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

FragranceSalonSquare-web(photo borrowed from Taste T.V.)

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!


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


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 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



Hilary Rayvis Randall and Antonia Kohl




“Hi ya Lil!” The news boys along Market Street would shout out to her as she gloriously and most spectacularly passed by each day.

“Looking like a queen Miss Lily!”  Little Bobby Thomson would say every day as he gave her a newspaper “On The House!”  He thought she was “swell”.


(The Newsboys!)

Always holding her signature Goldband Lily bouquet, Lily de Marché would smile, laugh and blow kisses to the boys knowing that in just a few short years they would join there fathers and older brothers as her audience at the Hippodrome on Pacific Street. She was the toast of the town, the belle of the ball and the queen of the Barbary Coast. The only woman the Great Caruso wanted to hear sing when he came to town. She was her own woman.  She owed no man anything more and nothing less than a beautiful song presented along with her famous cool smile from the footlights between 9 and 11 every night but Monday.

In the City By The Bay Lily was the most famous beauty of her day. She rode every afternoon down Market Street in a black carriage burnished with gold leaf drawn by four black Arabian stallions. Each prancing horse sported a gold hat of plumed red ostrich feathers that danced in the afternoon wind that came in like clockwork at 3 P.M. off the Pacific Ocean. The horses and their ruby crowns were the delight of every newsboy along the Market and Lily was a fascination to every man who caught a glimpse of her.

Each day she wore a new Paris dress with a matching parasol and hat; these along with her more spectacular evening gowns were imported by ship and then transcontinental train at great expense by her charmed patrons from Nob Hill. Once a dress was seen in public the garment was packed in tissue paper, returned to its Parisian box and delivered by her Chinese maids to the prostitutes on the Barbary Coast. Nearly singlehandedly Lily was responsible for maintaining the tradition of San Francisco’s ladies of the night as being the influential fashion plates of the West. The society ladies of the city looked to the bad girls of town for the latest trends in fashion and followed them slavishly. If it were not for her voice and exceptional beauty Lily knew she would have, most likely been working a crib at Madame Sally’s on Gold Street. Lily liked to help the girls when she could and thank her lucky stars that she had a voice.


(Ladies of easy virtue in Lily’s hand me downs on an outing in Golden Gate Park)

This charmed rather superficial life would have gone on forever if it hadn’t been for one little thing.

Lily awoke at 5:12 on that Wednesday morning of April 18th to the alarm of the Saint Ignatius church bell ringing madly.  Just as she wondered why the 6000 pound bell was banging away at such an early hour it suddenly  stopped ringing followed by a huge crash.  At that moment she was thrown from her bed as the wall of her bedroom peeled away from the house leaving the room exposed to Hayes Street. Only then did she realize that an earthquake was ringing every church bell in the city. By the time the fires started she had the presence of mind to gather up her jewels and call for her carriage.

On her way to the safety of Golden Gate Park she made her driver stop to picked up a newsboy she recognized from Market Street. He was standing in the middle of Oak Street in his nightgown with a stunned look on his face. She pulled him into the carriage and away from the pile of rubble that was once his home and now the tomb of his parents. Bobby Thompson  never once shed a tear but let her hold him in her arms for the rest of the ride. Over the following days in the makeshift refugee camps in the park Lily found more children who were orphaned and brought them to her tent to take care of them.


(No photos survive of Miss de Marché, so Lily Langtry is filling in for her.)

Lily never performed again at the Hippodrome after the fire and earthquake of 1906. She was much too busy with her new life as the founder of the De Marché Orphanage (and home for wayward girls) in the Hayes Valley. That is not to say she never sang again. Indeed every evening after supper she sang for the children that she loved more than she ever had for fancy Arabian stallions or Paris gowns.


(Can you spot Lily in her carriage?)


Gilded Lily by Ineke I find to be incredibly lovely. It opens my mind to another era, a time when life was at a slower pace or so it seems in hindsight. An age when women who could afford it only wore perfume from France, dressing gowns and silk pumps in the morning while they powdered themselves under gaslights before ornate mirrors at their dressing tables. It is a gilded age perfume to perfection. It has a touch of Paris in it and speaks of glamour, seduction on a refined and delicate level.

