THE MAN IN THE BLACK MUSTANG ~ Feu Secret by Bruno Fazzolari

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The dead never return.

On the morning of March 27, 1964 Marie-Anne Lefèvre was started to see her husband in the small café in Megève. After all he had been dead for five years.

Claude was in the resistance during the War and it was his job to report on possible Nazi collaborators. He had mistaken Marie-Anne for a woman he was assigned to follow. He tailed after her expecting that she was going to meet her German lover at the Ritz, when in fact she was simply going to 31 Rue Cambon behind the Ritz to buy a bottle of perfume for her mother. As he followed he tried to ignore the sway in her walk and how her chestnut hair bounced as it caught the late Autumn sunlight. When his mistake became clear to him that he was after the wrong woman he followed her to the Place de la Concorde where with clever machinations around one of the fountains he managed to bump into her causing her to drop her shopping bag breaking the bottle of Sycamore. He took her back to Chanel and bought her a new bottle. Within the month, they were married.

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Since the end of the War they had lived a life of small luxuries and great charm for 15 years in Paris on the Rue d’Édimbourg. It was an exciting time they shared, He a leading actor in La Comédie-Française and she with her little art gallery L’oeil d’or on the Avenue George V near the Café Francis. It was a whirlwind of openings both theatrical and artistic that keep their relationship alive and vibrant. For each of their passions gave them an exciting day away which afforded a meeting in the evening filled with shared stories of glories and sometimes disappointments. Equal but separate lives that encompassed love without suffocating it. Then quite suddenly in the winter of 1958 Claude became ill. Within mere weeks he was gone.

Marie-Anne stayed on for the next five years in the apartment on the Rue d’Edimbourg until at fifty-eight she decided she had enough of the lights of Paris. She sold the gallery to a young assistant and transferred her life to the small ski resort of Megève. She moved in to a modest Chalet near the Résidence Maeva Le Mont d’Arbois. It was a quite solitary life of reading, a little writing to friends in Paris, afternoon walks and always the café in the morning for café au lait and croissants. And every day, each day without fail she thought of Claude.

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But this morning her somnambulistic existence was shattered. The trip bell over the door chimed, there was a shiver of cold air on her cheek as the door swung open. A crunch of snow encrusted boots as a man walked past her where she sat, his coat brushed her shoulder.  There was the conversant smell of Eucalyptus, pink pepper and vanilla. His smell. She ignored the olfactory recognition and continued to read her book as her coffee cooled.

The man ordered his coffee and even though he whispered his voice, a warm baritone nearly filled the room, It tugged at her right ear and she looked up from her book. At first, she only noted that he was a handsome man of about fifty-two. Well-proportioned and of medium height with wavy black hair that was slightly silver at the temples. She looked back down to her novel. The scent of the man grew slightly insistent and blended with the smell of roasted coffee beans and fresh warm pastry.  She looked up again, he was sitting facing the window as the sun broke through the clouds momentarily while the snow fell beyond his profile.  It was Claude’s profile almost to the exact slope of his forehead down to his strong neck and prominent Adam’s apple.  She starred only long enough to drink in the sight of this man who so resembled her love, her Claude. She pulled her eyes away and let them rest on the page of her book without reading a single word.

She sat there until he left without looking up again.  The trip bell rang and the door swung open, a blast of winter air and then it swung shut with a dull crunch of snow and old wood. She looked up again and watched as he walked across the square and got into a black Mustang. Sleek and wild surrounded by Peugeots, Ferraris and Citroens it rumbled a steamy exhaust and the red glow of its taillights winked. It was strange and beautiful and seemed to be made of sacred fire. When he drove away, Marie-Anne looked back down to her book. She re-read the top line on page 156 then closed the book.

Maybe she would see him again. But she hoped she would not.

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*   *   *

Someone asked me recently how I would compare classic fragrance to what is being made today and I immediately thought of Bruno Fazzolari. He is one of the new perfumers of the last five years who is on to something wonderful. A creative process in perfumery that is both modern and classical at the same time.

