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

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