This year I attended along with fellow perfumer, Rodney Hughes of Therapeutate Bkny, the 2010 “New York Smells” Sniffapalooza, walking tour. There were two days to the tour, but we attended the second day, which took place in lower Manhattan, covering boutique fragrance houses in SoHo, NoHo and Greenwich Village. Rodney and I weigh in on our impressions.
Here are some of the highlights:
First Stop: Bond No. 9
Anu: This was definitely a heady experience. The store is gorgeous, the staff is well trained and courteous and Bond no. 9 has dozens of perfumes named after neighborhoods in New York. My two favs were Brooklyn and Success. When I mentioned that the bottles reminded me of the Creed line, I was told the founder of of Bond no. 9 worked many years with Creed. This influence can be definitely seen and sensed. The Bond bottle designs go from whimsical to high brow.
Rodney: This being the first stop of what would turn out to be a day of living in the smoke; Bond on Bond did not fall short on the glitz and glamour of the NYC fragrance scene. The store is beautifully well lit and spacious. It was the perfect first stop that allowed us perfume lovers to really mingle and enjoy all that Bond had to offer. I just adore all the whimsical bling that put into the packaging it really makes the Bond experience a delightful one. Bleeker Street is one of my favorite scents by this house, Wall Street being the other.
Next stop Le Labo
Anu: I love the clean, clinical look and feel of the Le Labo store and line. Their type face looks as if it were typed on an old typewritten whose ribbon is worn.The Le Labo line has a high content of botanic essences which resonate well with my sensibilities. I am intrigued by most of their line, but my favs are Jasmine 31 and Oud 27. I did find it unfortunate that Le Labo decided to only give samples to those who made purchases.
Rodney: I absolutely love this fragrance house, its most of what I think a house should be; simple clean lines and absolutely alluring scents. I would have to say, Bergamote 22 and Jasmin 17 are two of my favs. I would have to agree with Anu, it was disappointing they were not giving out samples at this stop of the Sniff. I think it would have introduced so many more noses to the special brand of magic generated by Le Labo.
Next stop Lafco NY
Anu: Lafco NY is one of those places in NY covered by scaffolding, so you could end up walking right by it, except that it’s gorgeous old world European style inside and out, draws you in. Lafco carries an exquisite collection of home fragrances and body products. The line that snagged my nose is by the Italian designer, Lorenzo Villoresi. My favs by him were the Teubt de Neige and Yerba Mate.
Rodney: I have visited this amazing Apothecary many times since finding it on one of my city strolls a few years ago; each time I return it’s a pleasure. Lorenzo Villoresi is one of the brands available at LAFCO NY and the Yerba Mate is to die for, it is a very sexy, masculine fragrance the calls out to everyday hero.
“Overall the nicest thing about the Sniff is that I meet so many wonderful people who share the love perfumery.”
Next stop, hip joint MiN
Anu: MiN is a hip joint on Crosby Street. I have to admit that by this time my nose was a bit tired.
Though MiN carries a number of wonderful lines, I was drawn to the tall, slim, cylindrical bottles of “CB I Hate Perfume” line. My fav of this line is “I am a Dandelion”. It smells like dirt, like earth, like herb and then it blossoms into this beautiful floral bouquet; absolutely lovely botanical blend. This was one of those scents that was so different, visceral, and drawing that I was ready to put my money down for, but alas, it was not available that day. Designer Christopher Brosius was a gracious and engaging. Love him!
Rodney: MiN was a great experience because I had the opportunity to meet to very amazing perfumers. Dawn Spencer Hurwitz (DSHperfumes.com) and Christopher Brosius (CB I Hate Perfume) they were both every warm and engaging.
I had received samples of Dawn’s work for a piece that I am working on for Ca Fleure Bon, so it was really a pleasure to talk more in depth with her. I found out we both are painters and lovers of literature and I must say this depth of field is certainly found in the “historical” perfumes created by her house (Parfums des Beaux Arts).