I first met Bruno at the SF ARTISAN PERFUME SALON 2013 where he was launching his line. I was immediately taken by the beauty and sophistication of his work, especially in Au Dela.  His work for a new perfumer was eons ahead of everyone else at that event. What I smelled in that particular fragrance was a time machine to 1947. I was smelling a timeless new perfume by Christian Dior. I was smelling a master’s work. Lighting in a bottle, and I knew I was there and very lucky to witness the birth of a star.17125439_1766590433656861_2798002693187043328_n

(BRUNO FAZZOLARI)

What Dior did in fashion by bringing glamour and yards of fabric back to the forefront of fashion after the horrors and austerity of World War II was to create the “New Look” a term coined by Carmel Snow of American Vogue to describe the romantic new movement of the mid-20th Century.  Bruno Fazzolari in a very real way in the early 21st Century, is doing what Dior did. He is creating the “Nouveau Sens” in perfumery. He is bringing romanticism and glamour to the niche market in a way that is both classic and modern. And I for one could not be more thrilled.

In his new fragrance, Feu Secret I find the magic has reached a new level of beauty and artistry. It is a dry and warm beauty. Opening with dangerous and bitter touch of hemlock which is punctuated with a sharp jab of green Spruce. This is a fleeting tease to the arrival of a warm burning leaves note of the most amazing eucalyptus. A smell I grew up with in Southern California where in the summer the Eucalyptus trees seem to give off a smoky smoldering scent.

The middle gets even better. A light spice not leaning toward ginger is provided by a turmeric note, spiced up with pink pepper. But here is the kicker, Iris. This note that usually takes on a lip stick, Max Factor quality is this time not in the back-stage dressing room on the dressing table waiting to go on at all. No, this Iris is wrapped up in that burning eucalyptus and the combination becomes the sacred heart of this fire. The supporting base notes of Himalayan cedar, burch tar and a rich thick as butter vanilla round out this fragrance and bring it all home in style.

It is completely wearable for any occasion from day to evening, Full enough for the colder months but certainly something I would wear in the height of summer, that fire, that smoke is so perfect for the season.

So to answer my friend who wanted to know what I love that is both modern and classic, J’dore Feu Secret. And I adore the work of Bruno Fazzolari, the master perfumer of San Francisco.

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A COMEBACK…. “I hate that word! It’s a return!” Norma Desmond.

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I have been away from the written review since Novmeber 2014. This was due to my computer issues which have at last been adressed. More reviews are on the way but in the meantime here is something special from my YouTube review Channel. Get some popcorn, turn off the lights and hold on to your martini and gigolo… this one is scary.

SMELLY FRIENDS! ~ 3rd Annual San Francisco Artisan Fragrance Salon

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Saturday March 15th I spent most of the day, a glorious spring in winter day here in San Francisco with many friends in the local fragrance community at the 3rd Annual San Francisco Artisan Fragrance Salon. Enjoy the video.

 

I am going up to Seattle for a week and when I return I will have more reviews!

 

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.

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    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.

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(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.

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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.

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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.

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Hilary Rayvis Randall and Antonia Kohl

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

THE BEYOND ~ Au Delà by Bruno Fazzolari Editions

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Glinting in the winter morning light, freshly varnished and perfectly manicured nails drummed on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar. They were exactly the same shade of Vreeland red as the magazine with a laughing Kate Hudson on the cover. She was unaware of this little serendipity of color as she looked out over her vast living room to the snow dusted terrace that hung twenty eight floors above 5th avenue.

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New Years Eve morning. L’Ascension by Olivier Massiaen was playing on the radio.  She sighed, and flipped open Harper’s Bazaar. A beautiful girl with a perfume bottle, The page turned. “Kate Hudson gets festive in this season’s hottest styles. Welcome to Holiday Glamour……”  And indeed the actress looked very festive and hot and stylish and all the rest. Turned page. Chanel models in Chanel, Page on to Dior bags followed by Louis Vuitton.  A blond having too much fun being a blond in Michael Kors. The smile that made Julia Roberts a mega star smiled over her shoulder from the page for Lancôme. Still a pretty woman.  Austere Armani, proud Prada, Gucci Gucci Gucci. Any other day it would have been fun, like it always was.  Magazine meandering usually ended up in a trip down 5th to Bergdorf, then Barneys and always Bulgari for a bauble. She tossed the magazine aside and sank back into the silk over stuffed pillows of her now back in style Michael Taylor sofa.

Another Sigh. The sun shifted and a beam bounced off the ice on the terrace banister, glance a crystal on the chandelier and hit the facets of her pale violet diamond Deco inspired engagement ring. All twelve of the flawless carats caught fire. She lazily wiggled her ring finger and watched Tiffany & Co. dance within the stone. She pushed against the pillows, rose up from the sofa and tightened the sash on her Stefano Pilati silk robe.

