourmand, because there is not enough sweetness and other spicy elements. Tonka been just slighltly supports the fig-milk-skin mixture and what you get is like yor skin is covered body milk.

I was surprised by the lasting power of this perfume, which is quite long, even though the sillage is not big and perfume stays close to the skin. It is very confortable to wear but nevertheless quite unique.

Ashoka includes notes of fig leaves, leather, white and pink lotus, mimosa, fig milk, osmanthus, rose, water hyacinth, vetiver, styrax, incense, sandalwood, myrrh, tonka bean, fir balsam.

The perfume will be available in autumn 2013 in Eau de Parfum concentration.

There will be also new version of perfume Mohur, which will come in higher concentration. It will be available in the flacon of amethyst glass with a special panache (mist) spray.  NVC perfumes will also be in new bottles designed by the perfume bottle designer legend Pierre Dinand. The new silver metal will have the NVC logo on it with Ashoka Dahrmachakra which has twenty four ridges on each side like the spokes on the wheel on the logo of NVC. Each spoke depicts one virtue. To me these bottles look so elegant and remind me of Art Deco era.

Neela’s version of Dahrmachakra with stylized Eiffel Tower

You can get more information here in Serguey Borisov’s interview with Neela here in Fragrantica.

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Smoothie For Better Blood – Recipe

Hopefuly this will improve my poor blood, otherwise it just tastes good ;-).



1 cup of yogurt with  3,5% fat

1 cup of almond milk

1 banana

1 handful of strawberies

1 beet (medium-sized)

1 orange

2 cm of fresh ginger – peeled and grated

3 tablespoons of agave syrup

pinch of Flower Power spice and flower mixture for decoration (optional) (from Sonnentor)

Mix all ingredients in a blender, except the decoration (if you want, you can mix that too) and decorate with Flower Power mixture for better look.Dont blend too long.

I like to drink it like it is, not too cold. Keep in refrigerator. It is best to use it in 1 day.



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