Not that we have forgotten all about it already, but today, let us bring back to mind The Scent Dubai and how the event pleased us, parfumistas and perfume journalists, not only because of all the new perfumes we discovered (which can be remembered by smelling the samples), but also because of the special accompaniment of art and design.

Upon entering the exhibition, visitors were first met by various artistic expositions that combined perfumes and arts. Elena described these beauties in her photo report partly, but some important expositions are yet to be uncovered.

Samreen Shah, Elena and Svetlana with photos on background

For example, Samreen Shah, a photo artist from Lahore, Pakistan, who presented her photo project The Art of SCENTography. The concept of the project was to depict rare natural ingredients, more often used in niche perfumery, together with the human body and its emotions.

Samreen Shah photo "Cinnamon"

“Cinnamon”, (С) Samreen Shah

How to show the connection between the body and fragrance, how to convey the inner texture of a fragrance as well as the human emotions connected to it using photo compositions is the task that Samreen had set for herself: “I wanted to highlight the connection of the selective ingredients of niche with the human body. The way in which an alliance and the real essence of an ingredient can be forged, through each of my image.” 

I was a little surprised by the captions under the photos, like Vanilla Madagaskar USD 2300 or Saffron Iran USD 2400. After all, the price of the ingredients is not what it is all about, but the emotions that are born inside us from these smells.

Samreen Shah works at The Scent

The French magazine Nez La Revue Olfactive presented its printed editions (by the way, it now appeared in English as well!), and also their short list of the best niche perfumes; the must sniff perfumes, the fragrances you need to smell in order to get some insight in the state of niche perfumery. They selected 30 niche perfumes. The name of the exhibition, in veritable USA advertising style, was: 30 Niche Perfumes You Have to Try Before You Die.

NEZ exposition at The Scent

They suggested to smell them from glass laboratory vessels with cotton balls inside, and it was nice to meet on this white table some of my old loves, like Sables Annick Goutal, Dzongkha and Bois Farine L’Artisan Parfumeur, as well as the newest Superstitious Frederic Malle and Nuit de Bakelite Naomi Goodsir. This white table could be the answer to those pessimists who are always grumbling about the fact that modern perfumery is sterile and cannot create anything good. (If you are interested in knowing the entire list – see the PS at the end of this article).

Ruvan Vijesooriya VR exhibition at The Scent

Photographer and virtual reality artist Ruvan Wijesooriya was destined to become a social worker, if not for a by chance meeting with an art director on an airplane, after which he shot a huge number of editorial materials for fashion magazines. To participate in The Scent, he adapted his VR exhibition Explore the Expansion of Space. Meditative music (by Gabe Andruzzi of The Rapture), strange noises and a stereo-visual video that together put the viewer in a photon flying over the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico, supplemented by scents made by Darryl Do of Delbia Do laboratory. The fragrances were applied to a felt strip attached to a virtual mask, while the music played through headphones.

One of the visitors taking a selfie while meditating at The Scent

Two virtual realities (out of four) I tried myself. The first reality did not work for me: the aquatic ozone odor was a bit overly loud and sharp, quite distracting, and for some reason the visual stereo effect did not show properly so I saw the image flat. But I was determined to try the Perfumed Virtual Reality, and the second trip, the abstract photon flight over the jungle, I experienced in full glory – I seemed to hover above the live green clusters, and in a few minutes I felt as relaxed as after half hour nap.

By the way, the success of this exposition was heightened by the girls present to help out the visitors. There were two more versions of the VR meditation, and these were supplemented with an earthy mineral chord and a sweet honey-fruit aroma – but I just tried them from blotters.

The Luscious Garden by Firmenich and Centdegres at The Scent

Perfume corporation Firmenich and creative agency Centdegres together created three innovative works of art on a forbidden fruit theme, The Luscious Garden collection. As the Firmenich representatives told us, perfumers have not yet put fruits central stage in fragrances very much, and with a market that’s saturated with new fragrances (every day a new perfume brand appears!), this is the new alternative niche that could be developed. Make the smell of fruit dominant, juicy, tasty, high quality, and even luxurious – that was the task.

