Chandler Burr Scent Dinner 10/14 with EB Florals and Chef Michael Hung in LA

One of the things all perfume lovers enjoy is finding new settings in which to experience perfume. One of the most unique of these are the Scent Dinners hosted by Chandler Burr. Mr. Burr has traveled the globe hosting these one-of-a-kind experiences since 2007. What happens is he collaborates with a chef to create a meal which mirrors the perfumes being sniffed. They have been so popular that they are usually private affairs. On October 14, 2016 in Los Angeles, CA he is holding a Scent Dinner in conjunction with Eric Buterbaugh of EB Florals and Chef Michael Hung of Viviane Restaurant. This is the first US Scent Dinner open to the public in over three years.

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Chandler Burr

For this particular edition Mr. Buterbaugh is using it as the premiere for his latest addition to the EB Florals collection called Kingston Osmanthus, by perfumer Alberto Morillas. All of the courses served by Chef Michael will be associated with other of the EB Florals fragrances. Before you receive the food course Mr. Burr introduces you to the raw materials within each fragrance; then the perfume. After that a food course follows using the raw ingredients you have been experiencing in edible form. It is an eye-opening experience as you get the chance to really interact with the basic building blocks of a perfume. It attunes you to those notes and as you try the perfume and eat the haute cuisine you will experience the impact of fragrance from a new viewpoint.

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Eric Buterbaugh

Mr. Buterbaugh is hosting the dinner in his gallery on Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles where his fabulous floral designs will help set the stage for the evening. There are 25 seats available to the public for the price of $395. What that provides is a cocktail hour prior to the dinner where mixologist Ryan Wainwright will mix aromatic cocktails. A full 100mL bottle of the new EB Florals Kingston Osmanthus (which retails for $395 by itself) as an avant premiere gift. This all leads up to a five-course meal served by Chef Michael Hung inspired by EB Florals fragrances with Chandler Burr guiding you through an equally intricate menu of scent.

Avalon Beverly Hills

Chef Michael Hung

These Scent Dinners are singular experiences as each is different because of the chef and the perfume featured. If you have ever wanted to be part of one and can be in LA October 14 here is your opportunity. For more information and to reserve a seat you can e-mail gallery@ebflorals.com

Mark Behnke

Cosmoprof North America 2016 Day 3 Wrap-Up- The Final Toss of the Dice

I started the final day of Cosmoprof North America 2016 learning about the new brand i smell great. Co-founded by Randi Shinder of Clean and actress Sophia Bush. i smell great is a full-service beauty line but it was the fragrance part I was most interested in. They currently have four releases; Angel Cake, Wild Honey, Candy Crush, and Beach Babe. It is a line with Millennials in mind. They have dedicated social media channels for users to post what they’re wearing and layering daily. Ms. Bush also joins in with her scent of the day. The first three are all variations on sweetness with Wild Honey having the most balanced approach. Beach Babe is an outlier for its suntan lotion and ocean vibe. The other interesting thing is the perfume is formulated in micro encapsulated spheres which over the course of the day open up as you apply friction to where you applied. I put some on today and found I would get a surprising boost of scent throughout the day. I also got a kick how my scent strips from the morning turned in to scratch and sniff by the evening. This is another one of those Millennial targeted fragrances which I will be following.

It was great to have the opportunity to reconnect with Mark Crames of Demeter. I have always admired his straightforward sensibility when it comes to making perfume. Oh and he also has a lot of fun at the same time. Mr. Crames gave me a preview of something that will be a bit of a new direction for Demeter. In time for the Holidays they will release a Zodiac collection. One perfume for each of the astrological signs. The fun part is those signs which are supposed to be attracted to each other have been formulated so they can be ideally layered. Brings a whole new twist to the old pick-up line, “What’s your sign?”

mark and the karens at cosmoprof

Myself and the Karens of Sniffapalooza

My last two stops were to acquaint myself with two fragrance collections; one new and one which has been around for a few years.

