By Hernando Courtright
Sniffapalooza, the world’s largest consumer event based fragrance lovers organization recently held their outstanding Fall Ball weekend event in NYC. This marked the 10th Anniversary of their twice a year all-weekend events (there’s also the annual Spring Fling). Congrats Karen Dubin and Karen Adams, aka Team Karen, for another over-the-top experience. Read on for the deets as well as getting the inside scoop on new fragrance launches from both the big brands as well as the indies. Join in next time and experience it for yourself.
Saturday, the Uptown Day started at Bergdorf Goodman for the 21st Sniffapalooza breakfast. Exciting holiday releases awaited us as we enjoyed a continental breakfast to prepare us for the next two hours of guest speakers and presenters. Twenty speakers in all. Trivia: The first breakfast in 2004 had only six brand presenters.
Tom Crutchfield of Roja Dove Perfums & Karen Dubin
As always, the charming Tom Crutchfield kicked it off awaking our senses with two new Roja Dove Parfums, Goodman (BG exclusive, for men) and Amber Extract. Both outstanding.
Of the many standout launches for the holiday season, the new Diana Vreeland Parfum Collection (exclusive to BG & NM) excited all and presented by her granddaughter. You must smell these five fragrances, Diana Vreeland would be proud. Some of the other delightful releases that are sure to be big sellers this season would be the three new Jo Malone scents, Wood Sage & Sea Salt, Peony Suede & Blush and Tuberose Angelica Cologne. You’ll love Annick Goutal’s Vent de Folie (Crazy Wind) an EDT that is both sensual and delicate and has a body lotion as well. Tom Ford’s heady new releases are Patchouli Absolu, Jasmin Rouge Body Moisturizer, the Private Blend Collection and the gorgeous Fall 2014 Color Collection Lipsticks.
Kilian Hennessy and his wife Elizabeth
Last, and certainly not least was Kilian Hennessy of By Kilian Perfumes and his wife Elizabeth wowing us with the new collection, Addictive State of Mind and the stunning new fragrant jewelry line called L’Oeuvre Noire.
Afterwards, we roamed the make-up and fragrance counters to re-connect with old friends and make news ones, all while shopping and sniffing and taking selfies with Kilian Hennessy. The Bergdorf’s portion closed with a raffle with three very lucky winners each receiving a large basket filled with top draw perfumes. Everyone who attends receives a gift bag from Bergdorf’s chock full of generous samples, which included samples of the Diana Vreeland line as well as tons of perfume and cream samples from the many Bergdorf brands and even a mini Tom Ford lipstick. (Score!) Team Karen does it right!
Karen Dubin interviews Chandler Burr
Lunch was a short walk to Brasserie 81/2. Fresh salad, perfect roast chicken, wine and amazing dessert (crème brulee in a brownie shell….yes please!) filled us up while enjoying an excellent speaker line-up. First up was Karen Dubin doing an insightful interview with fragrance journalist Chandler Burr digging deep into the person not the expert. Barbara Walters watch out.
Francois Damide with Kelly Killoren Bensimon
Former Real Housewife of New York Kelly Killoren Bensimon and Crafting Beauty’s Francois Damide presented her new candle Baiser Rose and room spray collection which is a light, airy and lovely rose that everyone agreed was wonderful. GoodSmella Carlos Powell of Peace Love Perfume told us of his PLP Project with assistance from fellow GS, Rich Scardaville.
Chef Roble and model
Chef Roble Ali (Bravo TV) showed CLIQUE by Roble, a delightfully sweet fragrance which shows off Roble’s love of desserts, but isn’t cloyingly sweet and now includes a Bath Collection. Candice Sabatini of Beauty News NYC had a fun fragrance quiz and gave out fragrance prizes courtesy of Bodycology and Aubrey. Team Karen always donates to a charity and this year it’s to Mt Sinai for pancreatic cancer research, set up by beauty entrepreneur Lauren McDonald created in memory of her father.
After lunch we headed to Molton Brown’s new flagship store to preview the Oudh Accord & Gold Collection and more nibbles to be sipped with prosecco. Living the vida loca for sure. We got a sniff of their new ninth scent in the collection, Shisur.
Alton Suggs of Carven Perfumes
Last stop of the day was Saks Fifth Avenue to a Master Class at their new 5th floor Fragrance Library with Carven Parfums. Brand Ambassador Alton Suggs educated us on the origins of the line and where they are heading. Well done! Highlight was the iconic scent, Ma Griffe.
Carlos Huber of Arquiste Perfumes
Sunday, the Downtown Day was a gorgeous day and everyone was in the mood for olfactory wonder. First stop was Osswald in Soho, a jewel of a spot that offers cutting edge perfumes and wonderful luxury skincare. Make sure to add this to your itinerary if you have not visited this boutique. Along with a goody bag of great samples, Osswald offered us a light breakfast to help wake us up to the delights here in. The special guest was Carlos Huber of Arquiste. He shared interesting back stories on the Arquiste brand and introduced us to his latest release, The Architects Club.
A stroll down to Sue Phillips’s Scentarium was the next destination. Sue greeted us in her charming new space with sparkling wine while she explained how she develops custom fragrances for clients. It’s a wonderful learning experience for anyone that has an interest in learning how scents are created.
Lunch was a walk into Little Italy to La Mela. A delicious five course feast was served along with a great line-up of guest speakers. Wonderful raconteur Mark Behnke, of Colognoisseur was the Master of Ceremonies. He passionately introduced each presenter with flare as the Sunday line-up is about EAU, Emerging Artisans Uncorked. Highlights were Sue Phillips detailing the art of a custom scent, Francois Damide of Crafting Beauty explaining the production and manufacturing for private labels. Bother & sister Lisa Wallos and David Cantor showing off Kiori, a new line of perfumed oils, followed by Irina Adam of Phoenix Botanicals, and Christine Daley of Perfumer Supply House who held an ingredients workshop. Whew!
Sylvie Ganter and daughters
Open house sniffing at Atelier Cologne and Le Labo wrapped up the scent-full weekend. Atelier Cologne marked the five year anniversary exclusivity with Bergdorf Goodman and selected Neiman Marcus locations. Owner Sylvie Ganter was on hand to chat with us. She showed us the new Rendez-vouz scent, a wonderful addition to their growing line-up. And, congrats to Le Labo, which recently was purchased by the Estee Lauder Company.
Over the course of the two days fabulous gift bags, discounts and GWP’s were provided by the stores and fragrance houses. By the time I recover from this Fall Ball weekend, it’ll be time for the Sniffapalooza Spring Fling. Go to their website and sign up for all their events throughout the year. http://www.sniffapalooza.com