By Rosa Smith. Cover image: Pitti Fragranze 2023 identity. Courtesy Pitti Immagine Uomo.
Much more than a fair; it is a salon, a perfumed atelier, an olfactory stage. Pitti Fragranze will be back in Florence at the Stazione Leopolda from 15 to 17 September, and it promises to be a very special edition, with immersive experiences straddling multisensory installations, art and imagination. Presented during a press conference held at the Istituto Marangoni in Via Verri in Milan, the title/theme of this edition, where 170 selected brands have already confirmed their presence, is Perception Reinvented; it will be a unique stage showcasing extraordinary niche brands and next-generation olfactory experiences.
It is no coincidence that the event is taking place in Florence. After all, long before the #perfumetok trend, the city was already the capital of perfumes, and today it is once again the ‘fragrance first lady’.
New olfactory experiences
How is a contemporary fragrance created? And what impact can it have on our daily lives? While neuroscientists and anthropologists are studying the new augmented sensoriality, Pitti Fragranze has already designed a fascinating laboratory space set up in the Spazio Alcatraz at Stazione Leopolda to experiment with our new perceptive possibilities. The multisensory path created by four digital artists in experimental symbiosis with four avant-garde noses will be called Symbiotic Experience_the reinvented perception. The installation, curated by journalists Paola Gariboldi and Susanna Macchia, will be an opportunity to reflect on the new frontiers and possibilities of perfume creation. The full sensory immersion will ravish the senses, featuring specially composed fragrances by Alberto Morillas, Coralie Spicher, Serge Majoullier and Jerome Di Marino, inspired by the works of digital artists Gisella Alfieri Sabattini @retrospective.ai, Bonnie Tsang @bonnietsang, Giovanna Sala @meteoavverso and Alex Valentina @alexvxvx.
The brands on stage at Pitti Fragranze
This season, alongside the most prestigious niche olfactory brands, from Absolument Parfumeur to Frassaï, Goutal and Fragonard, a section of Pitti Fragranze 2023 will be dedicated to new brands. The area will be called Spring and host 20 fragrance brands presenting themselves to an international audience for the first time. A few names? Acqua di Noto, Spiritum, Ephemeral Dyadic. They are all waiting to be discovered and sniffed in the Pitti Fragranze exhibition spaces.
News and curiosities
There will be many innovative brands and novelties to discover at Pitti Fragranze 2023. These include the genderless fragrances by 19-69 signed by Johan Bergelin, a Swedish artist, photographer and product designer whose motto is ‘bottling the counterculture’. Avere la Barba is joining the stage with products and fragrances made in Italy with a vintage touch from the Venetian lagoon. Also featured are celebrity-adored skincare and haircare lines by Edward Bess, who started his career as a model and later created his first lipstick line, “The lip wardrobe”, at just 20 before expanding the collection. Mayme?, the first fragrance brand founded by a flight crew, will also be there. Alongside its collection of fragrances in ecological packaging, it will bring an interactive work made up of suitcases.
Talks dedicated to niche perfumery
In addition to exploring and learning about new niche olfactory brands, Pitti Fragranze n. 21 will also offer an opportunity to converse on the most innovative topics related to olfactory experiences and the fragrance business with dedicated talks and workshops. These include a debate on the “New olfactory lexicon” with Matilda Morri @ssssinister_ and Roberto Drago (Kaon), on Saturday, 16 September, at 11:30 am, and a panel devoted to medieval Arab-Islamic perfumery entitled “Perfumes and essences at the Court of the Caliphs” on Sunday 17 at 4 pm.
On Friday, 15 September, at 11:00 am in the Talk area of the Stazione Leopolda, Raw by Mane will present “The Scents of Collective Unconscious”, featuring extraction processes of local raw materials. This all-Italian olfactory journey will take you on a trip through the past, present and future, showcasing the creative power of perfumers, the authenticity of increasingly local raw materials and the revolutionary extraction techniques of the Mane perfumery house.
The Istituto Marangoni talk – don’t miss out!
Istituto Marangoni Firenze will also be at the Stazione Leopolda! On Saturday, 16 September, at 4 pm, we will be on stage with a debate entitled Music and Fragrances: a Story of Passion and Business. We will talk about synaesthesia, fragrances and music as a new sensory and emotional amplifier but also a business lever for companies. We will also take the lead role as special reporters for our online magazine, I’M Firenze Digest – Istituto Marangoni. The students will cover the trendiest brands and the most interesting new developments at the event as well as the school’s Instagram account and magazine I’M Firenze Digest, which will debut in September in a revised and enhanced edition (stay tuned!).
Fragrance and cosmetics future managers
And, since this future-forward and exciting world is increasingly looking for skilled professionals. To meet this demand, Istituto Marangoni in Florence is launching two new courses dedicated to fragrances in September, preparing brand managers and future product managers in this industry. One of the courses is an Intensive Undergraduate programme, Product Management for Fragrances and Cosmetics, where students will discover how to launch a beauty product from start to finish. The curriculum covers topics such as production, marketing and distribution strategies for luxury perfumes and beauty brands, as well as the history of perfume and cosmetics.
The school is also introducing a special postgraduate Master’s Programme – Olfactory Experience Management for the Luxury Industry – where students will learn about niche perfumery, planning and developing olfactory and sensory experiences.
“We have invested heavily in this sector, which is extremely on the rise and is also linked to a concept of brand and luxury development,” said Stefania Valenti, Managing Director at Istituto Marangoni, during the press conference. “Cosmetics had an incredible development. And we realised from talking to the trade associations that managers are missing. We talked for a year and a half with Accademia del Profumo and other associations at European level to try to find out which managers companies needed. We have created Bachelor and Master courses to train high-level managers in business and in marketing, communication, and social media. The courses are in the process of being validated with the Italian Ministry, this would be a success for the whole sector: to date there are no validated masters in Italy in this sector. We will be the first active player as at an international level there is no intensive and bachelor training that provides excellent skills and competences fully integrated with the needs of companies, with whom we have been discussing to fine-tune the curricula.”