by Rosa Smith. Cover image: Scent of the Metaverse by Rook Perfumes.
The 21st edition of Pitti Fragranze (September 15-17 at the Stazione Leopolda in Florence) is just around the corner, and it promises to be a show of future-projected wonders and a very rockin’ one. We can’t wait to dive in and discover the most reckless, creative and exciting innovations in the world of perfumery, which this year, as the theme “Perception Reinvented” announces, will also explore virtual universes and artificial intelligence. So, which perfume brands should we keep an eye on? Here are 5 fragrance companies that struck us with their rock soul. Ready to tune in?
1. LONDON INSPIRATION FOR ROOK PERFUMES
Pitti Fragranze’s rock’n’roll journey could not be complete without London. Rook Perfumes is a niche, vegan, cruelty-free fragrance house founded in the lively city of the Rolling Stones and David Bowie by perfumer Nadeem Crowe, an emergency physician and actor living in North London. “The Rook Triangle represents the balance my three careers bring me. Science, art and perfumery, with the latter fitting wonderfully in between the first two”, says Crowe. In addition to the permanent collection, Rook Perfumes is experimenting with new fragrances in limited editions, including “Flaming Dandelion,” inspired by a photograph Rankin took during the lockdown, and “School,” a scent created from olfactory memories related to school days. And then there is a project that dialogues with the theme of Pitti Fragranze 2023: Scent the Metaverse, one the first NFT fragrances ever.
2. THE GUERRILLA PERFUMES BY DOUBLE DRAGON
The name is already a cult, a tribute to the iconic ’80s video game Double Dragon, one of the first “kill ’em all” games ever to appear. This perfume brand was born from a collective of creative people from different fields, from design to music to contemporary art. At Pitti Fragranze 2023, Double Dragon will show up without any classic brief. Everything breaks the mould, and nothing is predictable for this super cool avant-garde brand. It starts from original inspirations and has 5 perfumes in its collection: Demna, Tubercoleuse, Teen Spirit, Raf Man, Concrete to Leather. All these “guerrilla perfumes” come in the same bottle (only the colour of the logo changes, always bright and pop) and feature intriguing “concepts” instead of bouquets of notes. An example? Concrete to Leather contains “fog, belts, trips, heart, muscles, orgasm”. Ready to close your eyes and try it?
3. BYRON PARFUMS AND THE SOUND OF PARIS
The soul of Pitti Fragranze is linked to Florence but has always had a globetrotter vocation. Inspired by Paris, the sound of the metropolis and its urban graffiti, Byron perfumes are the brainchild of LARCHITECT’s passionate, creative vision. These bottles contain rap music, stray hip-hop, anger, and wonder. “I have always perceived the sound vibrations of musical instruments as colours, finding in perfumes that alchemical union between musical notes and chromatic nuances,” says the brand’s founder. The perfumes in the collection are veritable journeys: all highly concentrated, they promise to be addictive. Must try!
4. CALAJI PERFUMES AND THE MYSTERIOUS CHARME FROM ROMANIA
Bottles with designs that look like tattoos, magazine pages or vintage posters: the fragrances of Calaj Perfumes, a niche perfume company handcrafted in Romania, are mysterious and intriguing. Created in collaboration with master perfumers, they are all unique and limited edition, with surprising bouquets. Each piece is made and customised by local artisans and looks like an art object. The narrative is very grunge: one of the lines, the Silver Collection, is dedicated to the beauty of the human soul, art, creativity, and all those who dare to do something different to break the daily dreariness. More than scents, they are almost like amulets to carry with you.
AURA OF KAZAKHSTAN, ROCK LANDSCAPES AND LED ZEPPELIN MOOD
Led Zeppelin, Robert Plant pendants and sweeping songs that get you into a loop – like Kashmir or Whole Lotta Love – come to mind here. The bottles are all essential, featuring a rock “bracelet” with a pendant in the shape of an ancient coin, characterising all of the brand’s proposals; the fragrances take us on a visionary journey through the steppes and towering landscapes of the land to which the brand is dedicated. Aura of Kazakhstan will showcase three collections comprising a total of 10 fragrances at Pitti Fragranze. These include a Floral collection, a collection inspired by geographical areas, and a history-themed collection, all developed by the best master perfumers. The names are evocative and sound like titles of 1970s vinyl albums, such as Black Gold or The Saga of the Silk Road. Cult.