Sunday, April 22, 2012

Boarding Pass & Perfume - where is your next stop? PART II

The Essence of Jerusalem by Ruth Rahat
Photo credit: Ruth Rahat

In 2010 while traveling to Israel I had the experience of thinking of Shelly Waddington's fragrance, Makeda EDP almost every place I went. Fact is that Makeda was inspired by the romance between King Solomon and Queen Sheba, not by Israel itself.
Browsing the internet to look for fragrances inspired by cities, I found The Essence of Jerusalem, a fragrance launched in 2003, created by Ruth Rahat, said to be a delicate oriental feminine perfume, with a vibrant vibe, created with 90 aromatic essences from the Holy Land.
I haven't tried this fragrance, but I can assure you all that I have capture the essence of Israel. Every place I went I collected flowers and plants, herbs and seeds, and the result is what I call the smell of Israel. It is an aromatic, slight floral green scent. The main notes are rosemary and eucalyptus, with a salt breeze of the Dead Sea. Frankly, it is not wearable. It would need some polishing. But every time I miss home, I open the pages were the scent is capture, and I have an olfactory boarding pass to Ben Gurion Airport - TLV.

HIND AL OUD shop in Dubai
Photo credit: the brand

Emirati Mohamed Hilal devoted his time to perfumery since the age of 13, when he used to combine scents belonging to his parents to create new formulas of his own. Before becoming a perfumer, Mohamed Hilal spent 8 years working as a pilot for a major airline company, until 2001, when he substituted clouds of water drops to clouds of fragrances, opening his first fragrance store HIND AL OUD (today there are 50!!).
The perfumes are very exclusive, with luxurious bottles and exquisite fragrances.
In his collection I found an interesting project: he decided to create a perfume that would capture the scent of Dubai. Oqib Al Rouya, or "the vision" is according to him, a fragrance that embraces the old and the new. He created a fragrance that would express all the history of the city in one whiff.
As he explains 'Some ingredients trigger nostalgia', but he does not really disclose the olfactive notes.
The perfumer has also decided to make fragrances to capture the essence of each of the 7 Emirates.
(to read a complete article about the scents, please click HERE)

The Scent of Departure
Photo credit: The brand

The travel trend was explored by Li Edelkoort in her trendtablet, where she posted various pictures of cities, evoking their atmosphere. In the same sense a new fragrance brand is launching its collection - The Scent of Departure. Created by Gérald Ghislain (Les Histoires de Parfums) & Magali Senequier. The Scent of Departure is offering the essence and spirit of destinations that travelers would like to bring home. It is a gift or a souvenir as a reminder of the joyful time they spent while traveling.
The collection will be launched this very April,starting with 20 different EDT perfumes: Abu-Dhabi, Budapest, Paris, Doha, Bali, Dubai, Frankfurt, honk Kong, Seoul, Istanbul, Keflavik, Los angeles, London, Miami, Milan, Munich, New York, Singapore, Tokyo and Vienna.

From all the olfactive traveling I did this past week, I realized that curiously the city of Miami (Florida) was the most explored among perfumers. Each of them with his own interpretation of the local smells, and the memories evoked.

I also would like to bring  fragrance project that does not exactly capture the smell of the cities it presents, but it brings something very creative as a concept. 

Vanille 44 - sold exclusively in Japan!

Le Labo, apart of the original collection, offers another exclusive collection of 8 fragrances that can be found only in specific cities of the world. Many have critiqued the brand for offering the tuberose only in NYC, or the peppery fragrance only in London, but once they explained to me the idea behind the concept, I found it genius! 
Fabrice and Eddie missed the fact that part of the traveling experience is to find exclusive products in certain places. He gave me the example of Havainas flip flops. As he said to me "it was a Brazilian thing". Only when traveling to Brazil one could have an Havainas. Today it is everywhere, It became a global product. In that sense, they wanted to bring back the souvenir concept to our contemporary days.
If you wish to read the full interview (in Portuguese) click HERE.

The question is, having both lived in São Paulo - Brazil (they actually got to know each other here) we can't find a fragrance sold here exclusive for the following reason - they don't have a single shop in my city... how strange is that???

So here you have it darlings, a way of traveling without living your room. A whiff of a fragrance will take you any place you wish!

