Esxence The Art Perfumery Event

Esxence is an annual event in Milan which showcases international fragrance brands. This is a place for distributors, buyers, press, content creators and fragrance fans to gather under one roof to share their passion from all that is olfactory. Esxence provides a perfect platform to experience an array of fragrances, discover new brands, formulate trends and get a sneak peek at any new releases.

Arriving in Milan on a late-night flight, I thought my first Esxence experience was going to be more caffeine-fuelled than fragrance-fuelled. Luckily my enthusiasm outweighed my lethargy, and the sight of thousands of fragrances filled me with much-needed positive energy. Being my first visit, navigating the labyrinth of stands within Esxence was initially overwhelming due to the sheer volume of chatter, fragrance and people. Amidst the sea of scent and being the organised individual I am, I had already sought out the brands I wanted to meet first.

Meeting the faces behind the brand

After meeting Atelier Des Ors last year in Cannes and having already written about a few of their fragrances, it was one of the first stands I just had to visit. Arriving at their location I could already see the flashes of pink and gold proudly marketing their newest fragrance, Pink Me Up. I was kindly guided through the range and was immediately captivated by their Extraits, intense versions of their already popular Rose Omeyyade, Nuda Veritas and Lune Feline perfumes.

I then set off to find Electimuss London, a brand I have proudly reviewed on numerous occasions, whose compositions and packaging style are truly impressive. After their recent release of Gladiator Oud by perfumer Julien Rusquenet (who I had the pleasure of chatting with), I just had to explore the range further. I was thrilled to come away with a few new favourites in mind and whisperings of exciting future releases.

An Olfactory Flight

One brand that was creating a buzz was noneother than Dutch fragrance house, Fugazzi, with their impressive airline-themed installation. Like stepping inside a section of an aircraft, each ‘traveller’ had the opportunity to sit in their seat and take off on an olfactory journey. Their energy was palpable and you could immediately see the joyful correlation between the founder and the brand. With an array of unique and fun fragrances to choose from, I gravitated towards the beautiful In Love With The Cocos, a creamy coconut scent with white florals and Saint Rémy inspired by the location where Vincent Van Gogh’s painted his Irises Painting.

Swapping airplane for a rocket ship, I blasted towards De Gabor Paris to experience their new fragrance Astronaut. The founder, Gabriel Gabor talked me through the range and the exciting new release. Astronaut is a tribute to two rare and unique professions, the astronaut and the perfumer. It homes in on the exclusivity of such careers with only being approximately 600 astronauts yet less than 500 perfumers in the world. The fragrance is an uplifting fresh and aromatic composition with an ambery woody base.

Take me to Church

Having grown to like these types of fragrances myself it appears that the nuances of incense are on the rise. Used in different religions throughout the world, it seems we are craving this peaceful harmonious ingredient in abundance. One which stood out was Oman Luxury’s Royal Incense, an elegant scent with a trail of smoke that trickles with honey. I even got the chance to chew on frankincense resin, which is common practice in Oman. I can’t say it was the best taste but it was great to experience the ingredient with another sense other than just in a fragrance. For me, this ingredient is somewhat instantly calming but depending on how it’s composed can go from really angelic to extremely seductive, or as Alice Du Parq likes to say “sexy church”.

Royal Incense (Image from website)

Another stand-out one, not only for his fantastic installation was Filippo Sorcinelli and his Trompette 8 fragrance, from the Extrait de Musique collection. Renowned for his love for playing the Organ, the bottle is shaped like the trumpet of a French organ and housed in a handmade wooden vessel. The fragrance is an olfactory symphony of incense, aldehyde, labdanum, cedar, peppers and elemi. It’s like you are sitting next to the organ in the midst of Notre-Dame.


I know that over the last year, Gourmand fragrances (fragrances that replicate the smell of food) were really on the increase, especially in the dessert category. But now this has branched out into all sorts of unusual creations. In particular, I noticed an array of fragrances which included the note of Carrot Oil. One which stood out was Wild Carrot Oud by Bohoboco. This deep orange elixir reveals a unique spicy, sweet and earthy scent which stands out from the crowd. On the subject of vegetables, Bel Rebel exceeded expectations with their new fragrance, …& the pea. Think of cracking open a fresh pea pod amidst a floral garden, it is utterly unique, joyful and captivating.

