September 18, 2016
Pitti Fragranze 2016
Did you ever wonder what goes behind the scenes at International fragrance exhibitions? When the buyers and bloggers aren’t vying for attention. Quiet moments. Ainslie Walker, who is a Jasmine Award winner spent time when the show doors were closed with Carlos Huber of Arquiste, Mark Buxton of Mark Buxton Perfumes and Project Renegade (with Bertrand Duchaufour and Geza Shön) as well as with Neela Vermeire and Jean Phillipe Clermont of the luxe house Atelier des Ors. Whether eating breakfast, sharing apertivos or a quiet lunch we uncover some secrets of some of our favoritecreative directors and perfumers at Pitti Fragranze 2016. You will notice that Arquiste El, Atelier des Ors Iris Fauvre and Neela Vermeire Rahele were favorites with our three correspondants Ermano Picco, Danu Seith Freyr and Ainslie Walker.-Michelyn Camen, Editor in Chief
Carlos Huber of Arquiste and Ainslie Walker
A ‘boho’ night in Florence with Carlos Huber of Arquiste: Arquiste’s Carlos Huber and I met at his favorite restaurant in Florence, Trattoria Cammillo in Oltrano, near Ponte Santa Trinita. A cozy and quaint traditional trattoria where we shared delicious Florentine dishes under low, cave-like, tiled ceilings. On the menu were deep fried zucchini flowers, Sicilian red prawns, spaghetti alla bottarga, local bread and local wine by the carafe. These folk are serious about their food – Carlos even got in trouble for pouring olive oil over his zucchini – apparently it is not the done thing in Firenze!! We had a real laugh.
Vecchi Amaro del Capo liqueur is made with 29 herbs from an ancient recipe from Calabria Italy; it is as complex as a perfume
I enjoyed wafts over dinner of his latest fragrance for men, El. The sillage continued behind him as we left the restaurant, strolling through cobbled, narrow alleyways looking through antique store windows, discussing history and architecture in the 30-degree heat. El pumped out a beat of its own, a hot and spicy fougere that nods to magnetic macho. You don’t want to fall for this guy…but…SNAP! He is too darn sexy. I could almost hear its disco beat. The fragrance was inspired by glamorous globetrotters’ boho nights in 70’s Acapulco and so I was happy to experience it, almost in situ! (We skipped out on the disco vibes and sex on the beach).Eventually we arrived to Piazza Santo Spirito, still in the bohemian area of Florence where large groups of people were dancing in the square and eating al fresco. Carlos pointed out the huge blank façade of Basilica di Santo Spirito, which historically remains unfinished. Carlos lived in Florence for some time when he first left home to study architecture, so he was in his element. We joined a large group of Spanish beauty editors (Esquire, GQ) and fragrance boutique owners in another restaurant and chatted in Spanish, drinking into the wee hours. It was boho Florence, Spanish style!
Ainslie and Mark Buxton and his renegade satorial style
Early Morning Cuppa with Mark Buxton
The morning of day one at Pitti Fragranze and I had an interview with one of my all time favorite perfumers Mark Buxton booked in first up. I was a little nervous about meeting him so jetlagged. My nerves were calmed when my phone rang and I heard Mark’s ultra deep, cool voice -accent and vibe similar to that of an English clubber at Ibiza in the 90’s. We met and sat outside to chat – Mark in a pearl necklace, trademark hat and sunglasses. He told me he loves Florence and finds the whole city to be a museum, however his favorite pizza place is actually in his hometown, Paris! Saint Germain’s Golf de Naples.
We discussed where the Renegades project with Bertrand Duchaufour and Geza Schoen was up to – they’d just launched in Paris first week September and Germany was to follow the week after Pitti – mid September. They had been working around the birth of Geza’s new baby girl last month (Michelyn, a close friend of Geza’s kept this wonderful news private). I asked him to tell me about his favorite ‘babies’ – the raw materials in his perfumer’s organ. He discussed his favorites to work with include smoky green vetiver, cashmeran for its effect, fir and all animal notes, in particular civet. I like Mark a lot, a man who seems to dance to his own drum. And is that not the best way to live? We plan to meet again during my trip to Paris, so stay tuned.
Ainslie and Neela Vermeire at Pitti Fragranze
Neela Vermeire face to face in Florence!
Jean Fabre Sculpture from the Spritual Guards in Florence (Neela Vermeire)
Pitti Fragranze 2016 was the first time I met the warm and lovely Neela Vermeire. It was also my first visit to gorgeous old world Florence. Whilst chatting to Neela about the latest addition to her collection, osmanthus based Rahele I asked her for her top MUST SEES for me in Florence, especially as I do see her as a well-educated historian of sorts.
Uffizi Art Gallery – highlights include Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, a collection of Leonardo da Vinci’s, Michelangelo’s, Raphael’s works and my favorite, Gentile da Fabriano
Palazzo Pitti / Boboli Gardens – I had a walk around the beautiful Italian gardens. There are some great vantage points and lovely scented laurel trees amongst grottos and sculptures galore. While I was in town there was also a Karl Lagerfeld exhibition on inside Pitti Palace!
Museum of Palazzo Vecchio (Palazzo Vecchio)
Photo of Jean Philippe Clermont at Pitti Fragranze by Danu Seith Freyr
Atelier des Ors’ Jean Philippe Clermont favorite resort and newest Perfume Iris Fauve
Iris Fauve Cecile Zarokian
Atelier des Ors’ Jean Philippe Clermont is based in the South of France, close to Grasse, thus I quizzed him about the area. I will be there for the next 2 weeks so I was hoping for recommendations from a local. He has a busy schedule, with the brand now sold in 30 countries, so I asked him where he goes to completely relax. “I relax at Valbonne – an old French market village. I love strolling, the plantain trees, terraces, wine…” His favorite seaside location is near Antibes, Cap d’Antibes. He loves the tiny local wooden boats and finds watching them very peaceful and extremely relaxing. He even showed me a photograph so I can find it when I get there. Sometimes for those peddling high-end luxury fragrances, it’s the simple things that really satisfy! One of the best iris fragrances I have smelled is Iris Fauve, it will change your mind about Iris.
beautiful flowers photo by Ainslie
Guest contributor Ainslie Walker, Ainsliewalker.com
You can follow us on Instagram @cafleurebon and ainslie_walker