I frankly prefer to do the traveling...but I love these ideas anyway!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Boarding Pass & Perfume - where is your next stop? PART I

Photo Credit: André Rougier

The History of Human Traveling Habits
In the early stages of the development (evolution) of human societies men  were nomadic. They changed location to look for food, water and shelter. They left their tribes and went on a journey to explore different regions in order to survive. 
In more developed stages of evolution, mankind continued to move to different locations in the name of religion (crusades, pilgrimages, mission trips) seeking to scape plagues and diseases or to fight wars. 
By the end of the Medieval Period, mankind expanded its horizons exploring and conquering distant lands, moved by the douctrines of Mercantilism (controlling foreign trades) and expanding Imperialism, building settlements in conquered colonies.
By rail or by sea, men explored the world. But only in 1906 traveling would become much easier, when Alberto Santos Dumont developed the first aircraft to fly without a catapult. We were finally able to broaden up our horizons, and give traveling a new meaning.
Today, traveling is one of the richest experiences one can have.  Through travelling one can get in touch with new cultures, meet new people, enjoy different foods and beverages. Exploring new landscapes and being able to learn new languages, new sounds, and new smells is simply one of the most fulfilling things in life! Some like to travel because they live in tiny countries or because they are always looking for a place to find happiness; some people just like to disconnect to the routine and loosen up elsewhere, some just have it in the blood...whatever reason one may find to pack his bags, one thing we know for sure: life left behind will never be the same.

Perfumery has always been inspired by distant lands with exotic names and magical fragrances. Shalimar (Guerlain), Fidji (Gui Laroche), Paris (YSL), Tokyo (Kenzo), Escale a Portofino (Dior), I Love New York (Bond Nº9) any brand, and you will probably find a fragrance inspired by a either an island, a city, or a remote land.

The New Trend

Photo Credit: MoMa

In 2004 Sissel Toolas conducted a project called "City Smell Research", that was presented in the Berlin Bienalle. She worked in various districts of Berlin to distill an essential scent for each one, creating an olfactory map of the city. The scents were contained in bottles that physically recalled the city map and compass points. This work was not simply the charting of a landscape of smell; it also explored the potential of smell as information, that enhanced and subverted the physical and symbolic boundaries of the urban ecosystem.

Photo Credit: Kvapos Kodas

Also trying to capture the essence of his homeland, Dainius Rutkauskas has develop a project called the Lietuvos Kvapas, a fragrance holding the entire History of Lithuania.  According to the website, the perfume will bring the essence of vibrant green nature, cozy urban towns, the passion for technology, and the courage of brave hardworking people, who cherish the traditions of their ancestors, and who stand firmly on the ground. It will also contain tolerance to other nations and religions... "The fragrance is a marketing tool". "It’s a way of showing the world what we can do. It’s a way of promoting Lithuania as a modern country, rather than just an old Soviet satellite state. To many people in the west, Lithuania has a bad image. They read in their newspapers of Lithuanians committing crimes or doing weird stuff. But we are not criminals or bandits.’ (extracted from Home Living News)
So, if you wonder how it smells... apparently it is the combination of bergamot, notes of wild flower bouquet, ginger, raspberry, notes of red berries, grapefruit, Lily of the valley, lilac, rose, amber, tree moss, cedar, sandalwood, patchouli, musk, note of tree smoke.
And how much does it cost to bring Lithuania to your very home? 25ml of the essence of this country will cost you app. 28 costs less flying to Vilnius!!!
The fragrances were sold to politicians, to the Ministry of Defense (bottles were sent to Afghanistan to the troops, to remind of their home), to tourists and businessmen visiting the country.
Patriotic indeed, as long as you don't use it as air freshener in your toilet!

New Jersey
Photo credit: Fragrantica

Last month FRAGRANTICA has announced the launch of a project called The United Fragrances of America developed by Samantha Sherwin and Sasha Bertran. The idea was to capture the moments, or memories of moments in specific places that we all have throughout life. The have travelled to many states of the country and with surveys, they finally found what they define local scents. They plan to launch a fragrance for each state  - and that means 50 of them! At the moment they have launched NJ, Florida, California, Texas, and New York. New Jersey for example, is a gourmand combination of fresh butter popcorn, cotton candy, caramel, coconut, vanilla extract, peach, patchouli and musk. That said, seems that the State has a thing for sweets. All of you who have visited New Jersey can comment here about your memories... I am curious to know if New Jersey has the sweet tooth vibe!
Texas has notes of cedar leaves, ruby red oranges, red cedar, white musk and amber. Curiously it does not contain any tobacco or leather notes (to remind us of cowboys), not a single note to remind us of a Spanish side of the state, nothing about Sierra Madre...Rio Grande...but if a survey was made...I cannot really say much...people told them about their memories of their time spent there...
Price: USD58 per 1.7 oz.

Colorado & Florida
Photo credit: S& H

Also exploring memories of youth, Shipley & Halmos brand have also launched a limited edition fragrance thinking of the Rock Mountains and South Florida waterways. Colorado & Florida is a fragrance that captures both sunny and snowy notes, translated to Outdoor accord (I wonder what that means?), sand pine, myrtle, Rose otto and ambergris.
Price: USD98 per 60ml.