The perfume opens with a fruity blend of tangy pineapple, sharp sweet rhubarb, a zing of grapefruit. These bright notes sparkle like champagne on the skin. This bubbly blend is smoothed and soothed by a touch of aromatic elemi. The pine elements of this note tie the opening together most elegantly and prepare the nose for what is yet to come.

There follows the beauty and glory of the perfume as it blooms within moments of these opening notes.  The gorgeous Goldband Lily makes its entrance and sings its aria of pure lily loveliness in the most captivating lilting manner. This sublimely fragrant lily is lush and full-bodied and gives the perfume a deceptively delicate aura. It is the backbone of the fragrance and has the strength and staying power of a star note that has the singular job of carrying the perfume forward to the dry down.


Ineke in her garden smelling the Goldband Lily

(photo stolen from Fragantica)

The dry down is classic in blending the notes of patchouli, oak moss and labdanum. To me this is what gives the perfume a classy, classic French feeling. Louis XV and his mistress Madame de Pompadour loved labdanum so much as to practically bath in it. This royal note along with a rich Patchouli and the beautiful oak moss carry the fading notes of the lily to a beautiful conclusion.  The life of the perfume is moderate lasting on my skin about six hours. It is close to the skin after the opening with occasional glorious bursts of scent like a small fireworks display. It is truly the beauty of its day.


GILDED LILY by Ineke 5 gold stars *****



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.



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.



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.



   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.




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.




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.



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.



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.


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.





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.


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.



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.




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.



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.





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.


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.















I found myself at work today completely naked! I had forgotten to put on any scent this morning. I missed that little extra part of my ensemble that has become part of what everyone at work looks forward to each day. “What will Lanier be wearing today? His trademark Neapolitan vest, will it be a bow tie or traditional tie in a half Windsor knot? Grey wool slacks or black wide wale corduroys? But most important, what will he smell like today? He always smells so interesting.”

So I was sitting there missing my crowning touch when I realized I had a little tester in my backpack. I had yet to try this perfume that is made in my very own town, so what the heck. I opened the lovely and cleverly packaged sample and SPRITZ! Within a few moments my boss came by. “What smells so good?”
I smiled and motioned her over. “Could it be me?”

Her eyes widened, “Oh my but that is heavenly. What IS that fragrance?”
“My Little Secret” I winked.
“You mean ‘My Sin’?” She looked intrigued.
“NO.” I protested. “It’s my little secret that I am not ready to share.”
She gave me a rather Miranda Priestly up and down look and then walked away. “If you don’t tell me by the end of the day what that divine fragrance is don’t even bother to come in tomorrow.” She tossed the words over her should like a overstuffed Mark Jacobs bag.

(If you don’t tell me the name of that perfume, don’t bother to come back….. That’s all.)

Later in the shipping department Abe the big Kahuna of the department said. “Hey Dude! You smell great! What is that word for food…you know! You smell like that….that word for that kinda food them Greek Gods eat.”
“You mean ambrosia?” I smiled feeling like Apollo or Aphrodite might swoop down at any moment an lick me.
“Yeah like Ambrosia ….and a bakery! What is that stuff you have on? Gotta get me some, the wife will love it.”
“Dude!” I said with a wink. “It’s just me!”
“JUST ME? I think I heard’a that, is it by Calvin Klein?” He really wanted to know but I was late for a meeting so I had to leave him to ponder if CK was out with a new fragrance.

Well I didn’t tell anyone at work but I will tell you… just between us. It is Ineke’s “Field Notes From Paris”. And it is indeed Ambrosia! The Big Kahuna got it in one whiff and my very own devil in Prada has very good taste.

Everyone else has gone on about how it opens, its uniquely blended notes and dry down so I will leave that to them.  But I will say that I love the more unusual notes of tobacco flower, honey and leather that seem to add a mystery and spice to the whole affair. What matters to me on this little secret I am sharing with you it that it is spectacular and a real head turner with out knocking over walls or blasting out plate glass windows. And even more importantly I enjoy being wrapped within its scrumptious cloud. It is perfectly smart, adult, sophisticated and elegant.

A respectable silage  and good projection and lasts  on my skin 5 to 6 hours.

Five Platinum Stars *****

  • Blog Stats

    • 289,923 hits