On a recent tour of the sweet-smelling halls of Florence's Pitti Fragranze - the perfume fair which showcases the best of the fragrance world's niche brands - our noses sifted through a raft of new launches. The edit shown here includes brands we are expecting to make a splash in 2013, including Naomi Goodsir Parfums (pictured)
Naomi Goodsir Parfums
After working as a couture milliner for over 10 years, Australian-born fashion designer Naomi Goodsir decided to enhance her offering by adding a line of perfumes to her hats, handbags and accessories collections. Following her passion for the emotional and precious aspects of perfumes, she relocated to the Provençal countryside and teamed up with two star noses (Anick Goutal's Isabelle Doyen and Pierre Bourdon's alumnus Julien Rasquinet) to launch her debut line of fragrances. Using traditional perfumery technique, she produced two fragrances that evoke everything that is special about traditional perfumery. Cuir Velours (Soft Leather) is a deep concoction mixing tobacco and rum notes with citrus labdanum and fleur d'immortelle, while Bois D'Ascese (incense Wood) has a smoky character with notes of whisky and tobacco mixed with amber and cinnamon. Each creation is held in a simple bottle in the Grasse tradition and hand-packaged in a black envelope to evoke a sense of mystery and discovery upon opening the packaging.
The Scent of Departure
French perfumers Histoires de Parfums recently added a travel-inspired line to their impressive olfactory library. The Scent of Departure is a celebration of travel through almost 20 destinations worldwide devised by perfumer Gérald Ghislain and designer Magali Sénéquier, who were inspired by their frequent long-haul journeys. The line is designed to bring back the memories of a trip, or to embark on an exotic journey without the need to pack a suitcase and queue at boarding gates. The Perspex packaging reproduces the familiar graphics found on airlines' luggage tags, enhanced with a gold print of the destination's iconic landmarks or symbols. The scents are highly evocative of the cities and countries they represent: Istanbul is full of the spices and citrus fruits of its Grand Bazaar, New York is represented by the flowers of Central Park and the sea breeze of the Harbour, whilemiddle eastern destinations such as Abu Dhabi and Doha are identified by notes of Jasmine and Amber.
Oliver and Co
Oliver Valverde's approach to perfumery denies any structure or restriction: his 'olfactory experiences' are born out of pure intuition and ingenuity. Based in Madrid, the Spanish perfumer is completely self-taught and follows his instincts rather than preconceived techniques. Launched in 2011, his eponymous brand is an artisanal fragrance lab that allows him to experiment with ingredients to create 'genderless' blends. He began making scented candles, but has now launched five perfumes. He likes to use exotic ingredients: recurring elements are Sandalwood from the Indian town of Misore, Clove Bud from Madagascar, Mexican Lime Peel, Guatemalan Cardamom and Venezuelan Tonka Beans. The packaging features a collaboration with Spanish Artist Pablo Pérez Sanmartin, who created a black and white pointillism drawing to illustrate the character of each perfume.
Flemish fashion, jewellery and furniture designer Nico Uytterhaegen has added yet another field of practice to his prolific career. His perfume range was launched quietly a year ago and has grown to include 12 pieces. The first collection is called Nononsense - a word that may very well sum up his design philosophy, which excludes colour and decorative elements, focusing on shapes and lines with a dark, gothic touch. Each fragrance is discreetly identified by a number, and the line is inspired by the sober approach that a medieval alchemist would have when creating a perfume with few and humble ingredients such as cedarwood, lemongrass, laurel and lavender. In keeping with the dark and minimal attitude of the brand, packaging is simple and unassuming: the black lacquered bottles are printed with the fragrance number and packed in an asymmetrically cut leather pouch.
Exploring the origins of the universe through perfume sounds rather ambitious, but Italian brand Nu-Be seems has confidently risen to the challenge. Originated as a branch of Parma-based perfume hub Fluid Ounce, Nu-Be has created scents that interpret the elements at the origin of the universe. The emotional powers of perfume are used to evoke Hydrogen, Helium, Lithium (the elements at the origin of the primordial explosion), Carbon and Oxygen (the biological ingredients of the world), which form the first part of their 'periodic table in the making'. In Nu-Be's interpretation, Hydrogen is a playful concoction including sensual spices, woods and vanilla notes; Helium has a more meditative attitude, which develops through Iris and Italian Bergamot; while Lithium is a more contrasting mix of woods and musk combined with rose and saffron. Carbon is a sophisticated element identified with cold spices such as cardamom, ginger and black pepper, and Oxygen is a light, regenerating scent of wood with hinted spicy notes. Each perfume comes encased in a gray polystyrene case that needs to be snapped open in order to access the glass bottle inside - a primordial gesture that evokes the disclosure of a fossil.
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