Seen & heard at Esxence 2024


BW Confidential highlights the brands and trends seen at the Esxence event, which took place in Milan from March 6-9

The 2024 edition of perfumery event Esxence was bigger and busier than in previous years. The show floor area almost doubled to 14,000m2 (150,700ft2) from 8,000m2 (86,100ft2) last year, and exhibitor stands were larger and more elaborate. There was also strong buzz about the show, with large crowds from when the doors opened. Visitor numbers reached 12,000, up 17% on last year, while 360 brands, 70% from outside Italy exhibited at the show.

The effervescence at the show in part reflects the boom of the high-end fragrance market. “New markets are opening up and the number of consumers keeps growing from the prestige segment, but also from Gen Z, who are attracted by the audacity of some of these brands,” comments Esxence Co-founder Silvio Levi.

According to Esxence organizers, ‘artistic perfumery’ accounts for 2% of the global beauty market. In Italy, the turnover of artistic perfumery was estimated at more than €310m in 2023, or around to 2.7% of the country’s domestic beauty business. This segment accounted for more than 14% of the turnover of the perfumery channel and just over 30% of fragrance sales.

The concept of the event this year was Metamorphosis, as in how raw materials used in perfume change over time, the organizers said. The theme is also meant to reflect consumers’ search for new values, especially in terms of the environment.

Brands seen in show


Atkinsons, acquired in 2020 by Italian company Euroitalia, exhibited for the first time at Esxence, and presented the revamped version of the brand. The fragrance lines have been streamlined into three collections: Iconic, Emblematic and Contemporary British. The ‘Englishness’ of the Atkinsons brand, which was founded in London in 1799, has been given a contemporary twist and all the products are made in Italy. The brand showcased the woody amber spicy EdP James scent, (100ml retails at €180) which pays homage to the brand’s founder James Atkinson.

Fragrance band Ghawali, founded by  distribution group Chalhoub, exhibited at Esxence for the first time this year. The brand is positioned as a contemporary oriental niche line conceptualized in Dubaï and made in France. The collection of 11 fragrances was revamped in 2020 and rebranded with English names to be ready for international distribution beginning this year. The 75ml Eau de Parfum retails at €185. The fragrances are available on Ghawali’s website and the first distribution agreements are being signed in Italy, the UK and Colombia.

Dubai-based and family owned company Ajmal showcased its Privé Collection composed of five lines, with each comprising three fragrances. The Signature line in the collection includes three wood extraits: Cocoa, Leather and Musk. Each retails at $360. The company, which acts as a grower, manufacturer and retailer, aims to accelerate its international development with a launch in the UK and expansion in the US and European markets in chain stores and independent perfumeries.

Riyadh-based Arabian Oud showcased its new line, Arabian Blend. Each of the six fragrances (retailing at €300 for 100ml) bears the name of a ‘jabal’ (mountain) in the Arabic desert. The brand is sold in 35 countries, mainly through its 1,200 own stores (in the Middle East, New York, Paris, London and Milan). It plans to expand its international distribution with Arabian Blend, especially in Europe through niche perfumeries.

French brand Ella K, which was launched in 2018 by Givaudan master perfumer Sonia Constant, showcased its 14 fragrances. Eleven of the scents in the Core Collection were inspired by Constant’s journeys around the world, while three in the K Collection highlight an ingredient. The focus was on Orchid K, which will be on counter in April (the 100ml EdP retails at €250). Ella K is sold in high-end department stores, concept stores and niche perfumeries. Italy is the brand’s number-one market.

Paris-based hima jomo, which launched in 2022, showcased a collection of eight fragrances inspired by the Himalayan mountains. The first four fragrances evoke the Himalayas in the four seasons, while the other four are dedicated to four treasures linked to mountain range. Launched at Esxence is Khullu, the fourth in the Treasures line. It refers to yak wool, and was composed by perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour (the 50ml EdP retails at €178). The brand operates its own store in Paris and is sold in Europe (it is distributed in Italy by Calé), Taïwan and online. The next step is expansion in Asia.

CPL Aromas master perfumer Christian Provenzano presented the revamped version of his own brand. The collection is made up of 11 fragrances with a 35% concentration and come in bottles topped with caps decorated with green Swarovski stones. Six scents are new creations; all the fragrances retail at €310 for 100ml. The brand is sold in 22 countries and the objective is to expand international distribution.

Jou Jou is an organic (ECOGEA certified) capsule niche skincare range created by Nikolina Firm.  Launched three years ago, the brand combines wildcrafted botanicals and green biotechnology. Among the best-sellers, are Absolute Berry, a bio retinol face oil (€82 for 30ml) and Marshmallow Rose (€76 for 50ml), a balancing moisturizer. The brand is now sold in Croatia, Poland and Greece, and the aim is to grow in European niche perfumeries.

Buenos Aires-based Frassaï was launched in 2015 by Natalia Outeda, who designed each of the fragrances as a homage to her country and her people. The 10th fragrance, Dormir al sol, on sale from May (the 50ml EdP retails at €180) aims to evoke the soothing sensation of falling asleep in the sun. Frassaï is sold on its website, and internationally in niche perfumeries (it is distributed in Italy by Calé). The objective is to expand distribution in Europe.

Esxence factfile

Took place: Milan, Italy, from March 6-9

N° of exhibitors: 360

N° of visitors 2024: 12,000 vs 10,300 in 2023