MAGIC IN THE NIGHT, SECOND STAR ON THE RIGHT ~ Tigerlily Pefumery Salon Event

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In the heart of San Francisco there is a vibrant, exciting on trend neighborhood, the Mission District. It is young, hip and along Valencia Street you can feel the eclectic vibrancy of this revived part of the old Latino area, the oldest part of San Francisco where the Spanish founded our city in 1776 as Yerba Buena. As Hilary Rayvis Randall, Mario Gomez and I sat having an amazing Puerto Rican dinner at Parada 22 Pop Up on the corner of Valencia and 22nd Street an anticipatory thrill was in the air. The three of us were about to embark upon an olfactory fairytale of fun and magic at Tigerlily. The one and only Antonia Kohl’s fabulous perfumery located at Love & Luxe just half a block away. That little half block walk from Parada 22 takes your imagination past the second star on the right and straight on till morning.

 SECOND STAR TO THE RIGHT

    This evenings Salon was all about new works by four Bay Area perfumer houses.   Mikmoi, L’Aromatica, Bruno Fazzolari and Cognoscenti. We hit the evening event at just before eight and were immediately welcome by our mistress of magic Antonia who made sure we were supplied with cocktails invented just for the salon. I went with a bright and light Vesper Fizz which was delicious and inspired by Mikmoi’s wonderful Vesper perfume. As we circulated among the glitterati of scent in attendance there was much to see and even more to put your nose to. Mik of Mikmoi was introducing his new line Elements of Escape; Bruno had his newest perfume which nearly stole my heart over my favorite by him, Au Delà. The wonderful Dannielle Sergent also was presenting her line and her newest addition to her house. And finally a new face to me was the lovely Loreto Remsing of l’aromatica. Her presentation is a wonderful line of seventeen handcrafted botanical fragrances that come both in oil roll on and alcohol based perfume. And of course we were surrounded by the beautiful jewelry of Love and Luxe.

Over the course of the evening I was able to smell perfumes from each line and chat with all the perfumers. Danielle was very excited to tell me all about the wonderful aldehyde and oakmoss that is No.8. Bruno and I got a chance to catch up as I re-explored his amazing art and perfume (a pioneer in the blending of fine art, painting and perfume) , Mik and his spouse Jasper took me through the new line. “Fire” was a wonderful Lapsang Souchong perfume and my favorite of the elements of his creation, and Loreto told me all about how she sources her ingredients. I didn’t get to spend nearly enough time with any of these four artists as the evening was carried aloft on a magical carpet woven of incense, and roses.

1660313_1440852312817920_1366313711_nMik, Loreto Remsing, Bruno Fazzolari, and Danielle Sergent

(Photo borrowed from Tigerlily Perfumery)

About an hour into the event fellow blogger and YouTube reviewer Sebastian Jara and his partner showed up. We had the most wonderful time as I took them around and introduced them to all the perfumers and Antonia. We ran into perfume star Ineke and Bill O’Such. When I told Ineke that Sebastian had just returned from a month touring the perfumeries and shops of France she regaled us with her stories of her and Bill’s time in Paris when she studied perfumery and their adventure in perfume was born.

In the perfume corner we met up with Tama Blough the Deputy Editor of Ca Fleure Bon and she took us through much of the perfume stock. Zelda by En Voyage was amazing, very 1920’s glam. We got to smell the Tauer perfumes that have been added to Tigerlily and I came away with my very own bottle of a really luxe and lovely Grain du Soleil by Fragonard. An Amber perfume so soft and calming you can wear it anywhere anytime. It has a great vanilla dry down that is scrumptious.

By ten thirty the Cinderella evening drew much too soon to a close and each and every one of us who attended left with a promise to ourselves to return again to the magical and wonderful Tigerlily. This enchanted place in the Mission, where dreams are kept in bottles on a shelf waiting to be discovered and loved by you. To find Tigerlily just rembember, you turn right at the second star on the right and straight on till morning. You can’t miss it!

CLICK THE VIDEO BELOW FOR MY YOUTUBE COVERAGE OF THE EVENT.