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The deep pile of the Nepalese rug caressed her toes as she sauntered to the terrace doors to look out to the West over Manhattan. She had hours to get ready before dinner at the Waldorf Astoria. Hours to think. The trees in the park encrusted from the ice storm the night before looked like a Swarovski forest from Doctor Zhivago. Beautiful and cold, it looked as if there were wolves down there howling at the silver plated sky. Only last month she had been warm in San Pancho under the November sun on the Nayarit coast of Mexico. She met Jane and Earl Miller and fell in love with them when she went to stay at their little hotel. Getting to know them as she lounged by the pool at Roberto’s Bungalows was when it began, slow and steady and building over Thanksgiving and into December. The realization that she wanted what they had. She couldn’t put her finger on just what made their marriage seem authentic and real. But she knew now that she would not find that kind of love staring at her across the well appointed table at the Waldorf on New Years Eve.

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Late in the afternoon as she applied the finishing touches to her make-up she felt terrible for what she was about to do.  She knew he would not understand, she understood that he thought he loved her. She realized nether he or she had any idea what love was really about. Finished dressing by five-thirty she called for her car, put the engagement ring into its box and into her purse. There was only one thing more to do. She looked at the array of perfumes on her vanity. She picked up the small unassuming bottle of Au Delà and applied it to her wrist and neck. The old world yet modern beauty of the perfume enfolded her, comforted her, and promised of life to live beyond tonight. It whispered very softly just behind her ear “…the beyond.” She smiled for the first time, just a tiny hint of a smile really. After Auld Lang Sine she would be free to find out who she really was.

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(Bienvenidos paraíso, Roberto’s Bungalows) 

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Au Delà by perfumer and artist Bruno Fazzolari is something very special. I first smelled it along with the other perfumes of his initial launch into the perfume world last March at San Francisco Artisan Fragrance Salon. You can read about that event in my post, “Meeting The Magicians ~ SF Artisan Perfume Salon 2013”.

Au Delà immediately struck me as a fabulous perfume that recalled the great days of the house of Dior in the early 50’s. It is so reminiscent of such beauties as the old original Miss Dior. Not the silly girl she has become today in her reformulations but the beautiful confident woman she was at the dawn of post war glamour. I have to give credit to Hilary Randal who was the one to pinpoint for me what I was smelling in that bottle of Au Delà that day back in March.

Bruno has in his collection all of which was released in 2013, Lampblack, Jimmy, Five, Monserrat,  It’s Better Not To Worry Abut It and Au Delà. Each are exquisite and should be explored by any and every perfume lover, but for me Au Delà is the masterpiece of the line. It is the goddess in a bottle, the essence of French chic created by and artist who grew up in both in France and the United States.

This perfume was inspired by one of the major French composers of the 20th Century, Olivier Massiaen. And in this inspiration there is music, glorious music. To equate this fragrance to the inspiration just listen to L’Ascension by Massiaen and you have the tones and notes of this perfume.

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(Au Delà is right for any woman with the slightest chic)

It opens with a simple clear, glowing note of coriander. This note is almost immediately obliterated by an unfolding song from a beautiful jasmine that is wreathed with Neroli and orange blossoms. This plays its melody with increasing sensuality as it is aroused by the arrival of the base notes of Amber, Oakmoss and something magical created by Bruno known as Immanence. Immanence is a fantasy note that is as ephemeral as a dream and as real as fairy dust. It is the God note that encompasses everything and exists in all creation. It is there in the base of the perfume and gives it wings, shimmering wings on which to fly.

NYC Man(Au Delà is perfect for a man with great personal style)

This Chypre is indolic, intoxicating and inspiring. It loves to live on the skin of both men and women and in so doing finds the essence of male or female sensuality in the meeting of perfume to flesh. Since its release Au Delia has won both the Gold Medal for Top Artisan Perfumer at the International Artisan Fragrance Awards and the Gold Medal at the San Francisco Artisan Fragrance Salon.

I found this award winning perfume to be sublime with a respectable sillage and good longevity. You can find it at Bruno’s Webpage and at Tigerlily in San Francisco. Tigerlily is the first brick and mortar store to carry Bruno Fazzolari Editions. For a debut perfumer Au Delà is exceptional and I look forward to watching Bruno Fazzolari’s journey as an up an coming perfumer.