Parfums Berdoues is the one which has been around. I had tried their original 1902 collection of which the Violet is still a favorite. Over the years they just sort of drifted away from my awareness. Jose Penalba of Amerikas brought me up to date. Starting last year Berdoues released a six fragrance collection which has a new entry Vanira Moorea. They also did a three fragrance Grand Cru collection focused on oud. My favorite of that line was the Oud Wa Misk. The brand has evolved significantly from the last time I checked in. The new direction and perfumes are worth taking a look at if you also let Berdoues fall off your radar.

Then new line is called Paglieri 1876 and will be launched in the fall. An Italian line Working with perfumers Henri Bergia and Eric Fracapane. Each of the first six releases is inspired by a city in Italy. Each bottle has a laser etched colorful logo to also go along with the fragrance to identify its city. It is a well-balanced collection which I enjoyed but the one which stood out for me was Romae based on Rome. It had a wonderfully sophisticated spicy core sweetened with rose and vanilla.

I had a fabulous time in Vegas covering Cosmoprof North America 2016.

For the last time Colognoisseur has left the building.

Mark Behnke

Cosmoprof North America 2016 Day 2 Wrap-Up- The Crossroads of Tech and Scent

One of the overarching themes of this year’s Discover Scent at Cosmoprof North America 2016 is that there is more to fragrance than just perfume. I started Day 2 speaking with the team behind X Sense. Co-founder Dr. Ashok Gowda presented a product where specific scent blends are meant to provide boosts to memory (worksense), sleep, (restsense) and athletic endurance (playsense). Each of these were studied in clinical trials which showed significant percentage increases. The blend is meant to be rolled on underneath your nose with a rollerball design to make it convenient. I find the idea interesting backed up with data gathered in clinical settings. Dr. Gowda has his degree in biomedical engineering which makes me more confident in their conclusions.

The next stop was my first meeting in real life with perfumer Christi Meshell the founder of House of Matriarch. This past year or so has been a transformative time for Ms. Meshell’s brand as she is one of the rare independent perfumers who has expanded into a wider retail space. She began having her perfumes carried by Nordstrom. I’ve written often about how important I think it is to have an independent perfumer breakthrough at the mall. Having the opportunity to check in with her shows a perfumer and brand representative who is passionately dedicated to trying to achieve this. More importantly I got a preview sniff of her next new release, Kazimi. I wore this on one arm for most of the day. My first impression is this is one of her best.

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Abby Wallach co-founder of ScentInvent Technologies introduced me to Linger Lasting Fragrance Primer. Certainly one of the more prevalent consumer complaints is the lasting power of some of their favorite perfumes. Linger is a skin treatment you apply prior to spraying on your perfume. This morning I treated one arm with Linger and the other with nothing. The perfume I sprayed on the Linger patch lasted hours longer than the untreated arm. If you have wanted something which can increase the longevity of a lighter perfume Linger seems to be able to do the trick.

As a blogger with a long time relationship with many brands it can sometimes be frustrating waiting for something I’ve smelled years ago to be released. This was the case with Raw Spirit the fragrance line which has made it a point to use indigenous materials from around the world. What had me anticipating this new release, Mystic Pearl, is the second word in the name. The perfumers have made an extract of pearl which adds an incredible brininess. It is very different than ambergris. This seems saltier which allows it to become more of a focal element to the rest of the perfume.

One more day left in Vegas.

Until then Colognoisseur has left the building.

Mark Behnke

Cosmoprof North America 2016 Day 1 Wrap-Up- The Wide World of Fragrance

As I walked back to my hotel room, through the Manadalay Bay casino, at the end of Day 1 of Cosmoprof North America I realized my thought processes on “the world of fragrance” that according to my logo I like to muse upon had expanded. My HQ for the exposition is the cross roads right inside the entrance where the Discover Scent exhibition is set up. Up and down two crossing aisles are a curated selection from the women behind Sniffapalooza; Karen Adams and Karen Dubin.

For the first part of the day I spent time at the Sniffapalooza booth and talking a bit with the other brands in the Discover Scent section. What I saw was the most diverse international crowd I have seen at an exposition. It is also the largest by a lot. It is an interesting experience to see fragrance in the form of perfume playing a smaller part. Even with that reduced footprint there was constant interaction. I spoke with attendees from every continent except Antarctica. They also had very different ways they want to use scent for the consumers in their countries. This new perspective would be reinforced as I wandered around the show floor.

