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Gardenia In Full Bloom At CREED

Ah gardenia.  This white flower’s creamy, milky fragrance is a heady scent.  There have been many interpretations of gardenia as a perfume.  The venerable fragrance House of Creed has created Fleurs de Gardenia, the latest scent in the repertoire of Creed’s perfumes.  With Valentines Day coming up, should you need a gift, this beautiful fragrance is a fitting romantic gift.

Fleurs de Gardenia - CREED Boutique

To launch this fragrance, Erwin Creed traveled from Paris to the United States, making personal appearances at six Neiman Marcus stores in November, where Fleurs de Gardenia is sold exclusively, including the San Francisco store (where I met him).  It’s rare that Erwin gets to do an in-store appearance, so it is a big deal that he is in town. There are violins playing.

Erwin CREED 2013 photo

Scent as Pure Art

Photos by Rich Kallaher, Courtesy of the Museum of Arts and Design

Fragrance is having its moment.  You expect to find perfume on display in drug stores, in department stores, in high end boutiques.  You even find it airports at duty free shops.  In a museum?  That’s probably the last place you’d expect to find perfume.  By the way, don’t call it perfume. I’ll explain later. Chandler Burr is the mastermind of the new Department of Olfactory Art at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) in New York City.  His position as curator is one he created, successfully pitched to MAD in 2010.  At that time, Chandler was the one and only scent critic for the New York Times, where he wrote about fragrance the same way as art, dance and book critic would write about the art they cover.  Chandler’s point of view then as now, is that scents are works of art and the people creating them are artists in their own right.

6 Indie Perfumes You Need To Sniff Now

Twice a year fragrance lovers descend upon New York City for the tour de force that is Sniffapalooza.  One of the fragrance event group’s signature perfume odysseys is the annual “Spring Fling,” a weekend event that explores scents all over the city.  While many large perfume houses introduce new scents to our group, Sniffapalooza is also known for the debuts of small boutique labels. I love discovering new fragrances and sharing the stories.  While we tried over 100 scents, I fell in love with six of them, all different, but complex and interesting.  Some are just launching, others have been around for a few years, but all are making a big splash in the perfume world. 

4 Late Summer Reading Picks on Wine and Perfume

Margrit Mondavi_s Sketchbook_ Reflections on Wine, Food, Art, Family, Romance and Life_ Thomas Keller_ 9780615604947_ Amazon.com_ Books

Remember those days when you had a required summer reading list from school?  Yeah, those lists made reading a chore.  Now as adults, we lament that we have no time to read.  But we get to choose what we read.  There’s still time before the summer ends to pick up a book or two, especially when the subjects are wine or perfume.

In The Juice by Jay McInerney,  the Wall Street Journal wine columnist takes you on a journey through the world of wine.

A Fragrant Affair: The First Artisan Fragrance Salon

I am a wine lover, unabashedly passionate about wine.  That I’m also a perfumer lover should come as no surprise, because I find them so similar in the way that perfumes have a top, middle and base note, and how wine has a bouquet, mid palate and finish, with both perfume and wine changing in similar ways over time.

So I was excited to learn that on July 8, 2012 a scentsational event will be taking place in San Francisco.  The first annual Artisan Fragrance Salon celebrates independent perfume brands from across the country and Canada.

“The growth of the artisan chocolate market has really taken off in the last few years,” says A.K. Crump.  He’s been producing events across the country called Chocolate Salons since 2007.   “I think that we are poised to start seeing a similar growth in artisan fragrances.” 

A DIY Perfume Kit

Perfume is one of the most popular gifts for Valentine’s Day. Did you get a bottle? Did you like it? I’ve tried that before – picking out what I thought was a nice men’s scent. That didn’t go over so well. Just because I like a scent in the bottle doesn’t mean it will smell good on you.

Now there’s a way to give the gift of fragrance that your recipient will like – because he or she creates it. Instead of shopping for a fragrance at the mall, you can blend a perfume with your valentine and have a sweet smelling reminder of the day.

Sue Phillips says people are looking for an experience as a gift, especially when it comes to fragrance. A perfume industry veteran, Sue launched a business called Scenterprises, creatiing fragrant adventures for events, parties and now for individuals at home. “I see that there’s more interest now than ever before in creating custom fragrance.” Read more

A Scentsational Weekend with Sniffapalooza

I recently returned from a weekend in New York City with Sniffapalooza. Sniffa what? How do you spell that? Funny name. Indeed, most people I know or meet have never heard of Sniffapalooza. They think it’s a word I made up. No, it’s actually a group of perfume lovers who get together to sniff out the latest and greatest fragrances from around the world. What has this got to do with wine? Read on. More…

Instead of Cognac, Perfume

I came from a family of tuberose wearers, my mother wore tuberose, my grandmother wore tuberose, so I always knew I would make a tuberose perfume.

Kilian Hennessy is a modern perfumer. Memories of tuberose, an intensely fragrant white flower, aside, what’s striking is that Kilian’s family is the Hennessy family, as in Hennessy Cognac. Hennessy is known for a premium label Cognac. Not so much known for a tuberose fragrance. But Kilian Hennessy is hoping to make his perfume line, By Kilian, as well-known as his family’s Cognac label.Read more

SHOP – Mystery perfume arrives

I just got a box with the fragrance that I’m going to be test driving for the Fragrance Advisory Board.  The letter enclosed with it instructs me not to open it yet!  First, I have to start the online survey.  My mystery perfume is labeled “346,” and it looks like it has a pale lilac color, but that means nothing.  Ok, here we go! First, they want me to open the bottle and spray just ONCE on my wrist. Easy enough…can I sniff yet?? No, I have to click the “start exercise” button and wait 60 sec.  (Ok I cheated, the fragrance is kind of floral and fruity). Time’s up.  Now I answer a series of questions.  Do I love it or hate it?  Like it so far…but not crazy about it  yet.  A little sweet to me, some rose, and a big fruity note. Cherry? What is my initial…

SHOP – Test driving a new perfume

I am going to be a perfume tester.  No, not one of those annoying perfume spritzers spraying everyone who walks through the department store cosmetics counters (although the thought of that brings back memories of Obession). Instead, I’m actually gonna take part in a Fragrance Advisory Board program where I’ll be sent an unmarked bottle of perfume.  I’ll fill out a survey about my impressions when I first try it on, and about my impressions after wearing it for a couple of weeks.  I hope I like it!!  I’ll blog about the process as I go.  Just be aware, I may come up to you and stick my wrist out and ask you what you think of the scent. If you are a perfume fanatic (like me), check out the Fragrance Advisory Board’s website.  It’s free to become a member, and you get to take part in online surveys and…