Yes, this past weekend the Feather of Fate fell upon me and others as we traveled from all parts of the world (literally) to attend Sniffapalooza Fall Ball 2013 in NYC. I have been reading and receiving materials about the Sniffapalooza extravaganza for the past couple of years when I first fell down the perfume rabbit hole, and decided that I need to take the plunge. Oh, and am I glad that I did! First off, let me say that smelling, hearing and learning about perfumes is what drew me in to going to the event, but actually, the best part of the whole experience was meeting online friends in person for the first time and making new friends at the event. I know it sounds trite…but the community of perfumistas is a really special one where all it takes is a shared sniff to make a wonderful and special bond that will last a lifetime. And as far as I know, it’s the only time that I was able sniff a strangers arm and neck without getting slapped across the face. As one person said at the event, “it just feels so natural.”
The Sniffapalooza event consisted of two days of perfume heaven. The first day started at 8am with a breakfast at Bergdorf Goodman where we had the opportunity to hear from many of the fragrance experts that resided at Bergdorfs and to hear about their new products and offerings. We then had the opportunity to really get out on the floor and explore all that Bergdorfs had to offer. Then it was off to lunch and then to Henri Bendel…again more sniffing and then off to Brooklyn at Twisted Lily, the new niche perfume store in Brooklyn. OK…that’s the condensed version. Put it this way, it went from 8am to 8pm on Day 1. Sniffing perfume can be exhausting!!!
The second day was much more laid back where we had an opportunity to visit some of the stores in Soho and have lunch to hear about some of the smaller houses and independent perfumers. Thankfully it was more laid back, I doubt that I could take another day 1!
As you all know, I tend to be brief on the written word so I’ll continue with that theme. My highlights of Sniffapalooza include:
- Meeting Maria Candida Gentile – one of my favorite perfumers of the year. She has two new fragrance releases, Noir Tropical and Finisterre which are lovely. More to come on this real soon!
- Having a wonderful chat with Sergio Momo, founder and Creative Director of Xerjoff, the ultra-luxury brand. He was introducing his “Join the Club” line of lifestyle fragrances. Sergio was gracious and charming…just as you would expect. Of course, more to come on the Join the Club line.
- Being able to have a quick chat with Francis Kurkdjian who I hope didn’t think I was crazy when I told him that Absolue Pour le Soir is one of my favorite perfumes, but that I tend to wear it when I want to feel sexy, or when I don’t want anyone to mess with me at work!
- Finally getting a chance to experience the Roja Dove line. Oh, if I only had an unlimited budget, I could really see a few in my collection. I was enslaved by “Enslaved.” Wow!
- Having chance to visit the Twisted Lily store in Brooklyn. It was a wonderful cocktail event in a beautiful new store. Store co-owner Stamatis Brisimijoglou is a sweetheart and I managed to walk away with my purchase of Undergreen Gold.
- Finally having a chance to check out the NYC Osswald Parfumerie store. I loved the crisp clean and airy store setting. Absolutely lovely in every way. I had a lovely chat with owner Tanja Dreiding Wallace who is keeping up the family parfumerie tradition with her own special twist. And manager Clement Pinard was as charming as can be. I look forward to my next visit.
- Having a nice chat with the Atelier Cologne team where of course, I had to make a purchase of the new Gold Leather fragrance. Don’t worry, you’ll hear all about that very soon!
- Being introduced to a new perfumer, Douglas Bender from Charenton Macerations who recently launched their debut fragrance Christopher Street which is out of this world!
- Introductions to new fragrance houses, including Nomad Two Worlds, Parfums de Marly, Tiziano Terenzi. Of course, do I have to even say it…more to come.
- I’m not sure if this is a highlight…but having a chance to participate in the JAR Experience at Bergdorf Goodman. To be honest, I just didn’t get it….but if you really want to get the original lowdown on the real experience in Paris, check out Kafkaesque’s wonderful post on her visit with the line!
And of course, the people. I had the wonderful opportunity to meet some fantastic folks who I have known online for some time now, who are even more fabulous in person:
- Daisy Bow from coolcookstyle. Daisy has a nose for perfume and a palette for food and seems to know everybody in town. And if she’s just meeting them, they’ll be fast friends in no time. Daisy made this trip so special for this country dawg from Virginia.
