Esxence 2024: Catch it on Replay!

2024 . 05 . 02 | written by Karen Marin

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Fragrance lovers

Just a few weeks ago the artistic fragrance community descended on Milan to gather for the 14th edition of Esxence, the Art Perfumery event. This is the moment for fragrance lovers and professionals to indulge their sense of smell, to discover new brands and new fragrance launches, to network and reconnect with old colleagues and friends. In addition, Esxence always hosts a wide range of panel discussions, interviews and presentations which are informative, educational and entertaining. Many exhibitors tell me they wish they could attend but can’t leave their booth, while other people regretted that they couldn’t travel to Milan.

Not to worry if you weren’t there because all of the sessions were recorded and are available on YouTube! From numbers and performance, to interviews with perfumers, to deep dives into geographic regions as well as focuses on ingredients, and more, there’s something for all interests. Here’s an overview of some of the great content you can watch at your leisure.


If you are interested in how the fragrance sector performed in 2023, then have a look at The State of the Global Fragrance Market and 2024 Outlook. Daniela Servidio and Alessia Ceriani, both Senior Account Managers at Circana, provided a global overview on trends before discussing the key drivers of market growth. The session concluded with thoughts about the future for the Global Prestige Fragrance sector. Key takeaway? Globally fragrance accounts for 36% of the beauty pie and finished 2023 with an increase of 11%.

The state of the global fragrance market and 2024 outlook by Circana for Essencional (

Circana Workshop
The Circana Team

Curious about trends? Watch Clayton Ilolahia of Fragrances of the World as he presents Emerging trends and revisiting the definition of niche fragrances for 2024. He shares an amazing statistic in that, since 2003, the number of niche fragrance launches has grown by 970%!!! (146 launches in 2003 vs 1563 in 2023). As he stated, niche is the birthplace of a lot of ideas which eventually trickle down into prestige fragrance. He called out a few ingredients to watch including fresh ginger, cognac and incense. He ended his presentation with a look at what it means to be niche today.

Emerging trends and revisiting the definition of niche fragrances for 2024 (

Considering the growth in niche brands, is it any surprise that they have become prime targets for Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A)? In the 2024 Essencional Observatory Marco Ricchetti, Economic Advisor to Essencional, made a deep dive into the acquisition fever found in the perfumery sector. His case study sheds light on the criteria that makes a brand attractive and ripe for the picking. The panel also reported findings on the hot topics of social media, ending with a focus on fragrance schools and professions requested in Italy.

2024 Essencional Observatory. (

Observatory Panel
Marco Ricchietti
Observatory Panel
Observatory Panel


If you’re more interested in the people behind the product, there were plenty of interviews with perfumers, retailers, and educators. Yours truly had the sublime pleasure of conducting a one-on-one interview with none other than Calice Becker in Encounter with an Industry Icon - Calice Becker. Ms. Becker spoke about three pillars of her career: her life as a perfumer, her role as Director of the Givaudan Perfumery School and her mission as co-President of the International Society of Perfumers-Creators. More of an informal chat than an interview, Ms. Becker entertained the audience with stories about some of the fragrances she has created, including the international bestseller, J’adore.

Encounter with an industry icon: Calice Becker, Givaudan (

Encounter with an Industry Icon
Calice Becker

Should you be curious about the profession of perfumer then watch Roundtable with Rising Star Perfumers. Isaac Sinclair of Symrise, Sofia Bardelli of GRC Parfum and Maya Njie of her eponymous fragrance brand talked to the audience about their path to perfumery before discussing some of their unique creations. Coming from different backgrounds and countries, having learned the craft in different ways, the viewer will appreciate the candor and insight offered up by this dynamic group.

Roundtable with rising star perfumers (

Rising Perfumer Panel
Isaac Sinclair
Maya Njie
Sofia Bardelli

If your interest lies in the retail side of things, then The new rules for a winning perfume retail model is the panel for you. A trio of retailers from Budapest, Bucharest and Brussels took to the stage to weigh in on the challenges facing independent retailers today. Pillar strategies include being client centric, providing education and offering unique perfume experiences.