Proving that Florida State is very popular in perfumery, The Scent Marketing Institute has commissioned perfumer Rene Morgenthaler of Smart Fragrances  to create a fragrance that would capture the spirit of the most cosmopolitan center of the State of that state - MIAMI. Six months later the perfume was finally elaborated and it brings a combination of jasmine, sun baked sand, coffee, salty air, Cuban cigars and orange trees (where is the smell of the Brazilian MOJO????). "it is an incredibly sensual, upbeat pallete of ingredients". It is a crisp fragrance with notes of lavender, jasmine, spices and citruses.
The fragrance can be found at Air Esscentials website under the name "Miami Beach".
Price: not available


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Enchanted trend - Part II

Photo credit: Regnierstudio

Continuing to explore the magical and the mysterious, we will continue this journey inside the forests, but this time, we will wait till midnight, when the creatures of the night will come out to play. 
We will find resinous fragrances with deep dense, dark notes. We will find mysterious perfumes revealing a side yet not explored. Potions and narcotic perfumes will disturb our senses.

Photo credit: madame m

We will travel through time and rediscover legends and tales of the Middle East. The magical love stories of princesses and treasures will bring romance and luxury. Bewitched women will dance and reveal clouds of perfume. Mermaids will lead us to the ocean with a promising kiss. Our blood is going to be sucked by lusty vampires.
Notes of frankincense, myrrh, and woods will bring a religious aura.

 Circe by John Waterhouse

Oud and wood notes combined with hypnotic jasmines, ylangs and gardenias. Mischievous, sultry enchanting fragrances with patchoulis and ambers.
Duality of light and shadow. Smokey leathers. dark vetivers and licorice.

I picked some fragrances for you that are following this trend:

OUD EDP by M F Kurkdjan (and all OUD perfumes launched in the last 2 years!)
Secret Potion EDP by Cristina Aguilera
Potion EDT by DSquared2
Seven Veils EDP by Byredo
Wood Mystique EDP by Estée Lauder
Villain for Women EDP By Ed Hardy
La Fumée EDP by Miller Harris
Jasmin Noir L'Essence EDP by Bulgari
Dahlia Noir EDP by Givenchy
Blood Concept Fragrances
Vetiver Velours  EDP - Bespoken - Keiko Mecheri
Nuit Etoilee  EDT by Annick Goutal
Chopard Enchanted EDP
After Midnight EDp by TDC

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Butterflies, ladybugs, fairies and dreams - Marc Jacobs' DOT EDP - showcase

What happens in a world where we are all connected 24h/day with everyone we know (used to be called friends), and all the people we virtually know (now called facebook friends)? What happens when all we do is follow every single step of everybody via twitter for 24h/day? What happens when we watch reality shows instead of reading books, or instead of living our own lives intensely? 
In a world bombarded by REALITY 24 hours a day, there is no place for fantasy, for the creativity, for daydreaming, for the mythical.

As Li Edelkoort brilliantly spilled it out for us in her magazine Bloom "I feel I am drowning in the boredom of reality. We seem to repeat similar things, and thus to contemplate over and over again the life of real people is no longer an option, we are not interesting enough and we will have to admit it".

As she explains, a world in overdose of reality is a world standing still, contemplating, without any progress. We are not moving forward. 
On the contrary, a world of fantasy is always challenging, changing and fresh.

Fantasy by Walt Disney

We are in the need of fantasy and mystery. And this is exactly why this is the fantastic trend that will seduce consumers this decade. The answer for this boredom is the mysterious, the naive, the fantastic, the fiction. "To give consumers a dream, to seduce them with narration and to lure them into a life, teaching them to realize their own dreams also". (the forecaster explains).

An enchanted world of legends, of mystical beings, fairies, ladybugs, butterflies, birds, bees, mushrooms...rainbows and flower blooms.

Clos de Tapas - Mediterranean Forest
Photo credit - + Q Perfume Blog

Fashion will see a lot of polka dots, delicate laces, and bell shapes. Culinary will bring food from the forest, radishes on served on mushrooms, beans served in their pods, edible flowers, green forest salads... Story telling is the key word to be hip, in a plate or on a fabric.

No wonder that eating Edamame is the newest trendy fever in São Paulo - the beans are served hot, salty and in the pods!

Marc Jacobs - Polka & red lips

In the world of Perfumery trends are interpreted and conceptualized in many ways. By the inspiration to develop the fragrance; the bottle, by its shape and design; or simply by its advertising campaign.


Marc Jacobs has been embracing this trend since the launch of his fragrance Daisy EDP, but his latest launch DOT EDP has reality plunged into fairytale telling.
A red round bottle adorned with styli-shed flower petals, ladybugs and butterflies, bringing delicate creatures of the garden to your home.
He is promising you in a whiff, a journey back to your childhood, when you walked barefooted in the garden looking for ladybugs and butterflies. Where you dreamed of being a fairy or a princess. A journey to the depth of psyche, to explore fantasy, to experience the surreal, the intuition, and the unexpected.