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The Sniffapalooza booth on Day 1

There are two other curated sections similar to Discover Scent; Discover Green and Discover Beauty. As I walked through them I was struck at how much a factor scent was for these brands.

Discover Green is as you might imagine the section highlighting the eco-conscious natural and organic brands. It could also be subtitled Discover Millennials. It was very clear that the products were aimed directly at that demographic. Nearly every product was scented according to aromatherapy principles. There is a clear desire to use the natural oils which have a cleaner profile. It means there was citrus, lavender, rose, and most unusually avocado. I realized those scents have become an important part of the natural/organic brands. Seeing it all in one place it brought home something I had never put together which in hindsight seems obvious.

Walking in Discover Beauty which gives the opportunity for small entrepreneurial brands a chance to participate in Cosmoprof. In the hair and nail categories scent wasn’t as important. Skin care was another thing. There were choices to make some products smell “serious” by eschewing additional scent. Most of these products touted a new ingredient. There seems to be a thought that you need to smell that ingredient without having some more usual floral ingredient masking it out. It made me consider if the scent of “serious” actually makes an impression on consumers.

By the time I returned to Discover Scent the announcement that the convention hall was closing for the day rang out over the loud speakers.

Tomorrow I will be spending more time with the exhibitors in Discover Scent returning to my more traditional part of the “world of fragrance”

Until tomorrow Colognoisseur has left the building.

Mark Behnke

Colognoisseur is Going to Cosmoprof North America 2016

I am very excited to reveal that I have been invited to attend one of the largest Business-to-Business beauty conventions in the world, Cosmoprof North America 2016. Taking place from July 24-26, 2016 at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas; 30,000 members of the beauty industry will convene.

Cosmoprof covers every conceivable area of the beauty industry. Last year they started a specific section for perfume. Curated by Karen Dubin and Karen Adams of Sniffapalooza the Discover Scent section is an island of fragrance among everything else going on.

I am going to be covering the participants in the Discover Scent area over the three days of the show posting daily wrap-ups as I usually do when attending these kind of expositions.

Some of the brands I’ll be interacting with are:

Demeter Fragrance Library

Fath Essentials

Amerikas, Inc.

House of Matriarch

DefineMe

Scent Invent Technologies

Paglieri 1876

xSense

Besame Cosmetics

I FEEL GREAT

Life Therapy

I am looking forward to seeing what the new brands have to offer and to see what is new for the brands I know of.

Six weeks from now I’ll be channeling my inner Elvis, humming Viva Las Vegas, and bringing you the sights and sounds of Discover Scent at Cosmoprof North America 2016.

Mark Behnke

Sniffapalooza Spring Fling 2016 Wrap-Up- Profumo Comes to the Perfumed Apple

I attended my first Sniffapalooza in October of 2010. For this edition Sniffapalooza Spring Fling 2016, my twelfth, it was the most unique of them all. The reason was in addition to the usual strong lineup of American perfume brands; Europe sent some of their best too. It made the entire weekend feel like it was a summit of perfumery.

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Mark and Team Twisted Lily (Photo: Brooklyn Fragrance Lover)

In what is starting to become a tradition Twisted Lily owners Stamatis Birsimijoglou and Eric Weiser invited the early arrivers to a party on Friday night. Inside the best smelling storefront in Brooklyn we mingled and enjoyed wine and camaraderie. Amongst hugs there was sniffing as attendees discovered the latest additions since last fall. We all headed home prepared for the next two days.

Saturday morning began on the Beauty Floor at Bergdorf-Goodman. The hot new addition to the store was The Fragrance Kitchen. Just the week before there was an SRO party to celebrate its arrival. It is an extensive line but it seems like Bergdorf’s managed to convince them to provide one of the best exclusively to them called A Rose With a View. It is a very NYC modern rose. The brand has been around since 2012 but sold exclusively in Kuwait. Now Sheikh Majed El-Sabah is looking to expand to the US and Europe.