TIGERLILY PERFUMERY: http://loveandluxesf.com/news/

FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tigerlily-Perfumery/1403453396557812

MIKMOI: http://www.mikmoi.com/

BRUNO FAZOLLARI: http://brunofazzolari.com/scents/

COGNOSCENTI: http://www.cogno-scenti.com/

L’AROMATICA: http://www.laromaticaperfume.com/

MAN LOVES COLOGNE: http://www.manlovescologne.com/

CA FLEURE BON: http://www.cafleurebon.com/

TIGERLILY IS LOCATED AT LOVE & LUXE BOUTIQUE 1169 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110

FROM PARIS, SCENT WITH LOVE ~ The Fragrant Republic San Francisco Event

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Friday after work I hopped on the Muni underground and made my way to the Embarcadero Center for a very special evening of fragrance and fabulous fun. The event was the first San Francisco launch of the new perfume house The Fragrance Republic. The event was held at Vanity Beauty Lounge and hosted by co-founder Francois Duquesne.

Francois_DuquesneFrancois Duquesne

The Fragrance Republic is not only a perfume house that gives great perfumers a chance to shine under their own names but also an on line Fragrance Club along the lines of a fine wine club. Members receive each month a 15 mil bottle of perfume to sample with the option to buy a 100mil bottle if they like the perfume. Membership comes in many levels that fit almost every budget. This makes it affordable and fun. So far there are six in the line by perfumers Nathalie Feisthauer, Julie Masse, Cecile Matton, Amelie Bourgeois, Antoine Lie, and Karine Chevallier. Each perfumer has an impressive history of perfumes many of which you may own. Each perfume is number from one to six. The two that I fell in love with were FR 01/02 and FR 01/06.

Julie_NovFR 01/02 and Perfumer Julie Masse

01/02 is a succulent refined, lush rose absolute with a velvety tuberose absolute simmering in coco résinoïde. It is magnificent on my skin and  has nothing of the usual bite of white flower or the overt high drama from the tuberose that one expects. Just gorgeous, it is so wonderful on my skin and I had to take a bottle home with me after an hour of wearing it. Perfumer Julie Masse has created a rose I like and one that has class and an elegant charm that is both modern and reminiscent of the Belle Epoch. It is a perfume that embraces the history of perfume while looking to the future.

01/06 was the most popular scent of the evening. This perfume created by Karine Chevallier consists of Persian Lime, fig, vetiver and sandalwood a woody aromatic that has the chic masculine charm of Eau Sauvage. Just brilliant sunny woods filled with the smell of a summer cabin in the mountains.

KarineChevillerG Karine Chevallier

The guests who attended were the crème de la crème of the San Francisco scent society, including Bay Area perfume luminaries such as Ineke and her husband Bill O’Such, the ever evolving and glamorous Yosh, Mik of MikMoi. Also in attendance were the scent sommelier and perfume advisor Hilary Rayvis Randall, Tama Blough San Francisco Bay Area – ‎Senior Editor at CaFleureBon.com and Mario Gomez ‎Owner at Olfactory Ambassador Services who is soon to dazzle the perfume world with something wonderful. And I was thrilled to see  the very exciting and charmingly lovely Antonia Kohl owner of TigerLily Perfumery. Our guide and host Francois Duquesne charmed us all not only with perfume but with his fascinating stories and delightful wit.

cHilary Rayvis Randall, Antonia Kohl, Francois Duquesne, Yosh, and Tama Blough

The event was to run from four to seven p.m. but with the arrival of many friends from SF Sniff the party didn’t break up until eight. And it was a very reluctant end to the evening for all. But the party is scheduled to pick up where it left off tonight at TigerLily where Antonia will be throwing a soirée featuring perfumers Mik Coyle , Bruno Fazzolari, Loreto Remsing and Dannielle Sergent. Each perfumer will be presenting their award winning fragrance lines.Something tells me there will be a story to tell about TigerLily in tomorrow’s post.

eFrancois and Yosh

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Hilary Rayvis Randall and Antonia Kohl

FRAGRANCE REPUBLIC: http://www.fragrancerepublic.net/

GO TO “L” ~ For the Beguiling Vickie Lester.

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Esther: (Walks up to the pay window on the studio lot) Paycheck for Esther Blodgett please.

Paymaster: “Go to “L””

Esther: Now wait a minute!

Paymaster: You’re new here right? You got a new name, you’re Vickie Lester, V. I. C. K. I. E.   L. E. S. T. E. R. Got it? Go to the window marked “L”.

