Whenever I prepare to attend an international perfumery fair (like, for example, the ESXENCE- The Art Perfumery Event in Milan, 15-18 June 2022), my heart is bursting with trepidation. The anticipation is often more rewarding than the event itself.
Every time, I am fueled by curiosity, the desire to meet new people in the industry and old friends and, the exquisite pleasure of discovering new brands. This year was no exception. The theme selected for the 12th edition of ESXENCE - Milan was “Through the Mirror” and according to the organizers, the aim of the slogan was to answer this simple question “What is perfume to you?”
“Perfume is the mirror of our personality, with the ability to narrate our deepest being and our essence”. This is very true and very similar to our Notorious Stories motto: “Perfume is a statement”. With all the trials and tribulations of the perfume industry, I think we are witnessing a true revolution regarding the appeal of this invisible - but powerful - accessory to the young generations.
A beautiful surprise this year was for me the discovery of AMARSI FRAGRANCES. Even though this is an Italy-based perfume brand, it was founded in London, in 2020, by Alessandra Castelbarco. As a young brand, the collection is comprised of 7 fragrances, all of them labeled as “unisex”, with beautiful names (Blue Sacra, Co Co Violet, Ibiza Wood, Illegal Honey, London Fields, Naked Rose, Saffron Madness) and equally beautiful packaging.
Alessandra Castelbarco was born in Milan and started her career as a stylist and fashion editor for Harper’s Bazaar and Rizzoli Group. She has a bubbly personality and loves to travel around the world, absorbing the specific scents and fragrances of the places she visits.
As a child, passionate about art and beautiful things, she used to do “sensorial” portraits of her family and friends, a very original creation technique obtained by mixing oils, perfume, and spices. A homeowner in Ibiza, she enjoyed the unique atmosphere of this island for 25 years, running a small luxury hotel.
A few years ago, she moved to London and joined the Experimental Perfume Club where she gained invaluable knowledge about molecules, essential oils, proportions, and blending, resulting in her first perfume collection.
"Only by loving yourself you can love others"
The name of the brand, Amarsi, comes from Italian, meaning “love yourself” and “love each other” that in Italian is the same word. The same word has a very nice meaning also: "Only by loving yourself you can love others". It is a reference to the creed of Alessandra who believes that “we should do what we love, and we should love what we do”. This is a very wise invitation to all of us, because if you do what you love, the good energy will follow.
Big, life-changing ideas usually show up as plain, little ideas that when given a bit of muscle, gradually evolve into things like best sellers. This means they can often sneak right under the radar and go completely undetected… but only for a while.
The Amarsi Fragrances collection was first available in Ibiza and their best seller was Co Co Violet. This fragrance celebrates friendship (Coco is the name of Alessandra’s best friend) and, as we all know, one of the most important qualities of perfume is that it is the guardian of our memories.
Ibiza Wood is another piece of the collection that encapsulates the atmosphere and uniqueness of this island. Inspired by Ibiza, this fragrance brings forward the beauty of orange blossom and lavender fields mixed up with the wood of a typical pine tree of Balearic Islands. This is a fresh, airy, happy fragrance, for those who carry Summer in their soul, all year around.
As described by the owner of the brand, “Amarsi Fragrances embody the lost emotions of an Indian spice market, a sunset over the Andean mountains, the smell of the rain forest or the magic of a gaze crossing path with a stranger. It’s all there, carried as a hidden gem through sensations on the skin.”
Due to the refined, exotic ingredients used (pink pepper, cardamom, orange bergamot, Sabina wood, vanilla, amber, palisander rosewood, palo santo) Amarsi Fragrances open a miraculous world of sensations all wrapped up in memories we would like to keep in our hearts forever.
My encounter with this brand, this year at the ESXENCE - The Art Perfumery Event in Milan, was not only a happy coincidence. It was a stroke of luck, a joyful discovery, and a real revelation. Whenever I travel for work, I love to make memories I am proud to keep….
In this fast-paced world where there are new launches every minute, it is refreshing to see that some brands still offer great quality fragrances, real gems of perfumery that, on careful consideration, turn into beautiful works of art, “dreams in a bottle” which we can carry and use to our heart’s desire….