Man proposes illness disposes. So I had to wait a bit to finish my Esxence experience. But here we go. My favorite category of brands tends to be smaller, and independent, and if they still have some “local” background, all the better. So – apart from the new ones that were already in the first section – I kept them as the best in the end. (Warning – this is going to be long…)
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.
A huge exhibition hall, 280 exhibitors, from well-known old traditional brands of several centuries to the sweet newborn pups, from classically exclusive fragrances to totally extravagant ideas, Europe, Africa, Orient and the Far East, natural and synthetic, Osmothèque, Italian Perfumery Institute, Art & Olfaction Awards, 3 conference halls, 4 days and me.
The days are getting longer, the birds are singing, the heads of the first flowers are starting to emerge as from the city’s lawn mess as from the nicely maintained front gardens, children are starting to resist their hats and gloves even more fiercely than before, people are posting photos of this year’s snowdrops on social media with a tear in their eye (yes, they are growing this year too, and yes, they are still protected…. after all, that’s the only reason they are still growing…), the unmistakable signs that spring is coming are impossible to miss. And with spring traditionally comes Esxence – the biggest and most important niche fragrance fair in Europe.
In the last few months, I have had a reason to travel to Amsterdam from time to time, so I decided to make a personal survey of Dutch perfumes. But on my trip which I wanted to dedicate to the Baruti brand, Omikron raised its ugly head, a strict lockdown was announced in the Netherlands, and I only got to the nearest grocery store as far as stores are concerned.
I love perfume events, whether it’s launching new brands or just meetings with perfume enthusiasts. And I always regret that there are significantly more of them elsewhere than here… actually, I experienced an official event organized by a Slovak niche perfumery for the first time. And when it finally happened, then in amazing style.
When the Essential perfumes brand appeared on the scene and one of the scents had two of my favorite ingredients (orange and sandalwood) in the name, it was immediately clear to me that at least I would have to try it. Thanks to a friend, this fragrance made my summer more pleasant and I was very delighted when perfumery Le Parfums Le Chic stocked it and provided me with samples to try out the entire collection.
“I can testify that the Russians about other Slavs do not think fraternally, but dishonestly and selfishly (…)These gentlemen start to say and write Slavic everywhere instead of Russian so that instead of Slavic they can also say Russian. ”(Karel Havlíček Borovský (bohemian writer, journalist and politician), circa 1848).