I just returned from Sniffapalooza Spring Fling 2011 in New York City. This was the 14th edition of the very popular bi-annual get together of perfumistas, headed by Karen Adams and Karen Dubin or as they are known Team Karen, to share our passion for fragrance. Day one as has been the case for most Sniffapaloozas begins in the café just off the beauty level at Bergdorf Goodman. Starting with Tom Crutchfield of Annick Goutal, who presented the new Le Mimosa; through 16 more presentations representing all of the brands available at BG. Besides Le Mimosa the other new fragrances premiered were Hermes Un Jardin Sur Le Toit, Judith Lieber Night, and Guerlain Floral Romantique. All of them were nice but my favorite was the new clean and green Hermes .
Now that breakfast was over we filed out onto the beauty floor to try some of the things we had just sniffed. It was also time for Dawn Spencer Hurwitz, Senior Editor Ida Meister and I to get each other’s impressions on different fragrances. It is this communal experience between perfume lovers that makes Sniffapalooza so special. We’ve all probably gone shopping with a fragrant friend or two; multiply that by 150 or so and you have an idea of what Saturday morning at Bergdorf Goodman feels like.
Next on the agenda was lunch at Benoit. I have to admit to being a little distracted as Team Karen had invited CaFleureBon to talk to this audience about our 'scented salon'. I had to step in at the last moment for EIC Michelyn Camen and I exposed www.CaFleureBon.com to the attendees and, with the help of Susan Bang, we gave away some spectacular swag. My talk was followed by having the pleasure of introducing Dawn Spencer Hurwitz as she debuted her three latest creations. The last talk of the afternoon was given by Chandler Burr who spoke passionately and eloquently about his new position as Curator of Olfactory Art at the Museum of Art and Design. He gave us a peek into the future of his curatorship which will include artists in residence and retrospective exhibits of specific perfumers.
We then headed to Henri Bendel where we were greeted by a lineup of perfumers on a balcony including Neil Morris showing off his new Asea, Antica Farmacista, Robert Piguet, Lubin, Six Scents, and Gerald Ghislain of Histoires de Parfums. It was a short walk to The Plaza where Ben Krigler held court with a presentation on the entire Krigler line of perfume. Those who managed to make it to the end of the day explored the choices in Plaza Beauty. Sarah Barton-King was in attendance to hand out energizing hugs and spritzes of her latest Darkly Audacious. After dinner I headed back to my hotel and rested up for Day Two.
A beautifully sunny Sunday began with brunch at the flagship Bond No. 9 store which would see us head to Le Labo and MiN New York afterward. As always Bond No. 9 is a warm and inviting partner to start the day and they shared their latest fragrance Madison Park with the crowd. Le Labo were very happy to share their newest addition to their line of products, Santal 33, which had gone on sale for the first time that day. At MiN New York we were treated to presentations by Keiko Mecheri and Stefania Giannino of Nobile 1942.
Lunch at Barolo was an opportunity for a number of indie perfumers to have a chance to expose their creations to an audience. Sarah Horowitz Thran began things and asked for feedback on two fragrances in progress. She even passed out a questionnaire to get more detailed responses. This was followed by aromatherapy company 21 Drops, The Jouany Collection and Sabine Poncet’s Eau Eternelle. Christophe Jouany’s self-taught creations were the most interesting to me but I also found Eau Eternelle to be quite beautiful, as well.
After lunch we headed to our final stretch of sniffing along Bleecker St. The first stop, Enfleurage, was a discovery for me as I had never found this shop before. Enfleurage is a haven of essential oils and Trygve, the owner, plied us with Frankincense ice cream, better than it sounds, and let us sniff a spectrum of ouds. Of course I liked the discontinued one. The next stop and the last one for me was Diptyque. The staff was excited to show us the new 34 Boulevard St. Germain. I took a quick glance at my watch and realized my time had run out as I had a bus to catch.
Our thanks to Team Karen for giving CaFleureBon the opportunity to tell our story and we will be back in NYC in October for Sniffapalooza Fall Ball.
–Mark Behnke, Managing Editor