- Trish, aka Poodle. Trish doesn’ have a blog herself, but everyone in the community knows her as Poodle online. Trish is an absolute sweetheart and gorgeous to boot. Once we met, it’s like we’ve known each other for a lifetime.
- The gorgeous Michelyn Camen, Publisher, Editor in Chief and Art Director from Cafleurebon. Smart, charming and as nice as can be, I’m so glad we had a chance to meet.
- The Goodsmella crew! These guys are awesome and have managed to dispel the myth that perfumes and the love of fragrance is just for women. These guys are rock stars in the perfumista world and rightly so. Their raw enthusiasm and joy in fragrance is contagious. Now, I didn’t have the opportunity to meet the full gang, but I had the honor to meet Carlos Powell, the headmaster of the Facebook group Peace Love Perfume. Carlos is a genuinely nice guy who I’m glad I had the chance to speak with for a while. Then there is the confident and cool Ed Libassi who also developed the site Scentrails.com which will help you find where you can purchase perfume be it if you’re in London, New York and even Kansas City. Scentrails is a must for any perfumista on the road. And then I also had the chance to meet Rich Scardaville who I have never seen anyone get so excited about the Oud note. We both were nuts about the Armani Prive’ Cuir Noir. He was smart enough to actually buy it. Me, I’m just obsessing about why I didn’t do the same thing. I’m glad I can call these guys brothers in scent! You can check them out further at Goodsmellas.com.
- Barbara Herman from YesterdaysPerfume.com. We had a blast together and I can’t wait for her new book to come out this November, entitled Scent and Subversion, Decoding A Century of Provocative Perfume.
- Nancy from Make Perfume Not War. I recognized that wonderful smile as soon as I saw her in Bergdorfs!
- Ari Weinberg of Scent of Self who has now embarked on a post-graduate position in NYC at Osswald Parfumerie. Lucky girl!!!
- Joan Conklin of Scentsate who used to be a DC area resident who now is living the life in NYC as well!
- Plus the others who I had a pleasure to meet, Nish, Jacinta, Darlene, Candace, Ana as well as others that I know I am forgetting to mention.
My only regrets? Not taking enough pictures and not getting pictures of me with Maria Candida Gentile and Sergio Momo. Also, not purchasing Amouage Fate Woman and passing by the Armani Cuir Noir. Thankfully, they are both an internet search or phone call away! I guess all the perfume samples and gifties that were given out will make up for any of the disappointment!
October 28, 2013 at 3:50 pm
You have so wonderfully captured this experience in few words that I am not the going to try, I am just going to refer people to this post! It was wonderful meeting you and I am relieved to hear that I did not miss anything re JAR. I peeked in there and it looked like some kind of religious cult.
October 28, 2013 at 4:13 pm
LOL.. Nancy, Robert Denney who shared with us the JAR experience was incredibly wonderful. But the fragrances were to me, less fragrance, and more of an olfactory experience. In other words, they were interesting to smell, but I would have no interest in wearing any of them.
October 28, 2013 at 4:02 pm
That’s Poodle! Nice to meet you girl! Too bad that Hajusuuri couldn’t join you due to some unfortunate events. And of course I’m sorry that events like that are not held somewhere where I could easily get. And there’s my dear Daisy!!!!!
October 28, 2013 at 4:14 pm
Yes, we were so sorry that Hajusuri couldn’t come too! Now it’s your turn to come Lucas!
October 28, 2013 at 4:22 pm
How am I supposed to do it? It’s not that easy to arrive in NYC for me.
October 28, 2013 at 4:23 pm
If there is a will..there is always a way 🙂
October 28, 2013 at 4:25 pm
Yup, but skipping studies on my final year is not any good.
Plus such a trip would be a big expense and I’m not high on the money.
October 28, 2013 at 4:31 pm
Sniffa is not going anywhere. In 10 years, you should be out of school and making money.. maybe by that time you’ll be a presenter!
October 28, 2013 at 9:28 pm
I agree with Houndy! Where there is a will, there is a way, dear Lucas! Sniffa will be there and I am confident that one day, I’ll point a hungover, caffeine-deprived finger at that guy at the Bergdorf Breakfast and say proudly that the presenter up there is a long-time friend of mine!