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Au Delà by Bruno Fazzolari Editions  Five Gold Stars *****

BRUNO FAZZOLARI WEBSITE: http://brunofazzolari.com/

TIGERLILY: Love & Luxe

(Tigerlily pop-up)

1169 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA94110

Hours: 12 – 6 Wed, Thurs
11 – 7 Fri, Sat
12 – 5 Sun

415 648 7781
info@loveandluxesf.com

ROBERTO’S BUNGALOWS: http://robertosbungalows.com/

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Listen to L’Ascension by Olivier Massiaen

WHAT’S UP TIGERLILY? ~ Tigerlily Perfumes San Francisco Pop-Up Launch

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Last night in the Mission district of San Francisco a very rare and beautiful flower opened its petals for the very first time.

At 5:30 I met up with perfume buddies Hilary Randal and Mario Gomez at Barney’s NY to head out to the very trendy and à la mode Mission District for the launch of Tigerlily Perfumery. As we battled our way through the pre-Black Friday crowds to the BART station I learned that Tigerlily Perfumer’s launch was for a pop-up at the Love & Luxe Boutique prior to its opening in a permanent location on 22nd street this coming February.

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Tonia and Betsy and the chandelier I met up with (photo stolen from Tigerlily Facebook)

The owner of Tigerlily Antonia Kohl has gathered together some really interesting perfume houses for her new exhilarating venture including Yosh, Ineke, MikMoi, Bois 1920, Amouage, I Hate Perfume, Bruno Fazzolari and Il Profumi di Firenez. And the list like the beat goes on.

We arrived just after 6 to the strikingly chic boutique and were greeted at the door by Bill O’Such and Ineke Rhuland of Ineke Perfumes. It was a real treat to see them again and to connect over Ineke’s new perfume collection, Floral Curiosities. Hilary, Mario and I were presented with cocktails based on the new collection.

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The Floral Curiosities Amazing Sample Set

The drinks were delightful imaginative, and created to reflect a taste sensation to go along with each perfume. I was the first to try the Angels Trumpet Royale. This delicious cocktail of prosecco and melon liqueur was created by Bill and his friend Gretchen Van Horne and presented to me by the very charming Ms. Van Horne herself. It was a deceptively light and yummy libation. The perfumed inspired cocktails were a big hit of the evening.

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Ineke and I caught up a bit discussing her new launch and her amazing garden where she often finds inspiration for her creations. She asked me if I had a garden so I told her of my tiny fire escape overflowing with geraniums, roses and Parma violets. Ineke is a charming woman brimming over with a great love of her work. I had so much fun with her.

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“We will have rings and things and fine array” W. Shakespeare

The owner of Love & Luxe Betsy Barron introduced herself and surprised me with a lovely goodie bag filled with samples. Now that was an unexpected and delightful surprise. Thanks Betsy! I love your boutique. The jewelry at Love & Luxe is exceptional and stunning. I was fascinated as Betsy showed Hilary some incredible pieces created by an artist from Niger in Northern Africa. If you are interested in some very unique pieces by all means when in San Francisco make Love & Luxe a must on your shopping next trip.

At this point I had maneuvered myself over to the Tigerlily pop-up and met Antonia Kohl and her husband. What a charming and engaging couple. Tonia took Hilary and I through a mini sniff-a-thon of some of the perfumes on display. I must say I was very impressed with the very wide and exciting selection. I was also very happy to see that Bruno Fazzolairi’s amazing perfumes were in the lineup. His romantic and lushly gorgeous Au Delà was on hand and I had to take a sniff to remind myself of just how stunning this perfume is. I was also very happy to see MikMoi’s perfumes in attendance and available to the San Francisco audience of perfume lovers.

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Tama and Corey (photo stolen from B.B. Baird)

Being very tall I ended up at this point doing battle with a low hanging chandelier before moving on to sample Bois 1920, Ajne. As DJ Bill Zindell spun some great party music I was joined by Tama Blough (of Ca Fleure Bon), Corry Nguyen, Elly Wang and Brooke Baird from SF Sniff. Our little group took over the pop-up for a time to explore I Hate Perfume, Danielle Sargent’s fabulous Cognoscenti perfumes, and D.S. & Durga. I was astonished, it is a small pop up crammed to the rafters with incredible product. (I can’t wait until February when Tigerlily opens its store!)

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(photo stolen from Corey Nguyen)

By now the boutique was packed with a hopping crowd and the event began to take on a very Holly Golightly party atmosphere. By now Hilary was having her aura read by the amazing Yosh Han who was so busy that I never got to say hello. Sorry Yosh! Hemmed in between the pop-up and the SF Sniff crowd I spied Mik and Jasper across the room. So like Paul Varjak in Breakfast at Tiffany’s I bounced my way to the beat of the music though the crowd to say hello and congratulate Mik on having his MikMoi perfumes in a brick and mortar venue.

