Esxence 2019: One Memorable Ravioli. Home from Milan.


Val the Cookie Queen


Ciao APJ

I just got back from Esxence 2019.  Dribs and drabs of the visit will come out in some future posts.  Did I have a brilliant time?  Yes.  Was the show great?  Perhaps – if you could plough your way through the really nice bloggers, way too few, horrific YouTubers, way too many, and Perfume Influencers – wtf – do not even get me started.   So many new brands, and I promise you they will not last a year.  Enough of that!  Let’s have a round up and some photos huh?

Esxence 2019: One Memorable Ravioli.  Home from Milan.

B.londeswunder and I arrived at the  Milan Central Station at around 09.30 and went off to check into the hotel, shower, put on full slap, and head to the show.  Except that did not pan out.  We could not check in until midday (how stupid was I to not even think about that?) and all the rooms were full, so no we could not borrow a shower.  Right.  I have a major hair disorder and could not believe I would have to go to the show with unwashed hair and no shower after having been on a train all night.  Deep breath.  Double waxed my hair into position, and we then both sat in the lobby, behind a pillar, spread our 37 different make up products onto a towel we put onto the sofa, and spent an hour doing our make up.  Changed clothes in the loo.  And off we went.  No, my hair OCD is not cured, but I continue to learn flexibility.



Talking with Megan from Atelier Des Ors about the new launches.  Also Megan of the blog: meganinsaintmaxime.  One and the same.



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Chatting with Megan, and Clayton of What Men Should Smell Like.

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Lunch with our dear friend Antonio.  







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 Vero´s girls.  

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As Hannah and I were strolling through the more arty area of Milan, we had a surprise call from Neela inviting us to join them for lunch.  With the wonder that is a navigational system on the phone we proceeded to meet them at the restaurant.  Over my dead and mangled body will I ever share what we talked about; suffice it to say they were the best company.   The food was exquisite.  I ordered ravioli stuffed with ricotta cheese and spinach and an egg yolk.   One.  About the size of a fried egg.  It was quite the most delicious ravioli I had ever eaten.  One memorable ravioli.







30 thoughts on “Esxence 2019: One Memorable Ravioli. Home from Milan.

    • Nooooo. The only thing you missed out on was us. Oh right. FOMO. Correct. But you will have a fabulous vacation and I will then have FOMO. Love you. xxxx


  1. What a fabulous time you had! I have never seen the Hiram Greens in real life…they look like jewels and I so want to hold one.
    More tales to come??

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    • Hi Jackie b – they are jewels. Each one totally different and each one a beautiful single colour. Bottles are heavy and spray perfectly. I don’t believe there is anyone who is working with naturals quite like Hiram. Was a great experience helping out.
      Loved the YouTube girl who dropped by wanting a free bottle. I think her favourite house was Bath and Bodyworks. There’s one tale right there. Hugs. xxxxx


  2. No need to say it all CQ. We get it. The scene has changed loads and not for the better. But that just makes us value perfumers like Hiram (and our late, much missed Vero) all the more.

    Ravioli is THE BEST. Does Blondeswunder know you posted that spaghetti pic of her? Haha

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    • Hi Tara! Yes, she knows. There are Instagram pages just for pasta. True story. Yes, the ravioli was incredible. Three would have been even better. Neela and I are still laughing, Yeah you are right about valuing perfumers such as Hiram.. (Although there are a number of perfumers creating their own stuff, very, very few are any good.). I guess we are the old generation now. …….


  3. Lovely to see more pics and read some of your thoughts, and for you to have seperated the wheat from the (abundantly present) chaff (is that proper English?) so we can ignore all that. And concerning hair OCD we say in the Netherlands: als je haar maar goed zit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I could not agree more. Hair is so important, and über-important to me. Hahahaha. An OCD. But yeah – I honestly don’t think I have had a day where I have not washed and done my hair in the morning for at least 25 years, probably 35. So I did have to get over myself really fast. It was OK – I just felt a bit grubby, but luckily the hall was completely dark and had no windows. (You can imagine how it smelt after four days of thousand of perfume spritzes.). xxxx


  4. How awesome, loved the pics! Really looking forward to hearing about the new HG Lustre. My husband and I had supper with Neela and Tony in Paris one year, so I know how much fun you had. 🙂

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    • I´ll wear Lustre of the next couple of weeks and report back. Yep – it was an absolute bonus having lunch with the Vermeires. Unexpected and great fun. xxxx


