The Naked Truth – Fragrance Manifesto at Esxence 2017

Posted by
Sarah Colton
 March 7, 2017

Photo by Patrick Ibanez  Courtesy Christophe Laudamiel



As the world’s largest artistic niche fragrance trade show held in Milan each spring, Esxence the Scent of Excellence has been the seeding ground for many “In the Beginning…” stories, experiences, and relationships in Perfumery since its own beginning nine years ago.


An example of one such ‘beginning’ was the launch of Bad Girls Perfume in April, 2016 at the 8th Edition of Esxence, which not coincidentally emphasized the paramount importance of The Garden of Eden, where thanks to the power of fragrance (in the hands of Bad Girl heroine Eve), Original Sin burst fully formed on the world scene, and changed the course of history forever.


It is thus entirely appropriate that the theme for this year’s Esxence experience should be The Garden of Eden, bursting as it is with lush, sensual, fragrant floral  and fauna.


And it is highly appropriate that Christophe Laudamiel, clearly a representative sans pareil of Eve’s consort, should present his Fragrance Manifesto, Liberté, Égalité, Fragrancitésurrounded by the sensual primal, and perfumed splendor of The Garden of Eden, official theme of the 9th Edition of Esxence Milan March 24-26, 2017.


Anybody familiar with Christophe Laudamiel or his works knows to expect the unexpected. Anybody who does not yet know Christophe – watch out! Or rather sniff-out!


Prepare yourself! Manifesto is nothing short of a call to action for drastic upheaval in the way we experience, think, and communicate about perfume.


Indeed, by first envisioning and describing a near utopian world in which people benefit from the vast and beneficial powers of perfume, Manifesto then names and counters current limiting mis-information and prejudices that block the potential of such a world, and ultimately calls on perfume lovers to join him in the creation of such a world through whatever actions are available to them, notably education, the media, and personal example.


Master perfumer, chemist, scent sculptor, performer, and lecturer, Christophe Laudamiel is author of numerous avant-garde high-end signature fragrance creations, often linked to cutting edge technologies or artistic push-the-boundaries initiatives. Referred to as “… the greatest inventor of novel perfume structures working today,” by Luca Turin, Christophe is the only perfumer officially represented by two art galleries, DILLON + LEE Gallery in New York, and MIANKI in Berlin.


A Noble Purpose

Esxence and Christophe have chosen to present this unprecedented and deliberately provocative event with the purpose of jolting you the participant out of any lingering complacency of fragrance thought, word, or deed, and galvanizing you to actions that will bring your own interpretation of  the Fragrance Manifesto to fruition.


How An Ideal Fragrance World COULD be according to Manifesto

First, the public shall be allowed to learn real information.

*Children shall be given olfactory education in schools and at home to awaken the senses, communication, and intelligence;

* Blind people shall be offered extra olfactory stimuli and experiences;

*Teachers and psychologists, as well as doctors and nurses, shall walk around with “scent kits”. Via smelling sessions, they shall obtain stories patients won’t recall by oral or visual questioning. In return, patients shall enjoy that healthy brain aerobic called smelling;



Examples of Manifesto’s Challenges to Current ‘Wisdom’

 *The market is oversaturated.

Really??!!   Since when have limits to the choices we have been a good thing? Does anybody really want a limit to the number of red lipsticks on the market, even if this were possible?  Or the number of songs available on iTunes? Why should Perfumery allow cultural dictators to lurk in corners, ever ready to accept this role and snatch our freedom from us?

*Perfume is bad for your health and the environment

Compared to what? “Smelling doesn’t provoke much more allergies than music provoke epilepsy crises.” Should we ban concerts? “One doesn’t damage one’s nose, lungs, or brain by smelling, as these organs are made just for that: to smell. Human beings get fresh olfactory cells every 4-6 weeks like sharks regularly get fresh sets of teeth. Perfumers are not known to have rotten lungs or worn-out noses…. [and] they use the same alcohol as used in vodka, beer, or whiskey. Are you allergic to these?”

* Synthetic molecules are cheap substitutes for naturals.

“…Consumers shall be allowed to know that man-made molecules are fabulous things.  They help protect the planet, foster art and technologies, and have been used in the best fragrances continuously since the 1880’s.”  Of course, Christophe remains a fierce defender of natural ingredients as well, although they are deemed  “too expensive” or “unreliable” by many.

“Let’s stop the drama coming from ignorance!”


Manifesto and Esxence’s Challenge to participants


BEFORE the Show


Prepare yourself for the experience. Read Christophe’s Manifesto.


What specific actions can YOU take as a creator, purchaser, manager, advisor, teacher, journalist, blogger, architect, designer, or mere or perfumista to enlighten your entourage on subjects such as:

*The nature of perfume;

*How to better ‘smell’, experience, and communicate the perfume phenomenon?

* Respect for Fragrances as an art form. Why is a fragrance a work of art? Why is a perfumer an artist?

*Or any other of more than  50 challenges put forth in Manifesto?


Share your thoughts NOW – on social media, blogs, websites, newsletters, in your shops, classrooms, and among your friends.


DURING the show

Bring an open mind.

Leave limited beliefs and prejudices at the door.

****Candidates interested in playing an impromptu role of Eve during the program, please contact The Management.  No experience or clothing necessary.


AFTER the show

Go forth as a true perfume disciple and share your message around the world, around your job, and around your hobbies.


May the Perfume Force Be With you!



Further reading for those who dare.

 * Christophe’s website.   More will be unveiled in Milan.

 * Christophe’s Instagram account  for high quality behind the scene magic.

 * If you weren’t in NYC for February 2017 Manifesto show at the Dillon + Lee  Gallery,  read M. Camen/H. Courtright’s excellent recap of it on

 *  V. Vitale’s artistic perspective on the show.



Basic info

Name of Event: Fragrance Manifesto, Liberté, Égalité, Fragrancité

with Christophe Laudamiel – Master Perfumer, Karen Marin – Business development manager Parfums Givenchy, and Sarah Colton – Journalist 

Date :  Friday, March 24, 2017

Time : 9h45

Place: The conference room of Esxence – The Mall, Piazza Lina Bo Bardi, Milan





  1. Nancy Togar |

    Good luck at the show! How fun it sounds. I agree completely> Scents are ignored and we should be much more aware of what they evoke in us.Who hasn’t smelled clothes of a baby or deceased family member?
    Love your website

  2. Steve |

    I’m going to need a bigger bottle…

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