 GO TO L

Esther: (walking way she tries the name on) Vickie Lester? Vickie …Lester. (It’s a fit) Vickie Lester!

I was only four years old when A Star Is Born staring Judy Garland premiered at the Pantages Theater on Hollywood Blvd. I don’t remember the locally televised premier when I lived in that hell hole of a town outside of Los Angeles, called Fontana. I don’t remember going to see it at the movies either. What I do remember is seeing the film and falling in love with it at nine when it was played every night for a week on the Million Dollar Movie. It was all about Hollywood, that mythical place just 50 miles to the west. That place that I wanted to be, not where I was, wedged between Kaiser Steel and the stinking chicken ranches. Which ever way the wind blew…it smelled like rotten eggs.

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Each night when the Million Dollar Movie came on at eight p.m. and the great Warner Brothers logo appeared on the tiny black and white television, I was there pushing my imagination inside that t.v. tube to another universe. The WB faded to reveal the night lit diamonds scattered below the Hollywood hills that made up my dreams, and as the searchlights twinkled on and the orchestra swelled I knew I was going to see a real movie about an unreal place. And then there was her, the star being born night after night and that song, a song that has followed me all my life.

(Outtake of That Song)

That was the first time I heard the name Vickie Lester and over the years that passed since that spring of 1960, through war and assassination, protest and peace, disco and the devastation that is AIDS, and the man that got away her story and music have been with me. As the years piled up my Hollywood dreams were put away but whenever Vickie Lester showed up on the screen they were dusted off and tried on of a few hours of dreaming. What I never imagined was that one day I would meet Vickie and she would turn out to be more wonderful than in the Movies.

STAR IS BORN

When I was just beginning my blog I surfed around to find other blogs that might be of interest to follow. One day I happened upon Beguiling Hollywood by Vickie Lester. Vickie Lester! At once I knew that anyone who would write under that nom de plume had to have a great sense of humor. Then to my delight I discovered that not only did she have a great sense of humor but she was a Hollywood history buff, a lover of the eclectic electrically exciting architecture of Southern California and a great, great writer and storyteller.  And most fun of all, being an insider in that town of make-up and make believe she had stories. She knows the dirt and how to dish it veiled just enough to keep her audience guessing. “Did that really happen?”  She won’t say for sure, and neither will I.

In time and over many posts and then a phone call or two and finally a visit to her home on a very Mildred Pierce street in Los Angeles we became friends. So close in fact that I call her Sis and she calls her big brother. It is a friendship forged by dreams and elevated by mutual admiration and a great recognition of souls and love.

Today is Vickie Lester’s Birthday and I would like to share with you this hope. The hope that for each of you a star has been born somewhere out there in the world where dreams really do come true, some one you can always call a dear and beloved friend. A special someone who is better and more exciting than any movie star in the firmament of the Hollywood heavens, someone like Vickie Lester.

Happy Birthday Sis…

Me and Vickie Lester

(Vickie Lester and Lanier Smith smelling wildflowers in the Hollywood Hills. Photographed by Lane Tibbs.)

Please do visit Vickie Lester’s blog Beguiling Hollywood

http://vickielester.com/

And her novel It’s In His Kiss comes out in June!!

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(Times Square 1954)

DEJA VU ~ Portrait of a Lady by Frederic Malle

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Year after year she looks with serene beauty toward the horizon of eternity. She has been doing this for a while, long before the museum acquired her. In fact she has been facing oblivion peeking out from under that charming hat since 1782. She has hundreds, maybe thousands of tiny hairline cracks. But you can only see them when you are inches from her and they make her all the more beautiful. She has been spellbinding men for two hundred and thirty two years.

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     But there is one man, Nilson Quigley to whom she spoke to as to no other. He first saw her on a school field trip in the winter of 1934. That day when his eyes first met hers he recognized her. The effect of her gaze instantly rooted him to the foundations of the earth. His teacher had to drag him away scolding him to stay with the group.  As he looked back over his shoulder with tears staining his school blazer he knew he would never marry, have children or love anyone but her.

