What a Pitti ! The largest fair of the year gathering most of the niche fragrance brands is on going in the beautiful Italian city of Florence this weekend, the “Pitti Fragranze“.
I was not disappointed to travel more than 6,000 miles for this unique opportunity to meet with the best of the best, and discover their latest creations. Besides the olfactory bliss, I watched very interesting conferences from renown professionals of the industry, leaving me with new insights about the profession and its many challenges. As the master Andy Tauer from Switzerland told me: “one can see today not an explosion, but the early stage of an implosion of niche brands, leading towards an undoubted consolidation”. Can you believe that 270 brands from all over the world were present at the show this year! Many of them have only a few years, if not a few months, of existence, and lots of dreams and ambition. Only the very best will remain.
I would like hereafter to give you my top 3 picks of the Pitti, engaging only my own taste and sensitivity, as there were actually far more great than mediocre juices in the testers.
Pick 1: AMOUAGE, with the new Bracken Man & Lilac Love
This is my first pick because of the amazing assemblage, but also because there is much more chance for you to find it in perfume shops, than the following picks. Amouage is an exclusive brand from Oman, rather than a niche fragrance. The concentration of oils and the complexity of the juices is really high, yet very portable. If you can afford Amouage, you will feel like a different person when wearing it, and the two new creations follow this tradition. I was totally hypnotized by Bracken Man, an incredibly subtle though powerful fougère. The notes are so refined and well-balanced, and as one can expect with Amouage, long-lasting as well. This is the year-end pick for you smart gentlemen!
I was a little less enthusiastic about Lilac Love, perhaps because of my particular childhood memory for this marvelously fragrant flowering tree, as this perfume does not really put the lilac accord in the front line. Lilac Love is however a beautiful floral scent with some powdery and gourmand heart and an oriental base note; the right perfume for an exclusive date in a select restaurant, and a great idea of Christmas present from your wealthy lover.
Pick 2: FUEGUIA 1833 with Pampa Seca and many many more..
I have been totally overwhelmed by this rather new brand created in 2010 by the Argentinian Julian Bedel. Besides the unbelievable number of very original creations, the brand image and concept was a complete seduction for me. Julian created a fascinating story around his brand and devoted himself to extracting and using the essences of native species of aromatic and medicinal plants of South America, some of them cultivated in his farm of Patagonia. The result is absolutely stunning of originality and complexity. Their webpage is less impressive so far but you can download their superb catalog here. Fueguia 1833 amazed me by having already their own boutique in some countries as far as Japan, and for otherwise shipping worldwide for free, no joke!, so how can we resist in not buying the most original blend of our collection? I will place my order soon..
My top pick from Fueguia 1833 at the Pitti is Pampa Seca, a recent variation of their well-selling Pampa Humida. Pampa Seca, like most fragrances of Fueguia, does not fall into a standard category or family of scents per se, but is a superb green aromatic blend that fits both sexes, proof being that i loved it and it was also the favorite pick of the charming hostess on their booth..
Pick 3: Maria Candida Gentile with Lankaran Forest
Mamma Mia! This is really Buonissimo! (extremely good), as the Italian say when they really love something. Maria Candida Gentile is one of the best Italian nose and first Italian woman to graduate as Maitre Parfumeur from the School of Perfumery of Grasse. She created exclusive fragrances for the high society and palaces before to launch her own line of perfumes in 2009.
The latest creation just introduced at this Pitti is called Lankaran Forest and is just a sublime fragrance. Wow! On the top of this marvel, a story: the story of Maria spending one full month in the deep forests of Lankaran in Azerbaijan and getting infused from the incredible floating scents of this wild nature. Maria told me of the Iron trees growing in this enchanted forest and having a mystical power: “when a tree get hurt or affected by a parasite, the sap from its healthy neighbor will be sprinkled to rescue and heal”. This magical world is the inspiration behind this new unisex fragrance, revealing citrusy notes on the top of a complex and balsamic woody heart and base. Elephant and Roses is another aromatic treasure from Maria, just in case you can’t get yet the Lankaran Forest.
Ecco! I am flying back to Shanghai tomorrow with a slightly saturated nose but a light and happy mind. The fourteenth Pitti Fragrance will soon be history but will remain in the mind of all visitors as its best edition ever, and certainly the best smelling place in the world this month.
See you next week my friends!