The Skylight West building in New York City was taken over by some of the finest independent fragrance companies for the Elements Show. As my first foray into a perfume trade show, I was unsure what to expect. The press preview started at 9am so I met up with the fabulous Victoria Jent (of www.eaumg.net) and we were the first people online. After a quick registration, we were quickly allowed access to the Elements.
Decorated sparsely with large illuminated orbs of fabric (representative of elements), booths were laid out with a nice flow on two floors. A delicious drip coffee bar on the first floor offered a respite as did a food bar on the 6th floor. The 6th floor also house the meeting area where panels were held. The collaboration panel featured author Chandler Burr and perfumer Rodrigo Flores in a lively discussion about working together.
As a newbie to the world of fragrance, I was consistently impressed how friendly all of the exhibitors were. Each table had bottles upon bottles laid out with knowledgeable representatives on to present the brand, highlight new products and answer just about any questions.
Here some highlights of what I smelled:
Illuminum – This British indie aims to educate and bring high quality niche from fragrances to the UK (and abroad). With two lines – Vaporizer (quality eau de toilettes) as an intro to fine fragrance and Haute Perfume (high concentration 30% eau de perfumes) for those who like things a bit stronger. In addition to fragrances, they offer perfume classes at their Dover Street headquarters. You might remember that the royal Kate Middleton wore Illuminum White Gardenia Petals for her wedding but don’t let that make you think that all they do is soft and pretty. Their Black Musk is very close to holy grail material for me with its dark, sexy musk and insane longevity.
DS & Durga – Respected niche line DS & Durga teamed up with pop-op shop maestros Brooklyn Dry Goods to create Spent Musket Oil, a unique scent focusing on the scent of rifles. Truly a statement, even the most rugged man would love this attention-getting juice.
Arquiste – After reviewing Anima Dulcis last week, I met Carlos Huber via twitter and we arranged an interview. Speaking to the historical architect/perfumer was quite amazing. Watch for the interview to be posted here really soon.
Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier – Look out for the sexy leather Cuir Fetiche. Although the bottle is wearing a red corset, guys should definitely test this one. I smelled it in Paris last year and am still kicking myself for not buying it then… hmm maybe I can get it from Henry Bendel.
Di Ser – The Japanese line was quite surprising. I always hear that fragrances made for the Asian markets are light and sheer. Di Ser featured several scent which were strong, robust and interesting. Favorites were Tzuki (moon) with a geranium every bit as masculine as the Frederic Malle Geranium Pour Monsieur and Kazi with a great Shiso note.
Cire Trudon – Smelling their wonderful candles was a delight (read my review of Nazareth here. ) They are bringing back the Storybook line with Little Red Riding Hood and Sinbad the Sailor. Both are really nice.
Charenton Macerations – If you like a taste of booze in your juice, check out Christopher Street with touches of 20s, 50s, and 70s bar culture in the notes.
Histoires de Parfums / Scent of Departures – The flamboyantly dressed founder showcased the full line of years (see 1969 review here) and the new rare collection. Petroleum is quite magical. At a more moderate price point, the Scent of Departures is a new line by the same exuberant perfumer. With bottles that look like tickets, the Abu Dhabi destination caught my attention.
Providence Perfume – For those who like naturals, chocolate tuberose is absolutely amazing. The blend of floral and deep cocoa is so riveting that its hard to believe its natural. It has the intensity of something you would find at Lush (and that’s a major compliment from me.)
Neela Vermiere Creations – The trio of scents made with Bertrand Duchaufour are both complex and easily wearable – total scent journeys. Trayee stands out as my favorite.
Caron – The legendary French line is focusing on their men’s line with new skin care/shaving products. I experienced them firsthand with a shave by master barber Gary from Martial Vivot. The products are even better than what you would imagine. They make the special edition $2000 lacquered wood box set seem like a fantastical dream.
Bois 1920 – Come L’amore stood out. Although its listed as a female fragrance, this one could easily be rocked by any guy. I grabbed a sample to review.
Bond No 9 / I Love NY – The I Love NY has four new scents coming out based on events – Earth Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Marriage Equality Day. The New Haarlem-esque Marriage Equality day is my clear favorite and I love that the fact that the company is proudly celebrating the successes of the LGBT movement.
Lubin – The new EDP concentration of Idole is more refined in composition yet stronger in concentration. I need to test the EDP and EDT next to each other to decide which I love more.
Joya – The perfume smells as beautiful as the porcelain that contains it. Joya #6 is quite special and one that I look forward to sniffing more for a review.
Congratulations to Odin No 6 Amanu for winning the FIFA Indie Award.
Quotes of the day:
“Every perfume bottle contains the world” – Chandler Burr
“Dilution embellishes” – Rodrigo Torres