I also got the chance to try the new Ex Nihilo Sweet Morphine and Christian Dior La Colle Noire. I liked both quite a bit. Next it was off to lunch at Brasserie 8 ½.

Stefania Squeglia sniffa

Stefania Squeglia presenting a Spring Fling 2016

The presentations began with the owners of Masque Milano Alessandro Brun and Riccardo Tedeschi representing Associazione Caterina. That group is about the heritage and future of Italian perfumery. Over the next hour they took us on a journey from the Roman origins of perfume to the present day. Which turned out to be a perfect segue as Stefania Squeglia of Mendittorosa was one of the later presenters and she represents the current exciting state of Italian perfumery quite well.

Holding up the American end of things Barbara Herman introduced her new perfume brand Eris. Ms. Herman has moved from writing about perfume in her blog Yesterday’s Perfume and her book Scent and Subversion to collaborating with perfumer Antoine Lie. My first impression was they managed to find that tricky balance of vintage aesthetic with a contemporary feel.

A drizzly Sunday morning found us in the Annick Goutal store downtown. Annick Goutal is one of those early pioneer brands in the niche space and it is nice to see it continuing to thrive as the market has diversified around it. It was nice to be reminded of that.

Mary and Cecile of Puredistance

Mary Gooding (l.) and perfumer Cecile Zarokian presenting Puredistance Sheiduna

After some more wandering around downtown we arrived at lunch where I was the MC. I thought this year’s group was the strongest of all the years I have been doing this part of the weekend. It started with Sigs. Brun and Tedeschi finally representing their own brand Masque Milano. Both of the newest releases Romanza and L’Attesa were revealed. Mary Orlin of Wine Fashionista gave a fabulous presentation tying together the aromas of the wine we were drinking to perfume. A real treat was the European brand Puredistance was presented by Mary Gooding accompanied by perfumer Cecile Zarokian where they told us all about this fall’s new release Sheiduna. The first Oriental for the brand. I had it on my forearm for the ride home and kept returning to it for the rest of the day. Irina Adam presented her Art & Olfaction Finalist Phoenix Botanicals Peach Tree Garden. Paula Pulvino is translating the perfume recipes of her Italian grandmother into her new brand Villa of the Mysteries. The final presenter was mad impresario Stephen Dirkes of Euphorium Brooklyn who took us inside his creative process for Cilice.

It seemed appropriate to finish with a Brooklyn-based brand so we sort of ended where we started.

As always it was another fun, and exhausting weekend, in NYC. Thanks to Karen Adams and Karen Dubin for putting it all together.

Mark Behnke

Colognoisseur Esxence 2016 Final Wrap-Up Part 2- The Top 10 New Fragrances I Tried

This year Esxence 2016 was bigger than ever. As a result, I felt like I was constantly running around trying to get to everything new. I tried 103 new perfumes over the three days. I’m almost certain I left some unsniffed. I’ve spent the 48 hours since being home giving a few of them a second sniff without being in an exposition hall full of fragrance. The list below carries the usual caveats. These are the ten fragrances new to me. There were some premieres, like Olfactive Studio Still Life in Rio, that would have made the list if I had experienced it for the first time at Esxence 2016. The other thing to remember is these are snap impressions off of smelling on strips and having them on a small patches of skin. Here is my list in alphabetical order.

Bruno Acampora Azzurro di Capri– I have been surprised at how much I have been drawn to new aquatics after ignoring the class over the past few years. Azzurro di Capri has all the reasons I have come to reconsider the category. It is at first a typical Mediterranean riff of citrus and jasmine. When it arrives at the musk, patchouli, and amber base this all gains some presence which I found very appealing.

Gabriella Chieffo Maisia– I think a good fig perfume will always capture my attention. Maisia is much better than good. Using fig leaves as green contrast to lemon in the top notes it is in the heart where the fleshy fig bursts to life swathed in spices. What really makes Maisia stand out is the use of broom and narcissus which twist the fig beautifully.

Homoelegans Quality of Flesh– One of two new brands which made a big impression on me. Quality of Flesh is inspired by Francis Bacon. Perfumer Michele Marin composed this as a triptych of triptychs to represent Mr. Bacon’s artistic style. The central note of the top, heart, and base are juniper berry, narcissus, and leather. This has only gotten better the more time I have spent with it.