The new rules for a winning perfume retail model (

May we suggest you follow that video with Edu-tainment: Bringing the Fun into Training Staff & Educating Consumers? Chi Wai Tang, Founder and Consultant, Fragrance Connection along with Samuel Gearing and Josh Carter, both Directors at SG Brands and Fiole UK, approached the topic of how to train and educate while also being entertaining. The panel made an interesting comparison between formal classroom-style training and social media short format video – proving that the content is the same but the execution – and ensuing entertainment value – is quite different.

Edu-tainment: bringing the fun into training staff& educating consumers (

Edu-tainment Panel
Questions asked and answered
TikTok video
Josh Carter makes a point


Several workshops made it possible to leave the confines of Milan behind us to explore new regions where fragrance is thriving. Come along with us from the comfort of your home! In Unveiling the Middle East’s connection with Artistic Perfumery, Rawya Catto, General Manager CPL Aromas and Saeed Alnuaimi, CEO, The Library Boutique, joined me to explore the cultural heritage and the traditions of this market where scent is ever-present in the day to day life, playing a crucial role in hospitality, grooming and rituals. The discussion also delved into the exploration of native ingredients previously not used in fragrance which are making inroads into product development.

Unveiling the Middle East’s connection with Artistic Perfumery (

Saeed Alunaimi
Rawya Catto
Smelling ingredients
A full house

What’s happening in South America? In Introduction to the world of Artistic Perfumery in Brazil, discussion topics included the importance of sustainability, the focus on vegan ingredients and the challenges of doing business in this country. A key point was made about the significant price differences between local product and artistic perfumery brands.

Introduction to the world of Artistic Perfumery in Brazil (

And of course the program couldn’t neglect to offer a workshop on the geographic region of China. In Geographical area: Asia. The encounter of two civilizations.The perfume expedition to China the panelists emphasized the fact that fragrance has become a bridge between the cultures of the West and the East, and that the consumer is very culturally oriented. As with the panel on the Middle East, here again, there is an interest in finding ways to extract scent from local ingredients which have not been used in fragrance yet.

Geographical area: Asia. The encounter of two civilizations. The perfume expedition to China (


If you have a passion for ingredients, then cue up The Power of Sacred Woods: A spellbinding tale by Givaudan of iconic raw materials. Arnaud Guggenbuhl, Head of Global Marketing, Insight & Image Fine Fragrances and Eugénie Briot, Historian, make their second appearance at Esxence to take us on a deep dive into the world of wood ingredients. After last year’s successful lecture on patchouli, this year they talked about the characteristics, the methods of harvesting and extracting for five woods -oak, hinoki, cedarwood, sandalwood and palo santo. They even mentioned related synthetic and upcycled natural ingredients.

The Power of Sacred Woods: a spellbinding tale by Givaudanof iconic raw materials (

If you’re curious about regulatory matters, then you will want to watch How can IFRA help build understanding in the niche fragrance market? Martina Bianchini, President IFRA Italy, spoke about the organization’s mission which is both to set standards for safety in fragrance while also being an advocate for workable regulations that maintain as wide a palette of ingredients as possible. She then discussed some of the tools available which help ensure compliance standards are met. Ms Bianchini tackled some difficult questions at the end of her session.

How can IFRA help build understanding in the niche fragrance market? (

To conclude, how about a look at a controversial topic: Artificial Intelligence. During A practical immersion in an Artificial Intelligence perfume day Calice Becker and Isaac Sinclair spoke about how they have both used this tool for education and creation purposes.

A practical immersion in an Artificial Intelligence perfume day (


This is only a smattering of the workshops recorded. Visit the official Esxence YouTube channel to view the full assortment and start watching.

(3) Esxence - YouTube

On behalf of Essencional, I wish to thank all of the panelists and fellow moderators for their time, dedication and insights which made priceless contributions to the 14th edition of Esxence.

And now we have the exciting task of creating the workshop agenda for the 15th Edition of Esxence, slated to occur 19 – 22 February 2025. If you have an idea of a topic you would like us to present, feel free to email me at Please enjoy the videos and be sure to like and add a comment. We all look forward to seeing you next time!

See you next year