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Live From New York: State of the Fragrance Industry

By: Nancy Jeffries
Posted: January 10, 2008, from the January 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 4 of 8

Sniffapalooza Fall Ball
During the weekend of Oct. 20–21, scent lovers from around the globe gathered in New York City to sample and savor a variety of fragrances—from new and niche to classic and customized. The event began with uptown activities organized by Sniffapalooza founder Karen Dubin and executive operations manager Karen Adams on Saturday, and zeroed in on the downtown fragrance scene on Sunday. The 165 participants attended a breakfast at Bergdorf Goodman, a lunch featuring Sephora founder Isabel Masson Mandonnaud and guest speaker Chandler Burr of The New York Times, followed by afternoon samplings at Henri Bendel and Takashimaya.

Bond No. 9 founder Laurice Rahmé hosted Sunday brunch at her retail location, where she presented her latest scent, Andy Warhol Silver Factory. Rahme, who created numerous fragrances based on the diverse neighborhoods of New York City, was invited by The Andy Warhol Foundation to develop a fragrance collection using the artist’s body of work as inspiration. The first fragrance in the collection was inspired by Warhol’s New York studio, and features a blend of incense, wood resin and amber, with a heart of jasmine, iris and hint of cedar. Created by Aurelien Guichard, it is a 28% perfume concentration, presented in a Campbell’s soup-inspired package, apropos of the ubiquitous Warhol design.

Le Labo, where unique, custom creations are blended and personalized for each customer, was the next stop, followed by Lafco New York (Luxury Articles and Fragrance Company)—founded by Jon Bresler 14 years ago and home of Santa Maria Novella fragrances and body care. Segen Laird Scott, Lafco New York’s director of sales, presented an array of fragranced products, from thick and fragrant chunks of Claus Porto soap from Portugal to Lorenzo Villoresi’s fine perfumes of vetiver, patchouli and yerbamate. Home fragrances—including European soy candles—Lafco New York’s men’s collection and Santa Maria Novella’s historical potpourri were also featured.

Adding to the downtown excitement, L’Artisan Parfumeur president Francois Duquesne was available for a chat, and Aedes de Venustas, a perfume shop in the West Village, provided samples. The event closed with a celebratory dinner. “We’re sharing a passion and it’s very contagious,” said Dubin at the dinner. “We want to make more fragrance lovers.”

In addition to fragrance master classes and events, Sniffapalooza creates children’s events and European fragrance journeys.