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Le Galion Cologne Nocturne– My most anticipated perfume of Esxence 2016 did not let me down. Perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux working in collaboration with creative director Nicolas Chabot created a cologne for the evening. What Sr. Flores-Roux has dubbed an “amber water”. It is a fascinating construction which surrounds traditional cologne components with an overload of wood and amber. I love the way this develops on my skin.

Maria Candida Gentile Rrose Selavy– Following up the unique Elephants & Roses perfumer Maria Candida Gentile delivers a densely layered rose. Dedicated to Marcel Duchamp, RRose selavy does not suffer that comparison. Every part of the plant is represented and there are multiple different extracts of the flower itself. If you can’t get enough rose in your perfume Rrose Selavy might be your new favorite.

Masque Milano L’Attesa– The creative team behind Masque Milano, Alessandro Brun and Riccardo Tedeschi, have been giving some of the most creative young perfumers an opportunity to impress. Luca Maffei is the perfumer for L’Attesa. He uses three extracts of iris to elongate its development from first moments until the last. What shows his originality is a fermenting champagne accord. This has a yeasty sour wine aspect which is much better in conjunction with the iris than it might be sound. The key to creating the champagne accord, CO2 extract of beer. Masque Milano is becoming a reliable brand encompassing originality and quality.

Mendittorosa Nettuno– Last year I hit this brand late in the day and did not give it a proper assessment in my rush. This year I stopped by when I had time to chat with creative director Stefania Squeglia. Working with perfumer Amelie Bourgeois again Nettuno is an otherworldly paean to the planet Neptune. I enjoyed the slight chill it opens with before warming up considerably as it folds in leather and rum. This is before bringing the chill back with some white musks in the base.

Nishane Istanbul Fan Your Flames– If you’ve ever wanted a perfume to capture a day smoking tobacco, holding a snifter of fine rum Fan your Flames is it. Creative directors Mert Guzel and Murat Katran have captured their desired shisha experience in this opulent perfume.

Sammarco Bond-T– I’ve been chronicling the lighter gourmands coming out in 2016. It was a pleasure to find a new brand going for an old fashioned deep chocolate gourmand. Owner and perfumer Giovanni Sammarco rolls out a 70% Cacao dark chocolate bar infused with osmanthus. I enjoyed the fearless intensity with which Sig. Sammarco composed Bond-T with.

The Different Company Adjatay– Last alphabetically but first on my list as best in show Adjatay’s brief came from a real life moment from creative director Luc Gabriel. After returning from a trip he left some tuberose flowers in an old leather suitcase. When he returned to it he realized he wanted perfumer Alexandra Monet to capture that smell. Mme Monet has made a mesmerizing perfume of tuberose encased in leather refined and roughened as a well-used suitcase should be. Her leather accord is just right to ensnare the boisterous tuberose. The more I wear it the more I fall under its spell.

This concludes my coverage of Esxence 2016. Longer reviews of everything on the list are forthcoming as well as many others not mentioned here. Thank you for following along the last few days on Colognoissuer.

Mark Behnke

Colognoisseur Esxence 2016 Final Wrap-Up Part 1- People, Trends, and Teases

Esxence is always a joy for the opportunity to spend some time with my fragrant friends in real life. One of the early joys of Esxence 2016 was the time I spent with my fellow judges of The Art & Olfaction Awards. The conversations I had with Antonio Gardoni of Bogue Profumo and Sherri Sebastian of Sebatian Signs were mentally stimulating. We are all dedicated to helping these awards be the best they can be. It makes these opportunities when we can get together and talk all the more valuable.

I was once again the roving reporter for the Esxence 2016 video. It is an interesting perspective from which to observe the exposition. I had the opportunity to meet attendees from every continent on the planet. It showed me the breadth of communication fragrance can have without barriers of language or culture.

I also had the opportunity to meet someone I have wanted to for a long time. The more I do my Dead Letter Office columns the more I realize creative director Chantal Roos was ahead of her time. To finally have the opportunity to speak with her was a personal highlight for me.