October 29, 2013 at 5:17 am
Yup, that’s a very sleep deprived poodle who needed a bit more breakfast. Someday you’ll get to one of these events. At least you have some nice perfume shops near you. I don’t even have that so I know what you mean when you say there’s nothing close to you.
October 28, 2013 at 4:03 pm
LOL @ your comment regarding JAR and re the Armani Cuir Noir. I’m afraid I had a …. erm… less than positive…. reaction to it, so the review wasn’t great. Did you actually smell oud in it, or did I merely transition from one sentence about oud to another on a different subjet?
Regardless, I am genuinely happy you found some things to love, and had a blast. It sounds like so much fun, and I have no doubt that meeting others was the very best part.
So, tell me about the New York JAR experience? Was it “surreal” and close to the Paris one? Thank you for the link love, by the way. xoxox
October 28, 2013 at 4:30 pm
K – to be honest with you I probably didn’t give the JAR experience my full attention which didn’t help. The JAR table was off in an alcove. I was being a gadfly with some other folks and then I lost Daisy and Poodle and went searching for them. They had started the JAR experience prior to my arrival. So I popped myself in. Having the attention deficit disorder personality I was having a hard time sitting still listening and sniffing this bizarre set of fragrances. I wanted to be out being a gadfly again!! Probably if it was not Sniffa, I would have been up for it, but I wanted to chat and sniff with the other excited perfumistas. But given that, if it had been quiet, I probably still wouldn’t have gotten it! As for the Cuir Noir, it became really warm and sexy on me. It was not a heavy leather at all and just slightly smoky…trust me, I walked around and asked and people really liked it on me. The only issue that I had with it is that it did seem to fade rather quickly.
October 28, 2013 at 4:46 pm
Hahaha, some of them are quite bizarre, which probably explains why I didn’t even recall their names after the fact. But I did love Bolt of Lightning. It definitely sounds as though Sniffapalooza was too hectic to really experience JAR which is primarily about a very set, very solemn ritual.
As for Cuir Noir, no, it’s definitely not a heavy leather by any means. Actually on me, it was almost no leather at all, and primarily a saffron explosion with some smokiness. It sounds like it loved your skin more than mine. You know what I wish you’d try? Dior’s Leather Oud from their Privé line. I suspect you’d really like that one.
October 28, 2013 at 5:34 pm
Oh, don’t tempt me with more perfume! I have enough samples from the event now that I could right a review a day for the rest of the year. I guess having too many samples is never really ever a problem for us fragrance lovers!
October 28, 2013 at 4:09 pm
Holy sweet shit Houndy I’m riddled with envy! What an amazing time it sounds like you had 😀 Congrats! Can’t wait to read more x
October 28, 2013 at 4:16 pm
It was soooo much fun Freddie. I just wish that I didn’t live so far away where it would cost so much to go every time. Otherwise I would be there every time! Maybe you can create your own European version of Sniffa!
October 28, 2013 at 4:38 pm
Perfume soirees are the best! Art With Flowers always had so many cool people, great food and lovely fragrances. I am trying to talk my fam into going up next year and they can do the sights while I go to Sniffa 🙂
October 28, 2013 at 4:39 pm
Vicki – That’s perfect. Trust me, even if you go and don’t know anyone, you’ll make new friends in minutes!
October 28, 2013 at 5:40 pm
Your two days sound amazing! I’m glad you got so many different impressions and experiences and hope to read more about them in days to come.
November 1, 2013 at 10:10 pm
(goes away crying) I’m being ignored… ;-P
November 2, 2013 at 5:53 am
U – I dont’ know how you got lost. I would never ignore you intentionally and you know it. You have to experience this at some point and maybe we all need to make a vow that we will attend at the same time. I am thinking Spring Fling 2015. I know that sounds so far away, but this next Spring Fling will come to quickly and I want to try Spring vs. Fall to see the difference. Of course, I guess it’s dependent on who is presenting, etc.
November 2, 2013 at 2:59 pm
I know, Steve, I was joking ❤
I will try to time one of my next visits to NY to the time of Sniffa. I'm sure we'll meet one day.
October 28, 2013 at 7:20 pm
Houndy, that picture of us just cracks me up every time I see it. It was so much fun going on a perfume bender with you, Daisy, and everyone else. Next time I’m doing both days. I had the best time and you are an absolute sweetheart yourself. I can’t wait for your posts on all the goodies you came home with. I showed amazing restraint at the time but there were a few things at Twisted Lily I should have gotten. I think. I keep wondering if I really liked them or if the cocktails only made me think I did. Lol.
