Saturday, February 10, 2007

Sniffapalooza Report!
Ok, wow. Can I say it again? Wow. What a day of people, places, sniffing, food, friends. Although I have been to and organized local sniffas, this was my first Sniffapalooza. I think above all, in reflection, what always stands out in my mind are the people. The camaraderie goes beyond a common bond, there is a connection on a deeper level.

Thank you to both Karens for putting on this first LA event! I don't know how they managed to do such a great job working from NY, but everything seemed to go as planned. Everyone had a wonderful time and the speakers and gift bags were exceptional! Everyone agreed it was a huge success! It was wonderful meeting you!

The day began at Fred Segal in West Hollywood where we checked in and had a lovely breakfast. After breakfast we enjoyed several guest speakers, all of which were so interesting and at times quite entertaining. The mood was relaxed and casual, yet people listened intently as if to gain each important drop of knowledge.

Among the speakers were:

Kio Kamoche - Nyakio. Ms. Kamoche a first generation American told us about her product line, many of which were made from formulas handed down through her Kanyan heritage. Ms. Kamoche passed around her lovely smelling scrubs that were mouthwatering and smelled just delicious.

Sarah Horowitz-Thran - Creative Scentualizaton. Ms. Horowitz-Thran told us how she started her company and even passed around one of her very first creations still in the original bottle. A scent workshop would follow at our lunch event.

Topper Schroeder - Gendarme. Mr Schroeder recounted to us the beginnings of Gendarme and how his scent came to be. Did you know he created it for himself and never really meant for it to be in distribution? I had an opportunity to talk personally with him at lunch, and found him to be charming and engaging. He invited us all to drop by the Gendarme Shop, and I got the feeling if we did he would take time to personally speak with us. By the way - We got EXCLUSIVE first sniffs of the new Gendarme called SKY debuting May 2007. (And it is lovely - my review to follow)

Author Jan Moran - So energetic and so knowledgeable! Wow this little lady knows her stuff and graciously hung out afterwards to personally autograph her book copies.

Francois Duquense - L'Artisan. Mr. Duquense vividly retold the tale of his childhood in Grass, picking the jasmine flowers for money to buy candy and longing to learn more and more about the making of perfumes. Also hinting at more delicious limited editions to follow, as well as a bath and body line.

Gary McNatton - Through Smoke Creative. Mr McNatton recounted his story of how his unique scent, Grass, was created and how his successful relationship with The Gap began.

Silke Steinberg - Tocca. Ms. Steinberg brought samples and testers for us to pass around and again allowed us an EXCLUSIVE preview of the up coming release of Tocca Cleopatra.

Neal Harris - Harris Fragrances. Mr. Harris treated us to the effects of his Scentevents company which scents the air with fragrances based on the event. Outside at registration the lovely Velvet Rope wafted thought the courtyard. Mr. Harris' company also does movie red carpet events, namely - a chocolate essence for the Willy Wonka movie, Lavender fields and more for the Perfume: Story Of a Murderer premier.

Ron Robinson - Apothia Aromatic. Mr. Robinson spoke of his passion for perfume and how he developed the Apothia Brand. In addition of hosting lunch, his gift bag was simply awesome. Some of the contents varied, but mine contained a convenient LA city map, full size Tocca Stella creme, 3ml Velvet Rope sample, 15ml IF edp spray, 6.2ml Perfect Nectar Oil, full size L'Artisan The Pour Un Ete shower gel, Nyakio body scrub, body creme, body wash, and body serum.

The speakers hung out with us afterwards chatting and answering questions. We buzzed about talking amongst ourselves and sniffing the fragrance offerings inside the Apothia shop.

Apothia Sniffapalooza t-shirts were a GWP over $100, as well as an entry ticket for the fabulous $1000.00 gift basket, filled with candles and fragrances. Our own lovely poster - Dawn, won this delightful prize!! Congratulations it looked just spectacular, enjoy!

The group then moved to the restaurant Chocolat for lunch. A very nice place with great food and a killer chocolate souffle. Sarah Horowitz-Thran of Creative Scentualizations presented a workshop where we all passed around and sniffed various notes. Then we were each treated to a goodie bag containing EXCLUSIVE samples of her upcoming scents; Beauty Comes From Within and Perfect Kiss!

Ok - next stop Santa Maria Novella! Greeted at the door by an adorable and welcoming little doggie, with a sweet face and round tummy. Inside we sniffed the Santa Maria Novella line, as well as Lorenzo Villoresi and Eau d'Italie, while being treated to amazing cocktails made with SMN Liqueurs. Did I mention the 20% discount? And a gift bag with a large Potpourri and other samples personally handed out buy the owner.

Whew! Tired yet? Those coffee beans came in handy! Off to tea!

Next stop Chado Tea Room.
High tea and more goodies! Marlen Harrison of the blog treated to some samples and a drawing for Penhaligon's sample sets and more. Marlen, we had no idea you were such a charming speaker in addition to a great blogger.