  5. Hannah is the sort of woman who merely looks cool with spaghetti hanging from her mouth. 😉 I loved how you coped with your bad hair morning. Priceless. And your surgical strike approach to the show. I would love to try more of HG’s line, knowing how into it you are. And Neela is great company and a total foodie. Your memorable ravioli with bonus egg sounds like a highlight.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahahahahahahaha. LMAO. Indeed. Oh gosh – you know me in real life – can you imagine how I had to process no shower, no fresh hair, and putting make-up on on public? Sheesh. I think you would enjoy some of Hiram´s perfumes. Hannah went crazy for Arbole Arbole – and I will give her my travel bottle tomorrow. My gosh it is so good. Well, it was a ravioli I will never forget, that is for sure. Mwah. xxx


    • Strenuous. And fab. I bought a sweatshirt, so definitely worth the trip! And ate pizza twice, a treat I just about never allow myself here. SO good. xxxx


  6. Sounds like a great trip. I have no doubt you rocked the hair straight off the train; the image of you doing makeup from a towel in the lobby made me giggle. What fun to work at Hiram Green’s booth!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I most definitely did not rock it, but now that no one noticed or cared. And I got over it pretty quick, which was quite an achievement tbh. We went straight for double espressos after getting ready and there is no doubt that looking at yourself through caffeinated eyes makes a huge difference. Hahahahahaha.
      Yes. it was really cool spending little time on Hiram`s booth. xxxxx


  7. An intriguing summary, which left me wanting SO much more! It’s good to get over one’s grooming OCD – There’s a great story of the Mitfords’ Nanny Blor, saying to Diana about some appearance crisis,”Never mind, dear, no one’s going to be looking at you,” to which Diana replied “On my wedding day?” (It was indeed her wedding.) Wicked Nancy used the anecdote in one of her novels. It helps put things in perspective.

    I hope there will be more about HG – I thought I would love Dilettante best (ordered samples) but while it’s lovely, it’s Moon Bloom that really has me under a spell. I do want to try Arbole Arbole and Lustre, probably because I’m a masochist: I shouldn’t really buy another FB, so finding something to yearn for is asking for it.

    And please tell about the Vero display – is Campomarzio 70 keeping her house alive?

    Loved the photos – so glad you had a blast!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is so true – people really are not looking. It was a good lesson, but I do not wanna repeat it. Arbole is fantastic, maybe my favourite, although after having the pleasure of getting to know all of them pretty well over the three days, I cannot really chose. I will slowly start to collect the rest. I have three …….

      They want to keep the VP house alive, yes, but we will have to wait and see how that goes with the Swiss side of things. So. no, nothing fixed yet, but …… big hugs. xxxx


  8. Anything particularly outstanding – I mean parfum-wise ? Your hair look bloody perfect to me ! Any time soon in Vienna ?

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    • Truthfully? Apart from the new HG and the new Masque Milano and Atelier Des Ores (I have a samples not tried yet) …… I got no other samples and tried nothing else new. Totally not interested. Loved being there, but not the masses of perfumes. There were probably gems in amongst the rubbish, but yeah ……
      Hopefully end of May, beginning of June. Will you be around? I will plan around your availability. Kisses. ❤️


  9. Yours and Luca Turin’s review on Esxence are refreshing, I can’t wait to read more about your adventures in Milan, Val!
    PS “Perfume influencers – wtf” is a perfect description for those people. Argh.

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    • Yeah. They really are annoying – but it’s how shit rolls in 2019. I don’t see them going away. They are just kind of dumb. I would love to call out the two most annoying ones
      – Hahahahahaha. But obviously that would not be appropriate. 😇


  10. Hiram Green and Masque Milano are the only ones I care about, but I am dying to hear about and smell their new stuff. I just tried a set of samples of a small NYC line that shall remain nameless and every one was an exact dupe of an existing, decent, popular in NYC perfume. These were cheaper, so I guess that’s something?

    But your trip sounds like a whirlwind of fun and exhaustion.

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  11. The Lustre from Hiram is just beautiful. A rose soliflore that last for hours and just keeps getting better. It could not have had a better name. I have a sample of the MM but not tried it yet. Smelled it at their booth but impossible to remember. It was a whirlwind. And fun too. ❤️


  12. I love your stories, Val! It’s great to get a glimpse of the fair and the “behind the scenes” and your comments are priceless 😀 Can’t wait to hear more about the perfumes.
    Btw, am I the only one who expected a picture of you and Neela Vermeire’s (hot) husband ??? 😀

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