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.