Esxence 2022: Sarah’s Report
At last, back to Milan...
Where do I start? My trip to Milan for Esxence 2022, the world’s leading niche and indie fragrance fair, exceeded all expectations and reminded me of the many reasons I love the fragrance world.
I had been invited to speak at a panel event. Co-hosted by author and journalist Sarah Colton and Wouter Wiels, founder of Rives de la Beauté, this panel was to explore “The Importance of Stories and Storytelling in Perfumery”. Other panellists were Dominique Brunel, co-founder of NEZ, writer and photographer Rafaëla Capraruolo and Kelly Kovack, founder of beautymatter.com.
Milan is a fantastic city. Once I arrived and headed for Esxence, the memories came flooding back. I can’t say it’s a city I associate with kicking back and relaxing—every time I’ve been here, I’ve been working, whether on fragrance or art projects—yet the promise of experiencing Esxence in all its glory for the first time since COIVD-19 changed all our lives, was exhilarating as I headed for MiCo, where the fair takes place.
We'll meet again... and finally we did
Before and after the panel event, I had a great time catching up with old friends at the fair. It was rather moving catching up face-to-face. It only really dawned on me, when we were finally meeting up once again, just how much I had missed that special experience of hanging out with peers and friends in the industry during COVID's disruption of this ordinarily annual event.
It was lovely to reconnect in person with some of the amazing noses with whom the house has collaborated: Miguel Matos, Chris Maurice and Andreas Wilhem. Face-to-face, in the excited atmosphere of the fair, those unique aspects of their individual personalities, as perfumers and as people, really shone through that just doesn’t happen as organically with digital communication.
That same special aspect of communicating face-to-face was equally a delight of catching up with others in the industry such as reviewers, editors and influencers, among them old friend Sebastian Jara, aka The Perfume Guy, writer and editor Nicola Thomis, who has been so supportive of the house, Eduardo Garcia de Alba, the reviewer based in Mexico City aka My Scent Journey who has been instrumental in taking the salient points about our house and its fragrances to native Spanish speakers, and, of course, numerous others.
It was great catching up on fragrances that I haven't yet had the opportunity to smell. I really enjoyed smelling new releases and unfinished works by friends and colleagues. The trip was a treat for all the senses.
The Storytelling & Perfumery panel discussion
Speaking at the panel event focussing on storytelling—a topic close to my heart and at the centre of what our house does—was enjoyable and informative. Esxence has thoughtfully recorded all of its side programme of discussions and published them on YouTube. So, for those of you who are interested in storytelling in perfumery, click below to see what we all had to say. I, for one, was very engaged by the unique stories and thoughts of my fellow panellists.