He has been coming back to see her ever since the day he fell in lover with her in 1934. He always goes on Sunday and sits on the bench across from her.  With twenty feet of highly polished hard oak floor between them, he would sit and think and try to remember. She had that effect on him. She whispered from behind the veil of receding years of time past, of meeting, parting and many goodbyes. None of them were ever a happy farewell. Now at 91 Nilson could feel another goodbye coming for him.

“Who is she?”  The young voice came from behind him.  With out turning around he answered.

“Lady Hamilton.”

The young lady came around the bench and sat next to him. “She is very beautiful in a surprisingly modern way. I think I remember an old movie about her, with Sir Laurence Olivier.”

“And Vivien Leigh, yes I have seen it too.” Nilson looked at the young lady. “Have we met?”

She squinted her pretty cornflower blue eyes, “I don’t think so. I just have that kind of face. Do you come here very often?”

“Every Sunday” He said looking back to the painting.

National-Portrait-Gallery

“That may be why I look familiar. We probably pass each other all the time. I come on Sundays also, to meet a friend.” She laughed. “He never shows up. I keep coming back, never the less hoping to meet him.”

“That is not a very nice young man to stand you up like that.”

“Oh he doesn’t know he is standing me up. You see, I don’t know his name. We haven’t met yet.”

Nilson looked back at the young lady. She was smiling like a thousand suns right into his eyes. It was almost blinding.

“My name is Emma….” She held out her hand.

“Pardon me Sir the museum is closing.”  Nielson turned to the guard. “It’s time to go home.”

“Oh of course, I was just talking to Emma here….” He turned to find she was gone.

“Sir?” The guard leaned down. “Are you alright?”

Nilson’s eyes darted around the gallery in momentary panic. And then he smiled. “Perfectly fine young man. Time to go home.”

As he walked toward the doors that lead into the enfiladed galleries beyond he looked back at the painting of Lady Emma Hamilton. She was glowing like a thousand suns.

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LADY EMMA HAMILTON C. 1782 BY GEORGE ROMNEY

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Frederic Malle presents Portrait of a Lady by perfumer, Dominique Ropion who has created other perfumes for Malle including the famous Carnal Flower and Geranium Pour Monsieur. It is an inspired perfume that for me it goes beyond the bounds of its inspiration. This rose perfume when it touches the skin becomes a portrait of whoever is wearing it. Man or woman, young or old, it is a dark mysterious floating veil that billows off the skin revealing aspects of romance and danger that is rooted in a solid perfume past which looks forward to the modern age.

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FREDERIC MALLE AND DOMINIQUE RIPION

Like a great painting its opening is in layers, Skin warming clove, cinnamon with a light touch of raspberry that is not jam but leafy. These  are the first notes that create the under painting. The introduction of black currant gives the perfume an animalistic touch that echoes the notes of great old perfumes from the early years of the 20th century. French boudoirs littered with memories of randy romps on a velvet chaise lounge are hinted at by this dirty little note.  Rose is the dominating center of the painting here and never gives up its place as the imperial note, the masterly brush stroke that leads the perfume on.

The rose is born aloft through the central structure of the perfume by a gorgeous blend of sandalwood, and earthy patchouli. Mystery and glamour are added in here by a luscious smoky incense that darken the patina of this olfactory painting.

There comes in the dry down sumptuous amber that is highly polished with notes of white musk and a glaze benzoin bring golden hues to the final touches of what is now an impressionist portrait of the wearer. The perfume lingers now close to the skin and is not diminished in its mystery one single bit as it finally recedes into the past leaving your skin and your brain wanting to revisit the experience all over again. It possesses the grand silage and longevity of perfumes from a bygone era.

For me this is a wonder because in nature I love the smell of roses but in the perfume world they rarely move me. Here I find that the rose is truer than most and quite stunning. This is a portrait for the ages, a modern classic that whispers of the past and promises a glorious future for a long time to come.

Vivien Leigh as Lady Hamilton

VIVIEN LEIGH AS “THAT HAMILTON WOMAN” 1941

I do want to thank Chase Roberts my go to Sales Associate to for Frederic Malle at Barney’s for pointing me toward this perfume. Without her guidance I would have passed this one right by. Chase is every inch a beauty and quite the portrait of a lady.

 Frédéric-Malle-Portrait-Lady

PORTRAIT OF A LADY BY FREDERIC MALLE FIVE PLATINUM STARS *****

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