September 18, 2010
There are two weeks out of the year where my fragrance hat gets put on the shelf and my fashion hat gets priority. Spring 2011 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York took place over the previous eight days and while my eyes were, mostly, dazzled with the clothes; my nose didn’t stop functioning. In these times where it seems there are concerns about people wearing less fragrance that wasn’t evident inside the velvet ropes of Lincoln Center and the downtown runways. There is a lot of standing around waiting to get into these shows which gives you a lot of time to socialize in the moments before a show. To my surprise a few of these conversations were around fragrance and I thought I’d share my experience.
Often when I’m wearing one of my fragrances I can be reluctant to talk a lot about them because I worry about coming off as elitist. Not in this crowd, I caught whiffs of all of the classics; Shalimar, Mitsouko, No. 5 and Joy were all proudly flying their fragrant flags. I found New York-centric brands Bond No. 9 and Le Labo also represented. In fact in a conversation with Trina Turk at her presentation we had a conversation around the Le Labos we like. I suggested she needed to give Poivre 23 a try based on her enjoyment of Musc 25.
Fashion’s Night Out was also debut night for four notable fragrances. Henri Bendel had two of them. They were the first US outlet to sell Etat Libre D’Orange Sex Pistols. Since I had the opportunity to have sniffed it previously it was the other debut that held my interest. Gerald Ghislain released a limited edition of his Histoires de Parfums, Defile New York. M. Ghislain designed it in honor of Fashion’s Night Out and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. It is a spicy gourmand with a prominent grassy opening. I enjoyed the sniff I got but it was the other two fragrances that were down the street I was most interested in.
When I got down to the Beauty Level at Bergdorf-Goodman Francis Kurkdjian was holding court around his two new fragrances for his Maison Francis Kurkdjian line, Absolue Pour Le Matin and Absolue Pour Le Soir. Both of these were wonderful companions to the corresponding Cologne versions released last fall. I have both and they both are different from the original cologne strength counterparts in a good way. I’ll be fully reviewing them in the next few days here at Cafleurebon.
The rest of the week was interesting in that I got more inquiries on what I was wearing than in the last six months put together. M. Micallef Shanaan, L’Extrait Habit Rouge, and Le Labo Gaiac 10 were the attention getters.
The one thing I always take away from each season of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week is that among the fashionistas there is a healthy population of perfumistas. As long as that remains I think we’ll have designers continuing to create fragrance for the same audience that applauded each designer’s collection.
-Mark Behnke, Managing Editor