Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I spent the past few days in New York sniffing fragrances with fellow aficionados at an event called Sniffapalooza. The weekend began on Saturday morning at a "breakfast" at Bergdorf Goodman. I put breakfast in quotes because if I hadn't asked for the bagels to be passed to me by my rude tablemate who had no problems stuffing her own face while ignoring me, I wouldn't have gotten any. (Yeah, I'm talking about you, blondie, and the rest of your party. Don't think that nobody noticed that you ate at least a bagel and a half.) I did have my fill of very good, pulpy, orange juice, however. Anyhoo, the food is unimportant at this event - the main focus is on hearing what reps from various perfume companies have to say about their newest releases.

I was particularly interested in the new Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo fragrance, Bergamotto, and the new Guerlain Eau de Toilette by Thierry Wasser, La Cologne du Parfumeur. If I hadn't sniffed them first during the breakfast, I might have passed them by. Instead, I tried them, loved them, and purchased them both.

Bergdorfs is one of my favorite places in New York. Not only do they always have the most interesting and newest fragrances, but great people work there. I always find myself chatting away about all and sundry with the lovely and talented Donna Muzio and David Aikman from Estée Lauder, and when he's not flooded with customers, Jason Beers at Guerlain. He wasn't in this time, so I only lingered long enough to pre-order La Cologne for the upcoming BG Gift Card sale (hey, why pay full price if I don't have to?)

After BG came lunch, at Opia. Can't say the three-plus-hour-long rubber-chicken meal with mostly boring speakers and the din of 130 or so mostly women chattering at the top of their lungs was worth the time or the money. In the past we had eaten at Seppi's, which was a clusterfuck, but at least the food was good. Anyway...Katie Puckrik of the YouTube channel Katie Puckrik Smells was by far the most interesting and entertaining speaker. I never checked her videos out before, but will certainly do so now. Chandler Burr was also somewhat entertaining with his brief tirade about the use of notes to describe fragrances. What are we supposed to use instead, poetry? Bullshit. If you tell me that a scent has patchouli and bergamot and vanilla, I at least have an inkling of what the components smell like, if not the whole composition. I enjoy your writing, Chandler, but that doesn't mean I have to agree with you.

The mini tarte tatin dessert we had was the highlight of the meal.

After the interminably-long luncheon, it was time to bid farewell to Takashimaya. Unfortunately, I spent most of my time in that store looking for the usual selection of cupcakes from Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery - the only reason I go to the overcrowded, cramped, Tak - and did not find them. Not hiding my disappointment, I stalked across the street to Bendels, rushed past the gauntlet of hungry-eyed cosmetics SAs on the first floor and attacked the selection of fragrances available on the second. Seems like Bendels is giving less and less room to the perfume department but offering more and more lines. Francois, who sat next to me at the lunch and spoke briefly about the new Jacomo fragrances 02, 08, and 09 was there with his young daughter who ably assisted him with spritzing the fragrances. All were lovely, but I fell for 08 in particular and had to purchase the spicy oriental that reminded me of Christmastime. In order to get the gift-with-purchase, I needed to spend another $11 and grabbed a bottle of Apothia IF shower gel. I also had to endure the over-tanned and over-bearing SA who was ensconced in a cramped and sweaty corner and who called me "sweetie" every few moments. Gack! Get me out of there....

One last stop on Saturday's agenda - the Krigler boutique at the Plaza. On the way over I encountered a darling 8-week-old beagle puppy who was being watched by a total stranger as his master gabbed away with others, not paying one bit of attention to his doggie. I could have slipped him into my bag and walked off without being noticed, which was tempting. The poor pup was experiencing separation anxiety and wanted to be cuddled. I did what I could after admonishing his master to make sure the pup's collar was fastened more securely, and headed into the Plaza.

Krigler has been around for 5 generations, in Europe, and has been worn by Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn. Several of their fragrances were lovely, several more proved sensory overload, and after my unwise decision to mingle the vanilla and orange blossom varieties on my skin, I beat a hasty retreat to my hotel room for a scrub and an aspirin.

Stay tuned for Sunday.... (Read part 2 here.)


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