Unofficial Esxence 2016 Write Up


Post by Val the Cookie Queen


I managed two and a half hours at the Esxence. Virtual high fives are fine thank you very much. I did not try anything in the show because I prefer to do that at home in peace and not surrounded by nuclear clouds of oud.

Esxence 2016 #5Preparation for Esxence 2016

Unofficial Esxence 2016 Write Up

Esxence 2016 #2

Esxence 2016 #7Milano Central Station art

Esxence 2016 #18 Neela Vermeire

Esxence 2016 #19 Neela VermeireNeela Vermeire introducing the new Take Two Packs. 2 x 15ml for travel and sharing!

Esxence 2016 Perrfumed MagpiePerfume Magpie, absolute delight.

Esxence 2016 #3

I chatted with Pauline Rochas of Coolife NYC and brought home samples of their fragrances. She is the granddaughter of Marcel and Hélène Rochas absolutely charming and what a heritage.

HomoElegans. I mean you just have to. Two fragrance samples in an elegant box labelled as an “experience kit”. Stay tuned.

GriGri Parfums is another new fragrance brand, Anaïs Biguine the nose. She has created some really rather
good perfumes for Jardins D’Écrivains which encouraged me to take look. Seeking inspiration from the history
of tattoos throughout the ages, itself an art form, makes for an artistic combination. The Ukiyo-E with its genmaicha
and green tea notes, representing the Japanese tattooing called Irezumi, sounds particularly aromatic.

Intent on fulfilling the wish of a good friend I stopped by at the Stéphane Humbert Lucas stand to enquire about the new up and coming fragrance. They were rude and bloody arrogant, not to mention unhelpful. I left. I would not buy anything from this brand even if it WAS good……..

Esxence 2016 #4Imagine this ten times more crowded

Esxence 2016 #12Antonio from Bogue

Esxence 2016 #13Val (me) at the Prada Foundation Haunted House exhibition

Esxence 2016 #8Esxence 2016 #9Jeroen from Mona di Orio

I spent a joyful few hours with Jeroen Oude Sogtoen and his assistant Henrike, together the brilliant Mona di Orio team and did put the new fragrance Bohea Bohème onto my skin twice, each time smelling quite different. More to come.

Esxence 2016 #14Lecture

Esxence 2016 #15Prada loos with Vero


Esxence 2016 #16My first ever selfie

Esxence 2016 #17Mark Behnke, We would be best friends if he lived closer.

When I love something I get over excited and cannot stop talking about it. Ellis Fass Make Up! The best red lipstick I have ever used and as my dear stepfather would say “I have been through more of them than you’ve had hot dinners”. The last two days I have used their foundation. Sublime. I am in touch with them and ordering foundation, lipstick, concealer and mascara. Super excited I can tell you. Am I the last one to find out about them?

Esxence 2016 #10Vero getting ready to go downtown for dinner

Esxence 2016 #11Chatting outside Esxence 2016

Oh. And two days with Vero.

Milan discoveries? Hermès Doblis Parfum and Vintage Vol de Nuit EdP. Did I ever stand a chance?


45 thoughts on “Unofficial Esxence 2016 Write Up

  1. Brilliant. You brave the crowds and oud cloud so we don’t have to.
    Shame on Stephane Humbert Lucas. That’s the nail in the coffin for them as far as I’m concerned.
    I can’t get enough of Vero and how nice to see a pic of Yukiko.
    Looking forward to hearing more about Bohea Bohème and your other discoveries.
    Oh and you look good in my t-shirt.


  2. Lovely writeup! Thank you for sharing! Thank you for the heads up on Lucas, it is forever damned now. And the lipstick, well please do tell more ?


    • Hey Barbara! How cool to see you here. You know in three years of doing APJ posts I have never complained about anyone, but once in a while and attitude gets right up my nose, or in this case, not up my nose. I will do a post on the Ellie Faas stuff when I have it so I can take pictures as well. Absolutely wonderful make up, and the perfect blood red lipstick.
      Bussi. Val xxxxxxx


  3. Great photo of Neela and Vero! Looking forward to your impression of the new Mona. Any idea when the new tobacco Vero Profumo will be out?


    • Hello Tara! More Mona soon …… 😉 Hmmm. I think the vero may have been delayed a while to coincide with her ten year jubilee coming up next year. But don´t quote me. Thanks for dropping by at APJ, we love it!! 🙂 xxxxxx


  4. Wow Val,
    Fabulous photo essay! Mark Behnke’s frog shirt is to die for 🙂 Regarding the Lucas…can that outfit really afford to be rude at a trade show? It does not bode well for the brand. Thanks for the lipstick tip! I don’t know if could ever pull off your signature red but I would like to try!
    Azar xx


    • Azar! Hi. You absolutely could wear this red. It is not like any red I have ever worn. I am just ordering it and will do a full post on the products. Based o the natural colour of blood, it does not clash with the skin. It is really beautiful. Re SHL? Whatever. Hugs. xxxxxx


  5. Yes, I clocked the ‘hers and hers’ T-shirts, haha.

    Really enjoyed this account – and the photos – I think I could have happily stayed in that Prada bathroom for the entire duration of the exhibition.

    Glad you had such fun with your fumehead friends – old and new! – the people are the best bit of this hobby as we always say.

    I don’t think I’d do well at a perfume fair…option anxiety on steroids. You’ve piqued my curiosity about Doblis good and proper now, mind.


  6. Hey Val,

    Great write up!

    Love the sound of GriGri Parfums – fascinating. And a new Mona di Orio! I’m excited, love their fragrances.