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Mik and his fabulous MikMoi lineup. (Photo stolen from Tigerlily)

I finally made it outside for some fresh air and to hook up with Hilary Randall and Brooke Baird for a lovely chat. What did we talk about? Perfume of course!  We enthused over the fact that some really exciting things are happening in perfume community of San Francisco. Not only do we have world class shopping opportunities in Union Square, but with the opening of ZGO in the Castro and now Tigerlily in the Mission the olfactory selection is expanding to new levels. This retail growth in The City is giving not only the established niche houses a platform but of equal if not more importantly, our very talented local perfume houses a much needed exposure to a wider public. By all means if you love great jewelry, check out Love & Luxe, if you love great perfumes get over to Tigerlily and ask Tonia “What’s Up Tigerlily?”

As our evening wound down Mario, Hilary and I bid our farewells to our hosts and headed off down Valencia Street for a late supper and a bit of chat. What did we talk about over a great Cuban feast? I’ll give you three guesses.

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(photo stolen from Tigerlily)

Love & Luxe

(Tigerlily pop-up)

1169 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA94110

Hours: 12 – 6 Wed, Thurs
11 – 7 Fri, Sat
12 – 5 Sun

415 648 7781
info@loveandluxesf.com

Tigerlily Email: info@tigerlilysf.com

“IT’S BETTER NOT TO WORRY ABOUT IT” ~ Bruno Fazzolari Launches A New Perfume

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You could have fried an egg on my forehead yesterday! It was just that hot. On top of that nobody has air conditioning in San Francisco. That’s job belongs to our summer fog.

I had a date with a perfume bottle at the Catherine Clark Gallery. It was so steamy inside and out that for a moment I contemplated not going at all. It would be so much easier to just sit and drink iced tea and watch “Paris When It Sizzles” on T.V.  But I had received such a nice invitation and I had promised to go. A gentleman I reminded myself never breaks a promise no matter how hot it is.

 Paris-When-it-Sizzles-Movie-Poster

The new and very exciting perfumer Bruno Fazzolari whom I had met last March at the San Francisco Artisan Perfume Salon had so graciously invited me to come to the group show entitled “This Is The Sound Of Someone Losing The Plot”. There he would be presenting his newest perfume “It’s Better Not To Worry About It”. So I packed up my paper fan in my orange tote bag and headed out the door for my march to the South of Market district. Why take a fan to an art gallery you may ask? Just wait!

With Henry Mancini on my IPod, my straw hat planted on my head against the UV rays and my oversized 90’s Jackie O sunglasses I hit the baking bricks of The City.  It is a good mile walk between my home and the gallery on Utah Street, 248 Utah to be exact about it. By the time I got there I was like an overheated Model T.

The Catherine Clark Gallery is brand new, very large and well, just the perfect pristine place to see beautiful art and be seen seeing it.  The place was packed and the lights illuminating the wide assortment of artist work was also sautéing the spectators. It was hotter than a tin roof in Mississippi with or without a cat on it. Fortified with a very generously full glass of champagne I sallied forth into the exhibit.

I found the two painting by Bruno and the mirror topped pedestal with his perfume winking at me atop it and a few perfume blotters in a small glass. I plucked a blotter and was ready to spray it when I thought. “Oh lord is it an art display and I have ruined it? “ I put the blotter back in the glass and stepped back to admire the artful arrangement of object d’art.

“Are we supposed to smell it?” a woman next to me inquired.

“I’m not sure!” and we both laughed. “I am sure the artist is around somewhere. We can ask him.”

Bruno was no where to be seen so I took the grand tour. There were some really exciting pieces to be seen. (Get thee to the Gallery if you are in the area) The crowd ranged from Pacific Heights ka-ching to South of Market/Mission nouveau chic. In more than one way it was a very hot crowd. After my circuit though the un-enfiladed rooms I repaired to the bar to switch out the champagne for a huge glass of much needed water.

Looking back into the gallery I spotted Bruno. As well as being a painter, and a perfumer Bruno Fazzolari teaches at California College of the Arts. He is a charming man who engages you at once with his passion for his art and sparkling mind. Bruno and his partner Bill welcomed me and we got right into his new perfume and the painting that complements it.

