Sniffapalooza hits Los Angeles...
...Los Angeles does not hit back
Report by Tom
As some of you might have heard, The Karens brought their perfume-scented show on the road to the city of the Angels (and me). Of course, the chance of letting this event occur without me were non-existent, and I will attempt to decipher my notes and with the help of the hand-outs I will try to cover the event for you. Looking at my notes I have to say there's a reason I am not a reporter: I didn't, even with my HORRIBLE memory for names, jot down people, I jotted down stuff. Yes, sadly greed will trump good manners for your dear Pansy every time. If you're reading this, and I met you, please keep this in mind.
The morning started off well, with the threatened rain not coming. Being cheap (but telling people that I was trying to save the environment) I didn't drive to the event, since it was about a mile from my house, I relied on the MTA and shanks mare. I arrived at Fred Segal/ Apothia at about 8:45 and checked in. Into a very stylish group of people indeed. I actually felt a little out of place in my jeans and Pumas amongst the sea of black suits and perfect coifs, but that was just me being me. I grabbed a coffee and some of the excellent fruit salad and listened to the speakers:
First up was Rob Robinson from Apothia, welcoming us, introducing the Karens and introducing us to the manager of Apothia who would be introducing the speakers- he also had a funny bit about how if the speakers rang long, he'd ring a bell, and if they kept going, he'd use one of those airhorns.
Next was Kio Kamoche of Nyakio who quite charmingly told us that she would keep it brief, since she's afraid of horns. She is a first generation American who has a beauty line based on ingredients from her native Kenya. Exfoliation is one of my favorite things to do, and I plan on testing her samples a.s.a.p.
Next was Sarah Horowitz-Thran of Creative Scentualization, giving us the history of her line and passing them around. She mentioned that at the later lunch, we'd be smelling her new scent.
Then came Topper Schroeder of Gendarme (one that I have to revisit soon) giving the history behind his fragrance and the news that there would be a new one as well, and we were going to get a sample of it (I'll review it later).
Following him was the lovely Jan Moran, writer of one of my favorite books Fabulous Fragrances, telling us about her latest project, an interactive database that will be in stores that will allow shoppers to select perfumes they want to
try by notes. Sounds interesting, yes?
Then came Francois Duquesne of l'Artisan who told an extended story of his youth in Grasse and how it led him through marketing and into the world of niche perfume. He also told us of the new Narcisse perfume and the future body line. He seemed a bit nervous and a little rambly, but he was so cute and his accent was so Fwench that quite frankly he could have stood up there reciting the instructions on a jell-o box and I would have just listened, nodding encouragement.
Garry Natton of Through Smoke Creative was next, telling us about his start founding Moturra, its sale to Gap, his time at Gap and Banana Republic, and his new venture
Following him was Silke Steinberg of Tocca who gave us an overview of the company as well as a sniff of their newest: Cleopatra.
Neal Harris was up next with a curious device put out by his company Scent Events. This suitcase-sized doo-hickey can perfume an are in 2 minutes with any scent desired: the outside of the event smelled like Velvet Rope and for the opening of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" they made Hollywood Boulevard smell like chocolate!
Finally Ron Robinson returned to tell us about how Apothia grew out of his love for the finer things and invited us to browse the impressive collection his shop holds.
Needless to say, browse I did, then made a fast pit-stop to drop the swag at home and run back for the lunch at Chocolat, where Sarah Horowitz-Thran gave a very interesting breakdown of one of her fragrances and the promised sniff of her newest ones, Perfect Kiss and Beauty Comes from Within. Having sniffed, I can safely write that Beauty also comes from Ms. Horowitz-Thran.
The charming Victoria of Victoria's Own was kind enough to supply us with a lovely gift bag at the lunch, a sample of the ever-delightful Anne Pliska scent, and a cunning little jar of coffee beans! Clever! Cute!
After lunch, we wandered over to Santa Maria Novello shop on Melrose Place, where the always charming manager Jo Montroy and her staff greeted us, more sniffage ensued of both SMN and Villoresi.
Then off to Chado for High Tea (one of my favorite places in LA) and to meet Miryana Babic of i Profumi di Firenze who regaled with with the long history of the line and let us sniff a bunch of them.
Then Marlen of PerfumeCritic.com had an amusing quiz for us about our perfume habits, cheekily asking after we'd admitted that we did not apply scent in the morning "HOW HARD WAS THAT!?!"
Following him was Adam Eastwood of Scent Bar (inexplicably not on the tour) to talk about the store and website.
Finally we departed on foot to West Hollywood institution Palmetto, where the lovely Ms. Babic showed me practically all of her line personally (and most personably I might add) while I enjoyed a glass of white wine. I finally departed my sniffadventure about 11 hours after it started, having met many charming people, made I think a few new pals (and future co-conspirators- you know who you are!) and sniffed more and better stuff that I had done in a while.
Since I am sure you're all wondering, what did I buy? Nothing. Well, a couple of things at each store but no scent. I was trying to be good, thinking that I have waaaaaay too much cologne. I was walking out with IrisLA who totally disabused me of that, so much that I had to mention "well, I have loads of SAMPLES", which makes my low bottle count understandable.
So today I marched into ScentBar and bought the bottle of L'Antimatiere to make up for it.