Christopher’s fragrances are so much like his personality warm, engaging and with lots of humor! I really enjoyed experiencing his line and fell in love with many of his works. I particularly love “I am a Dandelion” is reminds me of “Dirt” by Demeter which I also fell in love with last summer while out on Salt Aire.
Finally Lunch. We ate at the spacious and ever popular Barolo Restaurant.
Anu: During lunch we were introduced to different perfume designers who made presentations about their fragrance design. They were all wonderful but it was difficult to hear them over the chatter in the restaurant, but the three that stood our for me were Libby Patterson Organics and 1000 Flowers and Lord’s Jester, Inc. Libby’s fragrances offer a spiritual experience. They seems to be made to resonate with your chakras in mind. 1000 Flowers by Jessica September Buchanan is definitely a well constructed perfume with has a story that is a fascination of layers. Lord’s Jester is an organic line that is sensual and organic.
Rodney: Lunch at Barolo on W. Broadway was some much needed down time before the introduction of many new niche lines. What I loved most about this presentation besides resting my feet was the tone set by Raphaella Brescia-Barkley, Editor-in-Chief of Sniffapalooza Magazine.
“Lets maintain a positive note, it so easy to be negative……………..but positivity makes the experience so much more enjoyable.”
I will agree whole heartily with Anu on the lines that really stood out for me: Libby Patterson Organics highly spiritual, 1000 Flowers masterful and Lord’s Jester I really fell in love with the fragrances were very gourmand and a pretty accompaniment to lunch. I would add Duchess Marden for the aromatic body oil soon to be release. It is a highly beautiful rendition botanical spirit.
Meet some great fellow perfumers:
Anu: Let me stop here to say we meet some wonderful people on this jaunt, like Terees from Detroit, Yvonne from Chicago, Lloyd – resident photographer and many more. Here a pic of some of us. It was so great to be able to be in the company of others who love the world of scents, to discuss, debate, explore and learn from.
Rodney: “I had a Blast with this group of people and look forward to our Andalusia/ Morocco olfactory travels.”
Last stop Aedes De Venustas, Inc.
Anu: When they talk about saving the best for last, this was it. Aedes De Venustas, located in the heart of Greenwich Village on Christopher Street is a simply a treasure chest of luxurious fragrances. They carry the hot and exclusive lines of so many great perfumers such as Serge Lutens, Hors La Monde, The Different Company, Del Rae and the list goes on and on. It is a gorgeous store, with crystal chandeliers, fresh flowers, antique showcases – a romantic setting that you can just get lost in. The staff is supreme and they also offer deluxe gift wrapping services.
Rodney: Our next to final stop on the sniff, well what can be said about this little NYC darling; it’s simply a treasure and delight for both our eyes and nose. I often just stop in to get away from it all and just get lost in this rarify dream. It’s always a pleasure to visit this West Village homage to fragrance. This staff is very knowledgeable and very generous.
Anu: The real last stop was the delicious Pure Dark. And who doesn’t want a sweet treat at the end of a long day. But we were late in getting there and they were closed. But one of their gracious staff did allow a couple of us in. And they gave us over a dozen gift bags of chocolates to give out to other stragglers. This house of chocolate caught the attention of every passer by and they all wanted to go in and experience their offerings, but alas, they were closed.
Rodney: PURE DARK was closed by the time the Sniff party made it to its doors, but the staff was very helpful and made sure there were dark treats and literature for everyone. We really should thank them, they prepared all day for us, expecting us to be their by 2pm. Our schedules had them down for 4:45-6:30pm and the first of us didn’t get there until 6pm.
Anu: All in all Sniffapalooza was a wonderful experience. I had my fill of beautiful scents, more than I could process in one day. Not to mention, I have enough samples to take me through a year of sniffing. I would definitely do the Sniffapalooza tour again and recommend other perfume heads. I enjoyed it immensely and I met some fantastic people that I’m sure I’ll get to know better. Attending this tour with Rodney was the best. He was paramount to a celebrity, as all those in the know, either knew him or had heard of him. Thank you Rodney for the camaraderie and willingness to share your knowledge.