AlembiqueBrunoBillY

Bruno and Bill (stolen from Yosh Han)

“It’s Better Not To Worry Abut It” is a light lovely scent that was inspired by the recently passed Andy Warhol superstar, poet and artist Taylor Mead. We talked about Taylor, L’Osmothèque at Versailles, The notes in the perfume, the vibrational aspects of Bruno’s painting that goes with the perfume and how incredibly hot it was. I popped open my fan and gave the three of us a bit of much needed relief. (A fan is the essential accessory to an overheated art opening as Karl Lagerfeld will surely tell you. I ended up fanning many grateful art and perfume lovers around me.)

 TaylorMead

Taylor Mead (stolen from Bruno Fazzolari)

Bruno got the wonderful idea to spray the fan with his perfume. It was amazing! This bright light and glitteringly romantic fragrance filled the air in the most gorgeous way. In fact, “Not To Worry” was the perfect fragrance for this very hot event. Like cool crystals dangling from a burning chandeliers it was festive and inviting and created the feeling of being at a ball at the pinnacle of  the Belle Epoch.  It is slightly sweet without being cloying and has that accord that recalls perfumes of the early 20th century without losing a very modern accessible touch. As the scent spread it drew people into our sphere and conversations about the beauty of the perfume ensued. To tell you the truth, Coco Chanel could not have orchestrated a buzz any better than this.

 

Over the course of the next hour I watched as people approached the display, some hesitant as if wondering as the woman I first encountered did; was an art installation or a real perfume to sample. In fact it was both. Yet others much bolder and with a sense of adventure walked right up and tried it on their skin. Everyone seemed delighted.

By the time I said my goodbyes to Bruno and Bill and headed back out into the late afternoon heat for home I knew that for me and many others the hit of the show had been Bruno Fazzolari and his magical perfume.

Its_Better

(Stolen from Bruno Fazzolari)

“IT’S BETTER NOT TO WORRY ABOUT IT” will be coming released to the public some time in the near future. 

************************************

For more about Bruno Fazzolari, his perfumes and his art, visit his website:  http://brunofazzolari.com/

The Catherine Clark Galleryhttp://cclarkgallery.com/

248 Utah Street San Francisco CA. 94013

415 399-1439 

images

Lagerfeld and his fan…. don’t for get yours!

MEETING THE MAGICIANS ~ SF ARTISAN PERFUME SALON 2013

OVERTURE

Market Street was misty and nearly deserted at 8:30 last Sunday morning. I stood on the corner at 3rd street with “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” plugged into my ears waiting for Hillary. We were meeting this early spring morning to head off to the 2nd annual SF Artisan Perfume Salon.  I turned to look up the street towards Twin Peaks and saw Hilary walking toward me with a big smile looking like every inch Truman Capote’s New York City heroine and Henry Mancini’s music only added to the moment.

We caught the 30 Stockton at Kearney Street and gabbed and laughed as we passed through the red and gold of Chinatown and the green red and white of North Beach. On what bus other in the world can you pass from San Francisco into Hong Kong followed by Rome and end up with a stunning view of the Golden Gate Bridge?

There was a wonderful farmer’s market going on at Fort Mason where our event was to take place and being a little early we took a peak at the flower, and vegetables bright and fragrant in the early warm sunshine. When we arrived at the Festival Pavilion Hillary went in to meet Paul Kiler whom she would be assisting for the event. As I waited for the doors to open I took a few shots of my surroundings.

  

ACT ONE:

The ground floor of the event was devoted to chocolate. Chocolate of every description and a delight, it was hard to pass up as I headed for the elevated terrace at the back of the hall where the perfume show was just getting underway.

 PK PERFUME

PK PERFUMES

First off I met perfume composer Paul Kiler of PK Perfumes. Paul who was very gracious told me a bit of his story. He is self taught and has after many years of work and dedication to the art of perfume released his line. He showed me an amazing photo of his in home studio and being a one man show he does it all, from perfume making to designing every aspect of the bottling and marketing of his product.

 4

PAUL KILER AND HILARY RANDAL

   Of the ten perfumes I tried the real stand out to me were Red Leather, Ere (two years in the making), Gold Leather. He told me that for Ere he goes out into the Serra Nevada forests and to harvest a fern commonly knows as Mountain Misery or as the Native American’s called it Kit-Kit-Dizzie. He then extracts the oil from the fern himself.  Paul really impressed me as an artist with a passion for his perfumes.