The juice
Exploring the same vanilla-musk creamy base of Lola, it will bring a whiff of coconut nuts for an extra exotic touch. Also translating the trend into liquid form, notes of red berries and driftwood - found in magical forests. Another mythical being added - the dragon  - here translated by pitaya, or dragon fruit as it is called. An exotic fairytale touch here. The delicacy of fairies and flower blooms is presented in honeysuckle and orange blossom notes.

So here you have it readers. In the world of mass luxe selling fragrances, there is no place for creativity. There is market research and forecasting. Nothing is created, all is meticulously planned! 
Marc Jacobs is not really teaching you to dream, he is planting in the market, a fantasy that was already chosen for you, and that he bought. The trend book written by Li Edelkoort.

After all, the playful, the cheerful, the poetic she says.

Other fragrances embracing the trend:

Le Mimosa EDT by Annick Goutal
Nina Fantasy EDP by Nina Ricci
Idylle Duet Lilas EDP - By Guerlain
Purple Lilac EDT by Yves Rocher
White Lilac & Ruibarb EDC by Jo Malone
Floral Curiosities Collection by Ineke
Lotus Rose EDP by Les Parfums de Rosine

Stay tunned for the second part where we are going to explore the mythical creatures of the night...

Monday, April 2, 2012

CHANDLER BURR opens the season with a very special Scent Dinner

I've just received great wonderful news from Chandler Burr that I want to share with you!
I know that Chandler needs no introduction, but  for the new readers that are just joining the perfumistas' community, let's give a quick look at his BIO:

Chandler Burr, the New York Times perfume critic from 2006-2010, is currently involved in a fantastic groundbreaking project as the Director and Curator of the Center of Olfactory Art at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City.
Burr is also the author of the two incredible books about the perfume industry: "The Perfect Scent: A Year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris & New York" (2007) tells two parallel stories, the first a year Burr spent for The New Yorker magazine behind the scenes at Hermès watching legendary perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena create an Hermès fragrance, the second a year inside Coty with Sarah Jessica Parker as she directed the making of her first perfume. "The Emperor of Scent: A True Story of Perfume, Obsession, and the Last Mystery of the Senses" (2003) is about a genius of biophysics and perfume.
His special dinners: Burr hosts interactive Scent Dinners around the world; these master classes in gourmand scents are collaborations with the world’s best chefs.

MAD NYC - The Museum of Arts and Design

He is finally opening the fragrant season with 02 special events that we all have been expecting with great enthusiasm! 

The official announcement of opening of the Exhibition The Art of Scent  to be held from November,13 (2012) to January, 13 (2013). It is crucial for all of you to understand that this is not a permanent exhibition. It will be opened for the public at MAD for two months only, so I suggest you all start to plan the visit to NYC in order not to miss this one of a kind event. 
In the same opportunity Chandler Burr is inviting/hosting all of us to a very fragrant evening: A Scent Gala Dinner!

Here are all the details straight for Burr's PR Office: 

The Museum of Arts and Design’s Visionaries!  2012 Scent Gala
Monday, November 12th, Mandarin Oriental, New York City

Please save the date of Monday, November 12, 2012 and plan to join Chandler Burr, Curator of Olfactory Art, and the Museum of Arts and Design for a scent dinner in conjunction with MAD’s annual Visionaries! Gala. Each year, the Visionaries! Gala celebrates outstanding individuals in the arts and industry. In celebration of MAD’s inaugural scent exhibition, it is only fitting that many of this year’s honorees are leaders in the scent industry.

The Mandarin Oriental Ballroom

Held this year at the Mandarin Oriental, New York City, Visionaries! begins with a cocktail reception and silent auction followed by an awards ceremony and scent dinner lead by Chandler Burr.

The Visionaries! Gala is the Museum’s most important annual fundraiser supporting MAD’s exhibitions and educational programs. A silent auction will include travel and dining packages, exceptional experiences, design items, luxury goods, and jewelry. Each year, more than 500 guests, including arts patrons, artists, designers and noted corporate and civic leaders, attend the event. Ticket prices for the gala range from $1,250–$2,500; tables are priced from $10,000–$25,000. 
For more information, please call 212.299.7729 or email

Click on the name for the link: The Museum of Arts and Design

Chandler Burr is really whiffing perfume expertise worldwide. He will also share his vast knowledge in perfumery, as a special guest at the PITTI FRAGRANZE 2012, from September 14 to 16, in Florence - Italy - at the Stazione Leopolda. (I will keep you all posted for more details as the date approaches).

The contribution of Chandler Burr so Perfumery will finally be considered officially as ART is crucial to all of us. I hope you can all attend to his events, so for all of you outside the NYC area, start to plan for this amazing fragrant trip!!!
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