    Shame about Stéphane Humbert Lucas – I like their Mortal Skin frag but wow, so expensive…

    Thanks for the review, sounded like such a fantastic trip.

    xx Tina G


    • Hey Tina G! It is nearly May. 🙂 Maybe it is a shame about SHL but there are enough other fragrances out there to make up for it. Hip does not always equal good.
      See you soon!! xxxxxxx


  7. I have to laugh, about us two being friends in spite of everything (you know, the opposites… ?) : I drink genmaicha almost every day and every single day make a note “wah, it smells like dirty socks cooked in hot water…”. I encounterd Ellis Faas few years ago when sold at Liberty and bought lots of things from them, just to be annoyed a short time after about the complete crap of packaging, which let the products dry out after a very short time and I promised to never touch E.F. again… Not to mention the Stephan Humber Lucas thing…. I love you, Val ! ❤️


    • Hey LJG! I haven´t actually cooked dirty socks in hot water, but I know the smell of wool in warm water ……….. The perfumes are a little more fragrant. 🙂 The EF red lipstick is worth the risk! His. I love you too, I really do. xxxx


  8. Hi Val, this looks like a whole lot of fun and your pictures depict the atmosphere fabulously. Looking forward to your reviews, especially of Gri Gri Perfumes. The philosophy behind it is very intriguing. And Stephane Humbert Lucas – boooooohh!
    Thanks for sharing the fun!


    • Hi Neva. Yes, the Gri Gri fragrances are very interesting. I am in the process of trying them out. Generous samples and beautifully presented. SHL was no surprise but maybe I caught them at the wrong moment. Thanks for taking time to say hi! xxxx


  9. Oh, bring back memories. 😉 It was great going to Campomarzio70 and walking around with you, Vero, and Dr. Fox. I wish I could have spent longer time with you though!After you left, I guess I spent more time talking to people than actually sniffing perfumes at Esxence. 😀


    • Undina my dear. did it in two days. A good hour on each one. Lest you think I did it all in one go. I couldn’t do that with chemical assistance! Thanks for dropping by! Love to all three of you. xxxxxxx


      • I was a little bit surprised at your post’s opening: “I managed two and a half hours at the Esxence” thinking of why would you go there even for a day just to do 2.5 hours of “hi-bye”s. But now I’m even more confused: did you spend those 2.5 hours during two days? Were you just hanging out with Vero for the rest of the time somewhere in the city?


    • Hey Undina! I guess it might have been two hours on the first day, but that included sitting outside on the chairs for a while. We picked Vero up from the station at midday on her arrival from Zürich. After a rest at the hotel we went downtown and spent the rest of the day at Campomarzio and with the MdO crew. We had planned to attend the Xerjoff launch in the evening but blew it off instead. Had a great spaghetti dinner together. Vero went back to the hotel, Dr Fox met a friend, and I met Magpie! We walked to the Esxence location together so she would know where it was for the next day. Lukasz The Chemist met up with us there. He whisked Magpie and her partner off for their dinner and I headed back to the hotel. I spent a couple of hours with Vero, in her room, sniffing all the samples I had gotten earlier in the day. That was sooooooo much fun. Must have been around 22:00 that I went back to my room to chill, Dr Fox returned and we spent an hour sharing our evening adventures!

      Friday saw us all three of us going to the show. We hooked up with Magpie again and spent an hour, perhaps a good hour there. 🙂 Dr Fox then went to fetxh the car and the now four of us went back downtown. Campomarzio, cooffee, lunch, Santa Maria Novella, café snacks, window shopping and generally enjoying being together.

      The evening was spent at before going back for a late meal at our favourite workingman’s restaurant next to our hotel.

      Saturday morning was spent at the Fondazione Prada before heading home.

      So I guess the answer to your question was yes. Hanging out with a fragrant group of ladies.


      • These sound like amazing two days (and I’m not even sure you actually needed the event – well, other than the means to bring everybody to the same place at the same time ;))!


  10. Yay, another Cookie Queen Perfumed Adventure! Such a perfect melding of words and images. Thanks for letting us be there with you, Val.


    • Greennote! I am really happy you enjoyed it. I am lucky to live near to these things. And I do not take it for granted. I save hard and book the hotel in December when the rates are good. Bake myself into a coma so I can take time off to go. It thrills me that people like to read about it – especially since I don´t sniff to much. Thanks, bussis and love. xxxx


    • Hello Nemo. Yes, it is the same two in each pack. There doesn´t seem to be a plan to mix and match at this point. Never say never though. I absolutely love the idea. It makes it affordable for everyone. Gorgeous small bottles, highest quality, exactly as you would expect. xxxxxxx and hugs. 🙂


  11. Hi Val love the EF lippie
    Enjoyed the photos and your account of the fair in Milan, wish I was there! Paris sounds like a great idea with Tara!


  12. I think we should have strapped a video camera on you. Well, we can still organise that for the next one 🙂
    I am with LadyJane on Ellis Faas. Initially loved the products, but they dried out. The colours are great though.


    • Hahahahahaha!! Noooo! It would be a blur of me running as fast as possible through all the stands and then everyone would know that I have a severe anxiety disorder. I will drop EF a line about the drying out thing. I want the lipsticks whatever, Hmmmm. xxxxxx


  13. Perfect red lipstick you say? Really… I must look into this further.
    Oddly enough I’m not surprised by the SHL attitude. I’ve never met them and only barely sniffed their perfumes but for some reason I’m not surprised. Instinct? No matter though, bravo to you for walking away. There are plenty other scents out there.
    Vero is just the best. I’d love to meet her someday.


    • Hi Poodle. Oh yes. It is such a gorgeous colour. I have never worn anything like it. Have a look on their webpage at the Ellis Red spot. SHL?
      I absolutely did walk away. Not my cup of tea anyway. 😉 Hugs my dear and hope you are alright. Bussi. xxxx


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