Veering away from the vegetable patch it is time to head to Italy with State of Minds brand new fragrance Fanfarone Italiano. Usually known for their tea-inspired fragrance, they have surprised us with a new introduction centred around the ingredient of coffee. Coffee is very difficult to get right, however I was in for a beautiful surprise. Its voluptuous, indulgent, smooth and addictive, a rich complex fragrance with a hint of freshness.

Last but not least is Florence’s renowned fragrance brand Profumo di Firenze which has recently released a fragrance called Fior di Pane. Exuding vibes of fresh bread dough being kneaded on a flour-dusted marble counter, it is unusual but very addictive. It’s one of those scents where your mind says no and your nose says yes, but somehow it just works!

Transcending Scents 

With there being a huge focus on the connection between fragrance and well-being at the moment, there were a number of brands exploring this realm further, this time transcending into the world of spirituality and other mystical practices. One that I gravitated towards was Spiritum, a brand inspired by a visit to a spiritual retreat by its founder, Jonathan Dufour. Realising the power of traditional medicine and sacred songs, he encapsulated the heady scents and transformative ambience experienced during the ceremony into each of the fragrances. This resulted in a range of 10 contemporary fragrances rooted in spirituality and inspired by the ancient science of numerology.

British Brand Argentum took centre stage with their new fragrance range inspired by different archetypes that reflect inherent energies and patterns that are common to us all. Drawing a card from a pack, revealed a specific archetype which in turn allowed you to choose the fragrance associated with that image. The fragrances are unique, spraying a milky consistency that combines fragrance and special ingredients that are kind to both skin and hair. Not only do the fragrances smell fantastic but they are housed in stunning black vessels each with their very own talisman that you can wear for protection.

One of my favourite highlights was meeting the founders of Ggema Fragrances, husband and wife Thomas and Ruth Méaulle. Previously known as Orlov the fragrances have been beautifully rebranded and still very much gem inspired. There are three collections in the range; Ruby, Sapphire and Moonstone with each of the fragrances being infused with healing crystals. The couple were such a pleasure to talk with and you could see the passion ebb from every part of their being. There are some old favourites (renamed) and new creations to experience and I am very much looking forward to sharing these with you.

All in a Tiz

Whilst at Esxence I was kindly invited to an intimate dinner by the renowned Italian brand, Tiziana Terenzi. Hosted by founders, brother and sister, Tiziana and Paolo Terenzi, the special event took place at the NH Milan Citylife Hotel. Ever since I started using their fragrances it was a dream of mine to eventually meet them in person, and I wasn’t disappointed. Their personable and fun personalities were infectious and a testament to why the brand has grown exponentially over the years. The pride that exudes from them is visible for all to see, proudly keeping their family history alive with the power of fragrance.

Seated amidst products from Tiziana Terenzi, V Canto, Giardino Benessere & D’otto, we enjoyed a three-course meal around beautifully decorated tables. It was here I got to meet other creatives from all over the world and was fantastic to see them face-to-face and be in a space with like-minded individuals. Now I am not a big fan of the word ‘influencer’ as it can sometimes portray certain connotations but there is no doubting (being one myself) how much work goes on behind the scenes. This is why I adore Tiziana Terenzi, as they welcomed us in like a member of the family and took the time and effort to converse with every individual. They truly value the role of the digital creator and how important it is in today’s society and how creating personal bonds is part of their superpower. I received the most generous gift bag with a few of their fragrances and will be sure to share them in the future.

If you are keen on a career in fragrance, a fragrance enthusiast or simply just want to enjoy a few days in Milan, Esxence is the perfect reason to visit. Personally, it solidified my passion for the industry. Although the event was tiring and a lot was going on, the energy and joy I got from being in such creative surroundings was infectious. Fragrance is much more than coloured liquid in a fancy bottle, it is a carefully curated artistic expression just like music or a piece of art. As I continue down the rabbit hole of this exciting sector, I just cannot wait to see what happens next. 

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