October 31, 2013
The recently completed Sniffapalooza Fall Ball 2013 featured a number of perfumes which were debuted and feted. Thes olfactory gems were presented to the 160 or so attendees with the passionate creativity that went into all of them. This edition also included the debut of the first perfume conceived of at Sniffapalooza. As always we begin on Saturday as Tom Crutchfield of Roja Dove welcomes us to Breakfast at Bergdorf-Goodman.
Over the next two hours we were treated to a number of new exclusives out just in time for the holidays. I was particularly excited about the two new Tom Ford Private Blend releases. They are Tobacco Oud and Oud Fleur which together with the previously released Oud Wood will comprise the new Oud Collection subset of the Private Blend line. These perfumes are fantastically diverse and if you are a fan of agarwood this is one you need to find. We ended breakfast with Francis Kurkdjian presenting his extrait version of Maison Francis Kurkdjian 754. 754 was exclusively produced to celebrate Bergdorf-Goodman’s 111 anniversary last year and this extrait version is a deeper dive into the same themes from that Eau de Parfum. I personally found it much more enjoyable.
Dessert at Il Gattopardo
After a few hours to mix and mingle on the shop floor we headed off to lunch at Il Gattopardo. We were treated to a number of speakers but the highlight for me was Maria Candida Gentile who told the story behind one of her two latest releases, Noir Tropical. I always like looking around the room to see how people are reacting and Noir Tropical elicited a roomful of smiles and repeated sniffs. Carlos J Powell, Ed Libassi, and Rich Scardeville introduced the room to The GoodSmellas. They each began their remarks by telling us what their Scent of the Day was and then how the shared passion of these ten New Yorkers turned into a phenomenon.
After lunch it was off to Henri Bendel where we could also try the other new Maria Candida Gentile fragrance, Finesterre. I already know this is going to be in heavy rotation for myself when the weather warms up again. Finesterre is one of the most interesting aquatic fragrances I have encountered in years.
Twisted Lily in Brooklyn
The final stop on Saturday required a trip to Brooklyn to the new boutique Twisted Lily. Whether we got there by the bus provided, or subway, or cab at the end of our journey was a brightly lit bandbox of a perfumerie. The group was exposed to the East Coast debut of all six Slumberhouse extraits. I found myself lost in the twelve fragrance collection from Maison Dorin. The tiny little abstract Eiffel Tower bottles displayed an admirable range of styles from fruity to oriental and everything in between. A common theme throughout the collection was three really amazing riffs on chypres. Before we made our way back to Manhattan I ran across Atlantic Avenue to the newly opened Atelier Cologne World Headquarters to get a preview of the upcoming fragrances. For those wanting a return to the light and bright feel of the original five, you are getting your wish. The other release uses one of my very favorite floral notes and I think it will become my favorite of the line as I couldn’t put the strip down all during the bus ride back to Midtown.
Sergio Momo of Xerjoff
At Osswald on Sunday we were treated to Owner and Creative Director of Xerjoff, Sergio Momo who premiered the latest release in the Casomarati 1888 line as well as the Join The Club (JTC) Collection. The new Casomorati is a fabulous mix of dirty jasmine and mentholic tuberose belting it out like two Broadway divas. This one is not for the timid but if you like these two notes at their most extroverted this is one to put on your list. There was also the premiere of one of the new Parfums MDCI releases, Cuir Garamante. I really loved this spicy ambery leather fragrance.
Douglas Bender of Charenton Macerations
Next up was lunch at Emporio for the Eau de Sniffapalooza lunch where we were treated to three new independent perfume launches. Before we got to the fragrance Amy Marks-McGee of Trendincite once again gave us the head’s up on the trends to be aware of for the rest of the year. I love these talks and as I go shopping and watch television I marvel at how prescient she is. Then we got down to the perfume; Irina Adam of all-natural Phoenix Botanicals presented her two latest, Linden Bloom and Lavender Noir. The latter is inspired by burning a sprig of dried lavender and the mix of floral and smoke has been my bedtime companion since my return. Douglas Bender of Charenton Macerations told the story of his fragrance Christopher Street.
Karen Dubin (l.) and Sarah Horowitz-Thran (r.)
Finally the world premiere of Bellegance Midnight Promise was at hand. Karen Dubin with Dr. Gordon and Carmen Schaye started seriously talking about creating a perfume at a previous Sniffapalooza. They enlisted perfumer Sarah Horowitz-Thran to help bring their creative direction to life. Along the way they brought some of the mods to another Sniffapalooza to get feedback. Francois Damide of Crafting Beauty helped find a beautiful container for this labor of love and passion. The final product is a sultry blend of cinnamon, rose and vanilla primarily. Ms. Horowitz-Thran really blended these three notes into a true promise of all that comes in the wee hours of the night.
After lunch the best smelling group in all of NYC headed out to spend the rest of the day in The Fragrance District downtown at Le Labo, Atelier Cologne, Red Flower, Diptyque, and Bond No. 9. Sadly as the sun set we said our au revoirs until Spring Fling 2014.
–Mark Behnke, Managing Editor
All Photos courtesy of Sniffapalooza.com