Modern people seek for integral fragrance concepts instead of simply pleasant fragrances, so the designers of fragrances and creative designers combined their efforts in order to complement each other’s ideas while developing more daring and even more unique perfumes.

Pineapple perfume bottle

In order to visualize the ideas of pineapple, pomegranate and citrus from any direction, the patented technologies In’pressive and EOLE, developed by Groupe Pochet for the inner surface of glass bottles, was used (incidentally, Guerlain has their bee bottles made in the same Pochet et du Courval factory). The radiance and texture of the fragrances was embodied perfectly in the bottle design.

As for the fragrances of The Luscious Garden collection; unique materials that convey not only the smell, but also the taste of a fruit were chosen as a basis. The pineapple smell & taste material was supplemented with the noble orris and Japanese green matcha tea to add value and nobility to the pineapple – and the juiciness of this fragrance created by the Philippine Courtier turns into a pearlescent glow without becoming sticky or too sweet. There’s something special about this pineapple – it’s much better and more alive than Aventus.

Orange perfume The Luscious Garden

The juicy pomegranate by Fabrice Pellegrin starts sparkling and juicy, but continues with a “foggy” contrast of textures by bringing a tender and snow-white woody scent of patchouli and white musk. The third perfume belongs to the citrus family; perfumer Hamid Merati-Kashani redesigned the cologne structure with this orange perfume. Based upon the new material Orange Brandy Smell & Taste, a little liqueur-ish with a chocolate nuance, it becomes deeper and more mysterious with a leather chord in the base notes.

I would apply the epithet “refined” to any perfume of this Firmenich-Centdegres collection and if a new niche brand with these three fragrances would emerge today, I would be its loyal customer.

Nez 2018 List 30 niche perfumes you have to try before you die:

MISIA Chanel  –  TABAC TABOU Parfum d’Empire  –  SUPERSTITIOUS Frédéric Malle  –  NUIT DE BAKELITE Naomi Goodsir  –  MUSC TONKIN Parfum d’Empire  –  CUIR D’ANGE Hermes  –  MURE & MUSC L’Artisan Parfumeur  –  L’OMBRE DANS L’EAU Diptyque  –  SABLES Annick Goutal  –  NEW YORK Parfums de Nicolai  –  FEMINITE DU BOIS Serge Lutens  –  AMBRE SULTAN Serge Lutens  –  IRIS SILVER MIST Serge Lutens  –  L’EAU DU SUD Annick Goutal  –  MUSC KOUBLAI KHAN Serge Lutens  –  TUBEREUSE CRIMINELLE Serge Lutens  –  MITO Vero Profumo  –  ABSOLUE POUR LE SOIR Francis Kurkdjian  –  DANS TES BRAS Frédéric Malle  – PORTRAIT OF A LADY Frédéric Malle  –  BOIS FARINE L’Artisan Parfumeur  –  L’ETHER IUNX  –  BOIS D’ARGENT Dior  –  2 MAN Comme Des Garçons  –  CARNAL FLOWER Frédéric Malle  –  SECRETIONS MAGNIFIQUES Etat Libre d’Orange  – DZONGKHA L’Artisan Parfumeur  –  JUBILATION 25 Amouage  –  LA TREIZIEME HEURE Cartier  –  PEAU D’AILLEURS Starck.

Сергей Борисов

Sergey Borisov has been involved in perfumery since the early 90`s when he had his own perfume-devoted program “Close to Body” on Krasnoyarsk radio (1993). As a perfume enthusiast (known as moon_fish), he became famous in Russia for his translation of  Luca Turin’s Perfume: Le Guide. He made a career as a fragrance journalist and contributed to distinguished magazines such as GQ, Vogue, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Interview, Forbes, Allure, Robb Report, Flacon, Departure, RBC-Style, TSUM-Magazine (2008-2016). His own online columns for,, and (2006-2015) have earned him international recognition and an invitation to be an editor for the Russian edition of “The Little Book of Perfumes” by Luca Turin & Tania Sanchez.  Sergey Borisov was invited as a speaker at Esxence 2012 (Milano) and Intercharm 2015 (Moscow). In 2013, Sergey joined the Fragrantica team.


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