Another personal highlight was meeting Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison who was attending as Managing Editor of Fragrantica. In his earlier incarnations as the male perfume critic at Now Smell This in 2005 until he founded one of the first solo fragrance blogs by a man, The Perfume Critic, he was an inspiration as I was just starting to write about perfume. It is rare to get the opportunity to thank one of those who inspired me to start writing.

Esxence 2016 entryway

When it came to trends at Esxence 2016 it seems like the Arabian market must be booming because there were multiple brands dedicated to appealing to it. The only problem is the great majority of these brands are using oud-centric fragrances. There has to be a real effort made to differentiate themselves. As I was going through the scent strips I brought home with me I had a hard time figuring out from a quick sniff which brand was which. This kind of anonymity by ubiquity does not bode well for these brands unless there is an insatiable appetite in the Middle East for these kind of fragrances.

The leather trend I noticed at Pitti last September seems to be continuing onward as there were a number of leather based new releases. This mini-trend of new gourmands was also showing up a little more.

I end as I always do with some blind items where I share some sneak previews coming later this year or next year missing some critical information.

-Snap! Crackle! Pop! One brand will be getting down with the Marquis de Sade.

-One brand will be telling a family love story of a love at first sight encounter.

-One perfumer is glowing with anticipation over his next release.

-One Creative Director is looking to head to the Far East for her next brand.

-This brand is going to re-invent its past.

-One of my favorite young guns is about to step up to a major label release.

That’s it for Part 1. I’ll be back tomorrow with Part 2 where I name the 10 best new fragrances I tried.

Mark Behnke

Esxence 2016 Day 3 Wrap-Up- Renegades, Duchamp, and Bacon

Day 3 began with a lecture by Michael Edwards of Fragrances of the World capturing the last ten years of the Artisanal Fragrance sector. I knew the market had really taken off over the last ten years. In 2006 there were 261 new artisanal releases. In 2016 there were 874 new releases. That’s not total that’s added to what was already there. Mr. Edwards challenged the brands who were in the room to look for opportunities to strike out in different places. He illustrated the point by showing that over a third of these new releases are florals. There is room for artistic expression in this sector and Mr. Edwards is one of the few who can show the hard numbers. It was a fantastic way to begin the day.

Michael Edwards Esxence 2016

Michael Edwards Speaking at Esxence 2016

The next stop of Esxence 2016 was three years in the making. At Esxence 2013 perfumers Mark Buxton, Bertrand Duchaufour, and Geza Schoen announced they were teaming up for a project together. Finally Project Renegades has arrived where each of these gifted perfumers created a personal fragrance of their own. When I asked them what took so long the answer were those magnetic heads on the front of the bottles you see below. Each of them had their face scanned in 3-D to replicate their features as renegades. They were worth waiting for because I will never not see these three without a cowboy hat from now on. The perfumes are pretty great too.

Renegades bottles

Project Renegades Bottles

Next I visited with Sophie Gabriel and perfumer Alexandra Monet of The Different Company. The new release Adjutay comes from creative director Luc Gabriel’s life. On a trip he left some fresh tuberose in his leather suitcase. When he took it down again he was greeted with a mix of tuberose and leather. Mme Monet has recreated that visual spectacularly. The leather accord encases the rich tuberose. Easily one of my favorites.

Last year Maria Candida Gentile put a rose with elephants on Africa. For 2016 she takes inspiration from Marcel Duchamp for Rrose Selavy. This version of a rose by Sig.ra Gentile is nothing but rose as every part of the plant and no less than five different extracts of the flower itself are combined into a rose worthy of its inspiration.

Nishane Isatanbul had two new releases but the Shisha bar in a bottle called Fan Your Flames did just that for me. Tobacco, rum, and spices made me feel like I was relaxing in an easy chair, hookah next to me.

It was getting late and I had had a couple of my fellow bloggers tell me not to miss the new brand Homoelegans. I was greeted by the owners and creative directors Francesco Gini and Mauricio Piazzi. They have started their effort with two releases Tadzio and Quality of Flesh. The latter is inspired by Francis Bacon and how much of his artistic work was done in triptych. Of course perfume is also done in triptych with a top, heart, and base. Quality of Flesh represents that with three well-built accords focused around juniper berry, narcissus, and leather.

