Fragranze 2012: Losers and Winners...(part1: the winners)
I decided to skip on a full report on the fair as, this year, it was sort of underwhelming and a bit "low profile"...here's a one liner list of my personal winners and losers...(not all the brands attending the fair are included in the list. I was in a rush and my decision to go came at the very last minute so I decided to focus on those brands I wanted to meet their owners and/or perfumers...). Here we go with the WINNERS
Nico Uytterhaegen: A first timer to these types of events. A mysterious avant-garde belgian designer releasing all black leather good and clothes. I define his style as halfway between Martin Margiela and the north european new school of the likes of ButterflySoulFire. During the past three years or os, he have been building a line of 10 fragrances (the Nononsense series) and two new EDP's called Unisekt Arae and Unisekt Vyyr. All of them strike as incredibly "fresh" (concept-wise), sort of post-CDG's kind of stuff. He lists, among others, a geranium/vetiver, a couple of musks, some florentials, a couple of "odd-balls", a fruity musk...All of them are characterized by a remarkable avant-gard facet that would make the joy of any modernist around...Not to talk about the packagins. All the fragrances come in a hand-crafted leather pouch which is stunning. Re-usable as a handbag, bum-bag...Just beatiful. Last but not least, the guy rocks!
O'Driù: In a fair where most of the people showed up incredibly dapper, he went for a pajama-and-slippers outfit. The organizer of the fair, commented his stand saying it was indecent. As a matter of fact he acted as a catalist on the medias. He presented his new Allegradonna, a stunning galbanum bomb.
Xerjoff: I'll list Xerjoff both among the winners and losers for different reasons. What I really liked about this brand is how friendly they acted. Very nice people to deal with....
Vero Profumo: Most of us already know Mito. Just mythical.
Amouage: Despites the debates surrounding the launch of the interlude duo, I find both the fragrance and the brand's style to be extremely coherent. I still have to properly test the juice on skin but, so far, I've found it extremely complex.
L'Artisan Perfumeur: Seville A L'Aube is gorgeous.
Histoires De Parfums: Not a fan of the new Alice & Peter series but the new Editions Rare trio is well worth exploring in depth. If I got it right, they're all focused on spices. Got also a sample of the new Music Hall...Ghislain rocks, as usual.
Keiko Mecheri: The Bespoke series looks promising. One of them is supposed to be a tribute to Shalimar but among those I smelled, I can't say I "catched" the citation...Anyway, my first impression was positive on most of them with both Cuir Fauve and Soussane being the standouts IMO.
Hutieme Art: Poudre De Riz is nice. A light gourmand that could be easily included in the Hermessence range. Not my type of stuff but, somewhat, nice.
Fragranze 2012: Losers and Winners...(part2: the Losers)
Xerjoff: Their new JTC line sounds like a Maserati or a Ferrari releasing an utilitarian. Scary project indeed...
Etat Libre D'Orange: Appearantly they took the brilliant decision to attend the most important italian fair for niche fragrances leaving their new releases at home. The Afternoon of a Fawn? Dangerous Complicity? Missing in Action...
The Blood Concept: Their new +Ma and Red+Ma (plus-ma / red plus-ma) are probably the worst fragrances I smelled in years. Ugly concoctions of white-musk and laundry detergent with fruity elements. I make them sound like the average modern designer feminines but they smell REALLY gross. Red+Ma is described as a mixture of milk and blood...As appealing as a colonscopy.
Maitre Parfumeur Et Gantier: Ambre Dorè was the only fragrance they had to offer. Considering it was originally released 4 years ago (stating to the words of their representative), it was too little and too late. Last but not least, smells like a slightly updated version of their grand Ambre Precieux.