For artisanal fragrance creators and enthusiasts, Esxence is akin to a mecca: four days of industry insights, networking, and fragranced scent strips galore, with visitor numbers this year reaching 9,000 and 279 brands exhibiting. BeautyMatter touched down in Milan to offer our viewpoints on the industry—our founder Kelly Kovack spoke on the panel “The Importance of Stories and Story Telling in Perfumery: A Literary Salon/Press Review” alongside fragrance journalist Sarah Colton, strategic communication expert Wouter Wiels, Nez magazine co-founder Dominique Brunel, perfumer Sarah Baker, and author Rafaela Capraruolo—and scope out all the olfactory glories the industry has to offer.
“We are witnessing a veritable renaissance for Artistic Perfumery, with a considerable increase in the numbers of international and Italian brands that have applied to take part in the event,” states Silvio Levi, co-founder of Esxence and Director of the Essencional Study Centre, which is dedicated to Artistic Perfumery R&D. “Attention has been returning in recent years to the importance of our sense of smell and people have rediscovered the fundamental role it plays in the everyday experience of individual wellness.” In Italy alone, the artisanal perfumery branch had an annual turnover of €270 million in 2021, constituting 30.6% of fragrance sales overall.
The fragrance category has been witnessing a burgeoning influx of interest in recent years, with billion-dollar acquisitions and booming expansion plans. Here is our shortlist of fragrance brands with their finger on the (perfumed) pulse.