I was at the end of the day and as always it was difficult to say arrivaderci to my perfumed family. After making one final round of the exposition to get my final hugs I walked out into the evening sunlight. Arrivaderci Esxence, see you next year.

Mark Behnke

Esxence 2016 Day 2 Wrap-Up- Cologne of the Night to Dark Chocolate

One of the perfumes I was most excited to try prior to arriving at Esxence 2016 was where I began Day 2. At Esxence 2014 I learned of Nicolas Chabot’s resurrection of Le Galion and was impressed by his dedication to returning a heritage brand so faithfully. As impressed as I was with that; over the two years since M. Chabot has delivered modern new creations in the brand’s style. The two newest are from perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux called Cologne and Cologne Nocturne. Cologne is a classically executed version of the style. Cologne Nocturne is Sr. Flores-Roux’s version of a Cologne Nouveau which takes cologne from the light of day and through a heart of spicy lavender deep into the darkness of patchouli.

Luca Maffei is one of those precocious young talents who with each new release I find new respect for. When I stopped by Masque Milano to try the new L’Attesa I received something completely surprising. Co-owner/creative director Alessandro Brun handed me a card with the perfume sprayed upon it and talked about it being an iris fragrance which would float on a surface of a unique champagne accord. Sig. Maffei wasn’t looking to recreate the bubbly effervescence of the finished product. Instead his accord would be earlier when the champagne is fermenting with a bit of the yeasty lees apparent making it more sour. It is a perfect complement to the three rich sources of orris used. When I asked about the creation of this accord I was informed the key ingredient was a CO2 extract of beer. This is a fascinating new riff on iris from a brand who is excelling at using young talent.

Of course the perfumers who have been part of the artistic perfumery movement from its earliest days are also not to be overlooked. Mark Buxton showed me his Rock and Roll rose called A Day in My Life. It is a densely layered rose which deepened the longer it stayed on my skin.

art and olfaction awards logo

At this time I was part of the panel who presented the finalists for this year’s The Art and Olfaction Awards. I was one of the finalist judges this year and I was very curious to find out what it was I had been judging in those anonymous little vials a month ago. Here is the list of this year’s Finalists:

Artisan

Albino (A Study in White)- DSH Perfumes

Bird of Paradise- Thorn & Bloom Perfume

Cape Cod Wild Beach Rose- Nomaterra

Incendo- La Curie

Love for 3 Oranges- Aether Arts Perfume

Miyako- Auphorie

Musk Rose Attar- Rising Phoenix Perfumery

Namibia- Frazer Parfum

Peach Tree Garden- Phoenix Botanicals

Salome- Papillon Perfumery

Independent

Panorama- Olfactive Studio

Waiheke Dreams- Juliana Parfums Co.

Fougere Nobile- Nobile 1942

Salim Attar- Tabacora Parfums

Nea- Jul et Mad

Past | Presence- Roads

Dark Ride- Xyrena

Elephant & Roses- Maria Candida Gentile

Rose de Taif Extract- Perris Monte Carlo

Bat- Zoologist Perfumes

Experimental

Century’s Breath- Cat Jones

Dark Enemy- Christy Gast

The Juice of War- Maki Ueda

Signal- Carrie Peterson

Western Drive- Kellen Walker

Being part of this process has been one of the highlights of my time writing about perfume. Now I get to go back to being a fan waiting to see who the winners are in a month’s time.

After the announcement it was back out to try a new brand Sammarco. Owner perfumer Giovanni Sammarco has opened with four releases. The one which caught my attention was Bond-T. Inspired by a visit to a chocolate factory Sig. Sammarco has gone Willy Wonka with a mix of deep cocoa, patchouli, tobacco, and osmanthus. The osmanthus is the note which pulls this together into something very interesting. The apricot character provides a bit of leavening fruitiness the leathery nature of osmanthus provides an animalic grace note. A really nice way to end my day encased in a shell of dark chocolate.

I’ll be back tomorrow with my last day at Esxence 2016.

Mark Behnke