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!