October 28, 2013 at 9:30 pm
It’s the best picture ever! And a wonderful souvenir for a great experience with friends who share the same passion!
October 29, 2013 at 6:06 am
I agree. I love that picture. I easily sums up the fun we had this past weekend.
October 29, 2013 at 6:09 am
Poodle – Hounds and Poodles are clearly meant to be friends. I just wish we didn’t live so far apart. As for the purchases and cocktails…yes, I think that may have had an affect on my decision to purchase the Undergreen Gold which for some reason is now all ginger on me. Maybe it was layered with another scent on the day… I need to buy more to figure out that perfect combination!
October 28, 2013 at 9:32 pm
Fantastic wrap-up, Houndy! I had so much fun with you, Poodle, and everyone else at Sniffa. Looking forward to the next time!
October 29, 2013 at 6:11 am
Thanks for making it all so much more special Daisy! xoxoxo
October 28, 2013 at 10:26 pm
Oh but to be in perfume paradise that is NYC for Sniffapalooza! Someday I will come back there to join in. In the meantime Houndy what a great write up! You did us all proud who could not be in attendance. And what a treat to see Daisy, Poodle and Carlos. Three of my favorite perfume folks (and you make the list too dear fellow.) Anyway … well done. I Loved reading your post.
October 29, 2013 at 6:11 am
Thanks Lanier. Next time we need to get everybody to come at the same time! We would have a blast!
October 28, 2013 at 11:09 pm
Houndy, what a great round-up! Yes, wish I was there, but you made it come to life with your pictures and descriptions. And Poodle is absolutely gorgeous. I will now make you all jealous as I will have dear baconbiscuit all to myself this Wednesday!
October 29, 2013 at 6:13 am
We were so sad that you couldn’t make it, we wanted to meet you so much. But we understand and hope all is turning out well. I guess if there’s one consolation, Daisy was able to get you your gift bag!!! Next time my dear!
October 29, 2013 at 1:31 am
Hello Kafka, o, whoops, it is you Mr Hound with a lengthly and delightful post. Great to see your pictures of Perfumistas in real life. But I have to ask where is the bone rating for this event?
October 29, 2013 at 6:14 am
Great point Jordan… Sniffa is definitely a 5 bone event. And yes, it’s lengthy for me. I thought the bullet points would help to make is more succinct! LOL
October 29, 2013 at 6:16 am
Hahahaha, it *WAS* very long for the darling Hound, wasn’t it? *grin* Still, long for him is a mere introductory section for me. 😉 😛
October 29, 2013 at 6:24 pm
K – I have no idea how you do it…I just don’t have the patience!
October 31, 2013 at 12:53 pm
What a tautly written summary of the event – I love the way you have organised your impressions and am terribly envious that you met all these great folk from Perfume Land – that would surely have been the highlight for me too, Poodle and Ari in particular!
October 31, 2013 at 5:09 pm
Vanessa – As fun as the perfuming was, meeting folks was the best part…well, let me take that back, sharing perfume with the people. We were all on the same page and it was soooo much fun.
November 2, 2013 at 10:17 pm
Hi Steve! It was wonderful to meet you and spend some time.
November 3, 2013 at 5:43 am
You too Carlos. I wish I was closer to the city to be able to hang more. But I’ll definitely let you know when I’m back up there.
November 3, 2013 at 7:20 am
I so want to come for one of these events. Did you meet the Karens?
November 3, 2013 at 4:23 pm
I did, they and everyone else where so incredibly nice that the experience as a whole was stellar. You need to go sometime P!
November 3, 2013 at 5:40 pm
It will happen one day soon, Are you going in May for Spring Fling Steve?
November 3, 2013 at 6:39 pm
Probably not P. Between the cost of getting to NYC and the crazy cost of hotels, I could spend a week of bliss on some beach front in the Caribbean. Are you thinking of going to Spring Fling 2014?
November 3, 2013 at 6:44 pm
I don’t know Steve. I think we’ll be in NYC in Feb so it doesn’t make much sense to turn around and go back 2 months later. We’ll see,
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