- Jan 1, 2014
Thanks for this! I enjoyed reading it. And to think we can look forward to "more to come" as well.
OK, here is the other bit.
I missed iodine. She was there on a different day from me. I would have loved to have said hello, and I missed Basenotes, and Colin
I missed UNUM. I do think that I saw the stand.
I did meet Lucas briefly which was a pleasure. Some of you will remember the poster Lucasai? He is in the industry and he also has a blog called Chemist in the Bottle if you would like to read his reports.
It was a fantastic experience and it was a privilege to be able to go, but here is the thing that you need to know. It wasn't all good. I don't want to give you the impression that it was perfume heaven and the be all and end all. The thing is that Exsence is a trade show. It's not a public event. It's a trade show which is open to the public for two days of it's run. If you have ever been at any kind of trade show you will know how it goes. It's very hard work for the exhibitors there, with long days, day after day, and it's usually costly to the company. They are there to promote their business. So, it's not that I don't understand or respect that. I do.
There were four us at the exhibition, three women and a man. We split into two's. On arrival I have to admit it was actually really overwhelming. We later discovered that we had all felt that. One of the girls thought that she wouldn't be able to stay, although she did. (A glass of wine in the cafe helped her!) The show is massive. There were around 160 exhibitors there. The stands are quite close together and some of them are small, so if there were two people at the stand, maybe four on one of the bigger ones, it was mobbed. The space seemed quite dark with the stands being lit up spaces. There is quite an intense atmosphere. Some stands are more lit up than others and there were pockets where we were really hot. Too hot to approach a stand in a crush of people and lights. I was really interested to read iodine's post about her visit. I had much the same experience. There were people there who were so generous with their time and there were people who were so disinterested that they were rude. We were asked countless times if we had a shop and when we said no, some people visibly disengaged and that was the end of that. We were wearing visitors badges and some people clearly noticed that straight away and backed off.
Samples were not willingly given, with some very notable exceptions like the companies I mentioned above. I'm not good at asking. I did ask a couple of times when I really liked something but it was quite embarrassing. It was actually really clear that they didn't want to give you them. Le Manufacture does four Colognes. I did ask for a sample of one of them and she gave me it, but my friend liked a different one and when she asked politely if she may have sample the woman said "sorry, no we prefer to keep them for our distributors". My friend actually challenged her that customers buy the product from the distributors, and the woman gave her the sample. But it was really cringeworthy and later my friend said that she wished that she hadn't bothered. It was clear with some that the client/customer, is the buyer or distrubutor buying product and not the person who will eventually buy and love the fragrance. This was not the case for all, as I said before. Masque and Jul et mad actually seemed to enjoy customer contact and Ray Burns and his partner in particular were really great. Oh, and another very honourable mention for the guy on Piguet who was a hoot and was very generous with my friend in her never ending search for the perfect Gardenia. And he also gave me some of their Oud which is lovely, even in an ocean of Oud.
So, I understand about trade shows but the thing is, if the individual customer is not important and not welcome then why open the show to the public?
In terms of fragrance, I told you what my standouts were and they are incredible, and also I missed a lot of stuff which would have been great, I'm sure. But my other general impression from the small selection that I saw and smelled (and I would be interested to hear what other folk found, because this is just my humble impression), is that there was a lot of gloomy stuff. Heavy stuff with strong synthetic woody bases. And also loads of tuberose. Lots of fragrances with tuberose and norlimbanol or something.
So, there you have it. Please go if you can, but just be aware not to expect total nirvana. Now I'll shut up. Well nearly..... forgot to tell you need to register before you go and you will be sent an invitation. It's free. But the catalogue is 20 Euro, but I did buy one. Had to.
Happy if anyone wants to disagree, or to ask anything.
I'm sure a lot of people ask themselves that same question and wonder.
Well stated!We are not quite 'public'... we are 'freelance PR' and free to boot. In both senses of the word.
Anyone going to a trade show and braving that lot is not just going out of indifference. That ought to be fairly obvious to those hosting stands who are rude. I have been at these things wearing the boots on the receiving end and it IS totally exhausting, but not enough of a reason to be abrasive. You never know who a potential client is by their looks.