After a rich and intoxicating experience at COSM we traveled uptown via subway for a mini Sniffapolooza. Sniffapalozza is a community of perfume enthusiasts that began in NYC by Karen Dubin and a few perfume lovers. In a very short time it has grown into a mega-community with events spanning the globe. I was unable to attend the Fall Ball in NYC, thus, I decided to take my own self guided tour. We began at Takashimaya, a Japanese department store, on Fifth Ave. between 54th and 55th. A beauty of a store with mouth watering grace on each floor. From there we crossed the street over to Henri Bendel and got hooked at the L'Artisan counter. I was spritzed with their 2007 limited edition Fleur d'Oranger, which is pure Neroli heaven. A delightful fragrance which embodies the heart and soul of the Orange tree, utilizing both the wood and leaves of the tree (Petitgrain) as well as the blossoms. It is uplifting and fresh, yet has little to no evolution. I found the 2006 Fleur de Narcissus much more interesting and complex. I've read that their newest in this line is Iris Pallida, unfortunately they did not have this at Henri Bendel NYC when I was there.
In the botanical perfume world Iris pallida is the Latin name for Orris Root, one of my favorite pure essences. A woody-floral note which is rich and velvety with hints of powder. Last year I created a custom perfume for a client melding a floral chord with Orris and notes of the Sea at the base. It is such a lovely fragrance that I've decided to rework the formula as one of our signature scents.
The staff at Henri Bendel was very generous, especially when I told them I had missed the Sniffapalooza Fall Ball. I left anointed with Fleur d"Oranger, loaded with scent strips and lots of samples.
The following day, our last in NYC, was spent traversing Soho. "So" stands for South and "ho" for Houston...thus "SOuth of HOuston." How transformed I found this area. My very first living space in NYC was a studio walk-up on Elizabeth Street. To my great surprise, Elizabeth Street is now filled with fashionable shops, including Le Labo. Le Labo is a small, laboratory looking niche perfume shop with a store in Grasse as well is on Elizabeth Street. Certainly an interesting concept in perfume stores that looks both old+modern, with it's laboratory style. Around the corner on Lafayette Street is Santa Maria Novella, also known as Lafco. During the LA Sniffa last February I had the opportunity to visit the LA location. The NYC store is much larger and more impressive. Santa Maria Novella dates back to 1612 when the Dominican Republic friars began selling their medicinal and ephemeral products to the public. There is an informative streaming video on their website.
Other scented faire in NY still to be explored is Aedes de Venustas, Bond No. 9, Cb "I Hate Perfume" in Brooklyn and Barneys NY which now carries many niche perfumers.
Santa Maria Novella/Lafco
Aedes de Venustas
Cb "I Hate Perfume"