Esxence 2023 Part 1 – New brands

It was overwhelming. Huge hall, lots of brands, nose confused from the scents, a map in my hand was of very limited help to me as a complete non-navigator, teams of Big Magazines with huge recording devices and professional photographers on hand, Big Names, Big Brands….a bunch of terribly interesting smaller brands, all but chaos. I couldn’t make up my mind. Where to start? What to focus on? News of proven big houses? Interesting individual perfumers? Emerging brands? Local highlights? Exotic landscapes? WHAT? What actually, if I want everything? So I ended up taking it in style – in a completely chaotic way.

And the article will go in the same style. Just chaotically. I’ve tried to sort the notes by different systems, but that’s the way it is, where there’s nothing, there is no harm.

Oh well, I’ll at least give it some attempt at a system, and besides, with the popularity of series nowadays, I decided that I can be as good as it and I’d do it in episodes too.


Enjoy reading.

Right from the start, I was saved by the Antinomie brand. I never thought my huge handbag would be too small, but with all the cables, the recorder, the powerbank, the diary growing with scented papers like a sea sponge on a wet bathtube, the water bottle (because according to my doctor I have a lousy drinking regime, so as an obedient patient, I may not drink more, but at least I carry that water with me all the time…), when they put a big canvas bag in my hands with information materials and samples, it was like manna in the desert. And it was a good move, too, because there were more desperate people like me, so the canvas shoulder bags with their brand’s name on them were hanging out all over the place, walking their new owners all over the hall. And what more could a brand just starting out ask for?

And with those new brands, we can actually go on.

Rosae Virtus

A brand based on roses, which of course immediately attracted me. The brand has 4 fragrances so far, based on the scent of roses in 4 different seasons – Rosa Aestiva, Rosa Vere, Rosa Autumnalis and Rosa Hiemalis. I think I liked the spring one the best on the spot from the paper strip, but I have yet to try the samples in the peace of my home and make a proper opinion.

The owner of the brand is Davide Dalla Libera, who is also a botanist and owner of a rose farm (pictured left).

And I have a nice story connected to this brand. Since the owner doesn’t speak much English, he had a friend there to help out, who inadvertently dropped out during the conversation that he is actually a perfumer too and has his own brand. But when  I curiously wanted to know more, he paused and refused to tell me anything, because after all, he is there to promote his friend’s brand, not his own!!! And I didn’t even get that out of him.

So if anyone happens to recognize him from the photo, I’m curious to decipher this little mystery! But I’ll ask in private messages so I don’t spoil his secret…

Anyway, the roses were beautiful and I plan to come back to them…

Eternal Journey

Another new brand, only 9 months on the market. They offer 3 fragrances that should evoke the phases of the day. Sunrise to Sunset – morning, rather fresher, should evoke energy, Sunset to Midnight – daytime, which is elegantly unobtrusive and Midnight to Sunrise – evening, which is darker and a bit “louder” …intended for evening occasions, clubbing, etc.

The Anarchist

It’s a new concept from the already established perfume brand Thibaud. Not that they’ve ditched their iconic original fragrance in a sleek swinging-like flacon, but they’ve added a set of scents that look creative and slightly rebellious. I’ll be trying them out soon, and I’m understandably most curious about Punk and Slavic Soul so far.


Is a small new family brand from the island of Capri. They currently have 3 fragrances on offer – Centrella, Tragara and Matermanie, all three are very nice holiday relaxing fresh scents.


The current increase in the price of everything has also affected the perfume industry. Many brands did not give samples at all, or only to registered traders. Which is quite unpleasant, because trying so many scents in one place and not having the chance to return to them other than on a  paper strips somewhere else, where the air is not literally saturated with other perfumes, is difficult and remembering anything other than the most interesting ones is totally impossible. The FedericoFume brand solved this dilemma in an interesting way. It was the only brand I came across that simply sold samples directly. Without ATM in the exhibition hall and no card payment option. Well, I was so curious that I managed to scratch the cash and I’m curious myself whether it was worth it or not. At least there was a discount on them, if nothing else.

And they approached the presentation of fragrances in a similarly creative way. While many brands had papers covered with traditional glass funnels, Ramon Molvizar even had hand blown artisan glass bells, here they got by with champagne glasses….functional, elegant and amusing!!!

In addition, they introduced two new fragrances – Luci and Positano and Dominus Caeli.

Hormone Paris

A brand that is inspired by the hormones of happiness. I think that is a beautiful inspiration. I was a little afraid that they would tell me how I could miraculously stop antidepressants, anxiolytics, hypnotics and use the rest to polish the furniture, but to no avail. They were indeed very fair. Of course, they do not have their own research, but simply study the results of research on this topic. It’s nice that they don’t play magicians and don’t promise any real results, even though some would surely please them, but they say it like it is.

This year’s novelties from them are the fragrances Endorphin and GABA.

In Astra

It is a cute little brand with 4 fragrances so far, which was founded as a joint venture by two nice sisters. They just had the misfortune of launching Covid at that very moment, so they’re basically having a bigger debut only now. In any case, they have beautifully crafted visuals, in my opinion they had, if not the most beautiful, then one of the most beautiful booths… and in general, the whole dark blue romance connected with the stars… got me.

Parfum Büro

Ukrainian brand headed by Maurizio Cerizza. It has two collections, M1 as Moods and M2 as Messages. The owner of the brand could not be there for obvious reasons, but he had two nice young ladies there who did their best.

Step Aboard

This isn’t such hot new brand anymore, they’ve been on the market since 2018, but this is the first time I’ve come across them. Their design is inspired by graffiti sprays, they’re basically body (and hair) sprays, perfect for teens both in packaging and the rather subtle and fresh scents. The lady at the booth particularly amused me, when asked about the samples, she thought deeply and declared that they couldn’t possibly have samples, after all, how would they make them out of those sprays!!!

Well, I nodded vaguely at her with a (hopefully) poker-face and tried a few scents at least on the spot.

Visually, they look a bit like the brand

Good Water Perfume

which is less extravagant, but the fragrances are all water-based, so if anyone has a problem with alcohol on their skin, these are perfect for them.

New Notes

A new brand of the HIC Beauty corporation, which produces, among others, the Moresque and THoO brands.

This time they decided to target a younger audience, what is already visible in the minimalistic, easy – going looking bottles. Latte di Cherry was introduced as the brand’s newest fragrance. It’s a very nice fresh cherry mellowed with milky notes, as the name promises, but it doesn’t smell gourmand. Rather, it strikes me that the lactones used in  it (and not onlyin it ) are starting to replace the synthetic musks used so far. They act similarly, but are much smoother, softer and creamier.

And that brings us to the big perfume houses I’ll write about next time…

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