Esxence 2013 – Time Travel With Perfume

Always helpful - Cristiano Canali and Emmanuelle Giron - Osmotheque
Always helpful – Cristiano Canali and Emmanuelle Giron – Osmotheque

After attending the Esxence  –  International Event of Artistic Perfumery, with almost 6.000 attenders in Milan, for the 3rd time, I decided to take it easy this year, therefore I tried only few perfumes.  I almost “killed” my nose last year ;-).

It is impossible to smell all that stuff there and it is even harder to get some impression after dipping a nose into few scents at short time. You are just able to say  you like it or not, but not much more. To get samples is rarity and it is reasonable, because of large number of visitors and due to the fact that many new creations use rare or expensive materials.

Finding quite some new names between the exhibitors, missing some old ones, but generaly there were mostly the same as the previous 2 years, so I didn’t have to catch up with all things missing all these years living in perfume ignorance and oblivion ;-). It is advantage to have some mileage, at least with most of the existing products of the companies, so you have to check only new releases. And new releases are mostly presented at this or maybe some other large perfume event.

As usual I ran to the Osmotheque stand to see if there is something new. I tried Worth’s Je Reviens from 1932, the great floral aldehydic perfume for women created by Maurice Blanchet. I’m not a huge fan of aldehydes and honestly, I didn’t like this one. In the drydown it gets very skanky. The answer is in base notes that consist of sandalwood, tonka bean, amber, musk, violet, oakmoss, vetiver and incense.

After that I was offered to try Shocking by Elsa Schiaparelli from year 1937 created by Jean Carles. Actually I can’t imagine how it was to wear this strong animalic, musky oriental floral perfume loaded with flowers, honey, spices and civet. It has a sillage to kill an elephant. After a week on a blotter it is still very powerful. If you want to be noticed just put a drop of this on and every single pair of eyes will be looking back at you. Not necessarily because of liking it ;-). I should have tried this one at the very end. Everything after that seemed like blah! But how could I know that this is the one ;-). Now you can’t say you haven’t been warned! The name of the perfume fits perfectly to what you get.

The next scent, much more in accordance with my taste was, Lanvin’s woody leather chypre fragrance Scandal created in 1931 by Andre Frysse. Comparing Shocking to Scandal, is like comparing tiger and a kitten. First one loudly growling and the other one gently purring. That wouldn’t be of course if I hadn’t had tried the Shocking before. In normal circumstances the Scandal would be loud enough for average perfume wearer today. I would like to wear that. It’s like soft suede, it has chypre character, but the vanilla, benzoin and a light incense soften the composition, a hint of the vetiver is present to the end. I guess this refreshes the juice.

Nina Ricci‘s Coeur Joie composed by Germaine Cellier to me is green white floral. It stays fresh throughout. It never gets sweet or powdery. Base have some woody background  just for preventing it to from becoming too green. According to being launched in 1946 I find it quite modern.

Behind the scent Napoléon à Sainte-Hélène: L’Authentique Eau de Cologne de l’Empereur by Cosmalia lies a whole story. As we know Napoléon was exiled to the island of Saint-Helena in 1815 until his death in 1821 and he was obsessed with use of Eau de Cologne. At his imprisoning island he he ran out of the precious water and he was also refused to get some stock. So he asked faithful manservant of his, nicknamed Ali, to make a cologne based on ingredients available on the island with the help of formulas found in the library at Longwood and personal recollections. It has masculine herbal tones, with pine and bay leaves. Very refreshing indeed!

Jicky Extrait dated 1889 and as explained first version of the formula mastered by Aimé Guerlain. What a difference between this and the current edition! I love it! It opens with creamy lavender and in gentle background stays there to drydown. There are also citruses to add some sparkle and impression this is a masculine perfume. This was one of the first perfumes created with addition of synthetic materials. The heart is composed from orris, rose and vetiver. The base warms the freshness from the top and middle notes with adding patchouli, amber, musk and vanilla. This perfume is for men and women It is a masterpiece!

That is not all from the history lesson. More you will read in the next post…so stay online ;-).




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5 thoughts on “Esxence 2013 – Time Travel With Perfume

  1. Are all those perfumes that you’ve tried a modern recreation of the original formula or actual vintage perfumes created many years ago?

    1. All these are recreations of the original formula. They try to recreate all versions of perfumes released. I find it great. To be able to try actual vintages would be too costly and in some cases they don’t even have it because the original perfume doesn’t exist anymore. Or it is not in their possesion.

      1. I would prefer it this way! I just wanted to confirm that that was what they were doing.
        I’d love to be able even just to smell some of the perfumes the way they were created. And that means fresh ingredients, not a 50 years old mixture that might have been great at some point in the past.

        1. You can never know where the actual vintage perfume has has been stored and how. It is better the way the Osmotheque is doing. At least we can get some impression of some old masterpieces, we wouldn’t be able to smell at all. Especially disappeared fragrances.

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