5

AT THE ENVOYAGE TABLE WITH SHELLY AND MARIO

ENVOYAGE PERFUMES

I ran into Mario Gomez at Shelly Waddington’s wonderful display of her perfumes. I took lots of photos and they had one of the best spots in the event with huge windows behind them looking out over the San Francisco Bay pocked with sailboats. There were some wonderful perfumes presented by Envoyage of which I found most enchanting Go Ask Alice. I was enchanted by the line and each perfume was unique and lead to lots of conversation about notes and the creative process.

8

INEKE

INEKE

I was very excited to meet the beautiful and elegant Ineke in person and she and her wonderful husband could not have been kinder or more welcoming. I told her how popular her fragrances are with the women where I work both in office and with clients around the country that I have introduced her perfume to. We shared a giggle when I told her my sample selection has disappeared over the course of my showing it to the women in my life. Her new fragrance is Hot House Flower and it is a stunner. So between you and me, there will be more reviews in store for this wonderful perfume house.

And we can’t leave Ineke without mentioning here brilliantly beautiful and yes iconic flacons. There is symmetry and beauty in the shape, elegant and unique labeling for each make then all a work of art for your vanity. This kind of work demands a glass case with great lighting. And the wonderful sampler is packaged and presented like a fabulous jewelry box from Bulgari or Cartier. Everything about Ineke is just brilliant from concept to completion.

INTERMISSION:

9ON THE LEFT ROXANNA OF ROXANNA ILLUMINATED PERFUME

At this point I took a break to attend two lectures, the first by Roxanna of Roxanna Illuminated Perfume. (She makes a wonderful natural perfume called Bee)  She gave a very interesting and engaging talk on the his-story of perfume. From China along the Silk Road to Petra and the ancient Middle East we traveled with Roxanna through the history of perfume. The story of the spread of civilization and ideas is built upon the trade of fine fragrance. Through her story we walked the halls of the Lochais Palace in Alexandria with Cleopatra and learned of her mastery of the use of fragrance. Then on to Greece and Rome which took us into the middle ages and on up to pre Colombian Americas and into the present. Roxanna ended our tour with some wonderful samples to smell of the most unusual oils. My favorite came from a mushroom and smelled of wet earth and new life.

9A

THE WONDERFUL TAMA FROM CA FLEURE BON

Then there was an equally marvelous talk by Tama a perfume writer for the blog Ca Fleure Bon. Her talk was “How To Write About And Review Perfume” Tama is a great speaker and really held me in the palm of her hand as she explained that the title of the talk was given to her by the producers of the event and that she had a bit of a different bent on the idea. She took us though her journey of becoming a perfume reviewer by letting us first smell samples of some of the perfumes that changed here point of view and writing style, which gave her maturity as a perfume writer, perfumes that in fact lead her to her passion to write and write so very well about fragrance.  Then after we smelled the blotters we would give a one word impression. She then told us what perfume it was and read a little excerpt from the review. It was so interesting and really illuminating to me to learn of her process.

ENT’RACT:

After a quick lunch with Hilary lead me down to the chocolate extravaganza and together we raided a few chocolate exhibits, and a marvelous Absinthe maker by the name of Raff Distillerie. But that is another story…and probably with not a very pretty ending.

ACT TWO:

 6

MIK OF MIKMOI

MIKMOI

Hilary introduced me to Mik the nose behind Mikmoi San Francisco. This utterly engagingly delightful man led me through his gorgeous line of bespoke perfumes. First up was VESPER inspired by the cocktail invented by Ian Fleming in his book “Casino Royale” Well, since I am a huge Bond fan and I mix a mean Vesper he had me at shaken not stirred.  It was beautiful, one of the top scents I experienced at the event. And the bottles are breathtaking. Mik told me that they were imported Italian glass. The attention to detail and artistry by the glass blowers for these elegant bottles is evident. They carry in them the DNA of the simple beauty of the No. 5 bottle.

7

The color of the juice is also very elegant and specific to a not often seen pastel in green and pink. The blue is Mediterranean aqua and the gold juice is pure Venetian. The line up is Aldwych, Vesper, Itoh and Ao. Before I moved on Mik hand wrapped in soft blue triangle cloth in the Japanese style a set of samples for me, as he did for each visitor. What a perfect gentleman he is.

