Fragrance

By Candice Sabatini

Question: What do you do if you’re a perfumer and the store that’s been successfully selling your two fragrances closes? Answer: If you’re the talented Sarah Barton King, you launch a third one, wish upon a star and hope for the best. While it’s certainly not the recommendation one’s accountant would give, have you ever met an artist who created, or didn’t create, according to accounting advice? No, it’s about passion.

British expat now New Yorker, creative and obsessive perfumer Sarah Barton King, was left with no retailer when the chic Takashimaya store closed last year. Her first two perfumes Pink Room and Pour Toi, were top sellers there and Sarah had been working on a third perfume for the past two years. Left with no store selling her creations, Sarah forged on and continued to work with her perfumer Cyrille Carles, in Grasse, France to develop her new perfume, Darkly Audacious.

Whether it was because Mercury was out of retrograde, a four leaf clover was found, or the stars were aligned, not only did a few of NY’s best perfume stores clamor to get her perfumes, but Darkly Audacious was finally finished, complete with gorgeous bottle and custom fitted box.

Arthur and Sarah at MiN

I caught up with the Helen Mirren look-alike recently at MiN New York, where they were hosting a launch party and Sniffapalooza holiday fete in their comfy, elegant SoHo boutique.

BN: Sarah, tell me about Darkly Audacious and your inspiration for it.
SBK:
While I love my first two fragrances, I’ve had the desire to create a more provocative and suggestive fragrance that’s rich and sensuous. Images of the naughty Roaring 20′s, especially in Paris, Parisian style, images of Josephine Baker, Dali, and the fashions of Schiaparelli were in my mind as I created Darkly Audacious.

BN: You know I always want to know the notes. Do tell.
SBK:
It opens with lemon, bergamot and rosewood and its heart is jasmine absolute, cashmere wood and plum. Its sultry finish is from dark patchouli incense, amber, tonka bean and vanilla. There’s more, but these are the most important. Also, I’m very proud of the quality of my perfume, and use 20% pure perfume concentrate, while many others use only about 15%.

BN: Thanks for the advance vial. I’ve been wearing it for a few weeks and getting tons of compliments from both men and women. My husband keeps burying his nose in my neck whenever I wear it. The reaction has been incredible.
SBK:
(laughs) Well, you’re just a naughty lady and people who love it are also just as naughty. The reaction has been incredible, and I’m so pleased.

BN: Why did you name is Darkly Audacious?
SBK:
Because it is, darling! (she says with raised eyebrows and a mischievous smile).

BN: I love the black bottle. It’s so sexy.
SBK:
Thank you. I think the matte black glass with the bulb atomizer is reminiscent of the naughty 20′s and looks gorgeous in its sexy red satin trim and ribbon. Additionally, I’ve personally signed many of the bottles.

BN: What’s next?
SBK:
As with my other perfumes, there will be additional products such as votive candles and body lotion, but not for awhile.

BN: So who’s the elegant bloke sitting next to you?
SBK:
Oh, this is Arthur King, my muse, my strength, my inspiration, my husband, and my checkbook keeper..

BN: May I call him King Arthur?
SBK:
I’m sure he’d love it!

Darkly Audacious, as well as Sarah’s other perfumes are available at:
MiN NY – 117 Crosby St, Soho http://www.minnewyork.com
Plaza Beauty – Plaza Shops in the Plaza Hotel, 5th Ave and 58th Street. http://www.pinkroom.co.uk

Originally published January 2011
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