Molinard Tarinologie Workshop
Garden canape lunch at Molinard
This week we tapped Karen Adams, the executive operations manager of the event-based fragrance group Sniffapalooza, to guest blog about some of the best scents she’s discovered on her recent travels. Sadly, today is the last day of her posts, but she is leaving on a high note (get it? Perfume joke.) with a look at Grasse, the fragrance equivalent to Mecca.
Every serious fragrance student and aficionado must make a pilgrimage to Grasse, the perfume capital of the world. On our trip, our days were filled with behind the scenes visits to the laboratories of the major raw materials companies: IFF, Robertet, Mane, and Firmenich. Each company has its own unique philosophy and approach to perfume creation. We followed the perfume process from flower field to the finished juice. Natural materials—flowers, spices, woods—are highly valued and inspire the perfumers. Our scent immersion courses culminated with a chance to create. Molinard, the oldest family owned perfumery in Grasse, invited us to formulate our own personal fragrance. We had a private Tarinologie Workshop under the keen guidance of perfumer Celine. Our petit grain, orange flower, honeysuckle, and patchouli creation, A Patch of Grasse, will serve as a reminder of this special place. After the creating, the Molinard family graciously provided the most exquisite garden lunch—the ne plus ultra of our sensory day.
For more fragrance fun, check out all the fabulous scents we carry in the Birchbox Shop.
Afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason
Linda Pilkington of Ormonde Jayne
This week we tapped Karen Adams, the executive operations manager of the event-based fragrance group Sniffapalooza, to guest blog about some of the best scents she’s discovered on her recent travels. Today’s jaunt: London.
The bustling city streets, chic fashion, the Underground, the West End Theatre District…there are so many parallels between London and New York, yet so many differences to explore. We loved the streets of well-kept row houses adorned with flower boxes. And it’s so easy to acclimate to the delightful daily custom of afternoon tea. (Especially when the tea is served at Fortnum & Mason and the host is Victoria Christian of Clive Christian Perfumes.) We spent our London days studying the history of fragrance with Roja Dove at the Haute Parfumerie in Harrods, and delighting in private tours of Liberty and Selfridges. One of London’s treasures, tucked away at 12 The Royal Arcade 28 Old Bond Street, is the Ormonde Jayne Boutique. Perfumer Linda Pilkington presented her luxurious niche line and did perfume portraits to help us choose a favorite scent. We fancied the Tolu Collection for its velvety resins of golden frankincense, tolu, and myrrh.
For other great fragrance suggestions, check out the Birchbox Shop.
Spezierie Erboristerie Palazzo Vecchio on Via Vacchereccia in Florence
Right to left: Sniffapalooza founder and director, Karen Dubin; Perfumer Alessandro Morsiani; Sniffapalooza executive operations manager, Karen Adams
This week we tapped Karen Adams, the executive operations manager of the event-based fragrance group Sniffapalooza, to guest blog about some of the best scents she’s discovered on her recent travels. Today’s excursion: Florence.
Recently in Florence, Sniffapalooza founder Karen Durbin and I walked through the narrow winding streets in search of the best gelato. Grom? Vivoli? Badiani? Gelateria La Carraia? We crisscrossed the city tasting them all, while walking and walking to offset the calories. Our true destination though was another treat for the senses, Spezierie Erboristerie Palazzo Vecchio on Via Vacchereccia. This tiny apothecary is always fully stocked with herbal cures for anything that ails you, along with dietary supplements, toothpastes, soaps, lotions, potions, and best of all, one of our favorite niche perfume lines—i Profumi di Firenze. Though some of these scents are available in the U.S., the majority are only sold at Spezierie Erboristerie. Like kids in a candy shop, we sniffed and sampled our way through this hand-blended small batch line. Perfumer Alessandro Morsiani explained that the original 16th century formulas commissioned by Caterina de Medici inspired these fragrant gems. Tuscania, which captures the Tuscan countryside with its lovely blend of citrus, spices, musk, and wood, returned home with us (bubble-wrapped, of course).
If we had traveled to Italy, we would have taken Benefit’s So Hooked on Carmella fragrance with us because of it’s sultry ultra-feminine scent.
Laduree macarons at the Charles de Gaulle Airport
Spiral staircase at the Serge Lutens Shiseido Salon in Paris
Serge Lutens Bell Jars
This week we tapped Karen Adams, one of the co-founders of the event-based fragrance group Sniffapalooza, to guest blog about some of the best scents she’s discovered on her recent travels. Today’s adventure: Paris.
Bonjour! Every day is a great day for flavors and scents in the City of Light. While the macarons tempted us from each passing patisserie window, we were intent on reaching our destination. Just a few steps from the North Wing of the Louvre, the Galeries du Palais Royal is a lovely courtyard lined with elegant shops and boutiques. We headed straight into the indigo-violet twilight of the Serge Lutens Shiseido Salon and ascended the spiral staircase to a private room above.The exclusive Serge Lutens bell jars (only available in Paris and not exported to the U.S.) were lined up on a low wooden tasting table. We perched on petite chairs as the shop manager, Sandrine Wagner, guided us through each fragrance, letting us sniff to our hearts’ content. We lingered over previews of the leathery Boxeuses and the silky Bas de Soie, forgetting all about the macarons. For scent lovers, cherry almond Rahat Loukoum and wood honey Miel de Bois more than satisfy the sweet tooth.
So incredibly versatile you’d be hard pressed to find a woman that didn’t love, it Serge Lueten’s fresh and feminine L’Eau is an all-time fave.
LA Sniffapalooza at Apothia Melrose. (Photo: Courtesy of Sniffapalooza)
This week we tapped Karen Adams, one of the co-founders of the event-based fragrance group Sniffapalooza, to guest blog about some of the best scents she’s discovered on her recent travels. First stop: Los Angeles.
As much as we love NYC—after all, some of the best fragrance shopping is found right here in the Big Apple—we also love to travel and sniff out the next great scent. One of our recent journeys brought us cross-country to Apothia at Fred Segal in Los Angeles where Sniffapalooza LA was hosted by Apothia’s president and founder, Ron Robinson. We gathered fifty fragrance fans at Mauro’s Café for a delicious breakfast, camaraderie, and an impressive agenda of perfumer presentations. Great shopping at Apothia Beauty (and a few celebrity sightings) followed. We just love this stylish boutique and its carefully edited selection of the best new and classic niche scents. We especially appreciate that Ron is a true scent connoisseur, creating his own Apothia Los Angeles line of fine fragrances and interior aromatics. We’re partial to the Apothia Juiced Candle, which has a sparkling scent of red currant with green touches of geranium and tomato leaf. This lively fragrance transports us right back to lush Los Angeles.
Our favorite Apothia candle is their signature If scent with its light, fresh, and floral aroma.