9BSANAE

SANAE INTOXICANTS

The beautiful and very sweet Sanae of Sanae Intoxicants introduced me to her line of perfume. Meadow Slumber (lovely), Burning Ocean (arresting), Smoking Rose (gorgeous) and Bonnie Billy (My Pick for best of her line). We had a lovely chat about perfume and dreams they evoke along with the magic that comes along with perfume. Sanae was a delightful discovery.

 

DR. ELLEN COVEY

OLYMPIC ORCHIDS

I found a bit of home at the booth for the Olympic Orchids Artisan Perfumes by Dr. Ellen Covey. Her line comes from the heart and reflects her passion for fragrance over the idea of mass appeal. It was refreshing and fun to explore her perfumes. But when I picked up the bell jar over Olympic Rainforest I was instantly transported to my Mother and Father’s garden in Puyallup Washington. It was so powerful and evocative. Hilary also had the same experience with California Chocolate. One little sniff and she was transported back to her childhood and memories of her mothers favorite chocolate candy that was made from orange peels dipped in chocolate.  There you have it, right there in a bottle, a memory.

9CJOSH AND BRANDY OF IMAGINARY AUTHORS

IMAGINARY AUTHORS

Upon entering the world of imaginary Authors you infiltrate a world where literature and fragrance meet. I was welcomed by perfumer Josh Meyer and the charming Brandy Hibben like an old friend who shared their passion for beauty. The company is based in Portland Oregon and Josh has only been making perfume for eight years, but boy does he have a wonderful vision. The highlights for me in his line are Soft Lawn, Falling Into The Sea and the very wonderful Bulls Blood.

FINALE:

 BRUNO FAZZOLARI

BRUNO FAZZOLARI

BRUNO FAZZOLARI

Fine artist Bruno Fazzolari is a painter and has exhibited in Los Angeles and San Francisco. He initiated his way to perfume because he finds an undeniable link between art and fragrance and in so doing has taken a rather challenging step for himself into the unknown world of perfume. This was his launch event at SF Artisan Perfume Salon.

What a debut it was. This young man entered the arena with a polish and style unexpected by a newcomer. The entire presentation was clean, crisp and elegant. An artist eye was certainly at work in every aspect of the visual as you approached his booth. Perfect placement of each object from the white Hydrangeas to in a small square vase to the right to the elegant placement of the perfume blotters turned it into a visual art installation that drew you into the olfactory experience.

The perfumes are Lampblack, Jimmy, Monserrat, Five, and Au Dela. Each of them brilliant works of a master nose. I was staggered by the complexity and beauty I encountered with Bruno’s perfumes. What struck me is that they are so rooted in the classic scents of the past, very French and very haut couture in feel. I just happened to bring along a bottle of vintage Miss Dior to share with Hilary and when she put it on she exclaimed its Divaesque brilliance and how it compared so favorably to Bruno’s work.

This is a perfumer to watch. I certainly hope he keeps on working. And I for one can’t wait to see what happens next with his art and perfume.

EXIT MUSIC:

As the event wound down it was fun to watch the perfumers mingle and explore there fellow perfumers wares. And as Hilary and I were leaving I regretted that I had not visited all the booths before my nose had given up the olfactory ghost. And I keep feeling that there was something I had missed. On the way out we bumped into the very person who I had wanted to meet but somehow did not. Yosh! I have smelled her perfumes at Barney’s and love her work. But I kept missing her table as I made my rounds. Hilary introduced us and she was a delight, so sweet and kind after the long fun filled but exhausting day. I told her how much I enjoyed her interview with the Fragrance Bros. on YouTube and how sorry I was that I missed meeting her. I was gobsmacked when she said she would love to have me visit her studio. So as Hilary says, it is a perfect universe.

 9D

PK PERFUMES:

http://pkperfumes.com/

ENVOYAGE PERFUMES:

http://www.envoyageperfumes.com/store/

INEKE:

http://www.ineke.com/

ILLUMINATED PERFUMES:

http://www.illuminatedperfume.com/

CA FLEURE BON:

http://www.cafleurebon.com/

MIKMOI:

http://www.mikmoi.com/

SANAE INTOXICANTS:

http://www.sanaeintoxicants.com/

OLYMPIC ORCHIDS:

http://www.orchidscents.com/Default_v3.aspx

IMAGINARY AUTHORS:

http://imaginaryauthors.com/

BRUNO FAZZOLARI PERFUME:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/BrunoFazzolari

ART SITE:

http://www.brunofazzolari.com/index.php?/work/lampblack/

YOSH:

http://www.eaudeyosh.com/

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