Adam Eastwood from the Scent Bar/LuckyScent spoke about the beginnings of their store and how their concept grew. The invitation was given to stop by tomorrow, they would extend their hours to help accommodate us. Off and on there was much talk during the day about many of the scents at the Scent Bar. So much in fact, we know a few delinquent parties sneaked over there for a quick sniff.

Also at the tea room was Miryana Babic representing i Profumi di Firenze. Ms. Babic decsribed how she and her mother began their international import business and how iPdF got its start, sharing sniff strips and samples and moving on with us to our next and final destination: Palmetto.

Palmetto - The night air was cool and refreshing as we walked the few blocks from the tea house to Palmetto. I think everyone welcomed the chance to walk off a bit of the days temptations as well as take in the fresh air. At Palmetto we wandered around sniffing and were treated their in-house make-up artist. Some of us lingered and a few stood around outside, tired from the day, yet not really wanting it to end. I think if a magic limo pulled up, not one of us would hesitate to jump in a head on to the next sniffing adventure. But lacking this magical event, we said our goodbyes, hugs and emails exchanged, promises to meet again. And you know what? I am confident we will.

Thank you so much to all my new friends that made this experience that much richer for me. Meeting you made all the difference. I will remember your stories, your laughter, even your favorite notes, until we meet again!


susanlyall said...

Oh, Victoria- what a big day! I am green with envy, so far away- I would have been there with you in a heartbeat if I lived near. Thanks so much for the review and the gorgeous photos !!

chaya ruchama said...

Green, green, green...
[And I'm not the envious type !]

SO glad you enjoyed yourself, and took the photos...

besotted said...

Vic, thanks for the splendid rundown on a fantastic sounding Sniffa! Excellent job, dear, what with your crackerjack reporting and the great photos thanks, it was almost like being there! And BIG, BIG congrats to Dawnie on winning the Apothia basket - honey, I'm so happy for you!!

IrisLA said...

It was so fantastic. The best part was meeting new friends and sampling together. The energy was tremendous.

Thank you again for gifting us with Anne Pliska samples, coffee beans, and name tags. You helped to make Sniffapalooza a very special event.

I'm testing Anne Pliska now. Beautifully creamy. I'm off to read the Anne Pliska part of your blog now.

Anonymous said...

Vic!!! What a wonderful review of the day's events. And your pics of the speakers are awesome. :)))

My friend and I had an awesome time also. It was fun to be around other people who love perfume as much as we do.

And yes, Vic I agree about the newest perfume Sky by Gendarme! It's great and I was immediately taken it by after I got home last night. It's on my to buy list when it first becomes available. I can't wait to read your review on it.

All the speakers were wonderful and I learned alot from them. Interestingly, some of them had no formal perfume schooling and just had a passion for scents. That amazed me. I learned from them to follow your heart no matter what your passion is. I was quietly inspired.

I was shocked to learn that I won the gift basket. Thank God Tara was there because if it wasn't for her telling them I was present but just not at that moment they would have drawn another name. Luck was surely on my side yesterday. But... the reason I wasn't present is because after my friend and I shopped at Fred Segal's, we needed some fresh air and decided to take a walk. While walking on Melrose Ave. I twisted my right ankle pretty good in a hole on the sidewalk. So.... my friend and I decided to head over to the restaurant so I could just sit down and relax. While relaxing, we missed the drawing. Seriously, thank God Tara stood up and said I had been there. I am indebted to her. I had no idea I had won until some of the sniffapalooza gang came into the restaurant and asked if I was Dawn and then informed that I had won. I was utterly shocked. I will take a picture of all the items that are in there. I was overwhelmed last night when I had a chance to go through it. Oh my God is all I can say at the moment and that I don't think I'll need perfume for a looong time but on the other hand that Sky is calling my name. ;0

Vic, I hope Team Karen sees your blog. Team Karen... it was great meeting you both and Thank you very much for hosting an LA Sniffapalooza. I look forward to doing another Sniffapalooza in the future... wherever it may be. :)


Anonymous said...

P.s. Vic, Thanks for the name tags and the Anne Pliska/coffee bean gift bag. That was a great idea.

Oh and was glad to read about the SMN and Tea Room. I'm sorry I missed that but your review of those events made me feel like I was there.

One more question... did you end up purchasing anything?

greeneyes said...

Victoria, I'm so glad you had fun! That sounds like a wonderful way to spend the day...I'm so jealous. Thanks for sharing it with us, though. ;-)

Victoria said...

Hi Susan, thanks for stopping by! Well they are going international, so maybe one of these days if you can't come here, it will come to you!

Victoria said...

Hi Chaya, Oh it will be turn-around at the end of March with your big TWO day NYC sniffa! I'll be more than green, I'll be homesick and for all my new friends.

Victoria said...

Thanks Besotted! I know I'll be getting to the one in NYC one of these days! Maybe next year.

Victoria said...

Hi IrisLA, it was so nice to meet you! I'm sorry we didn't have more time together, but I hope we can meet up again for some sniffing!

And NICOLE if you are reading, you too!!! We can do our ouwn mini sniffa. We need to get better acquainted!

A pleasure to meet you both!

Victoria said...

Hi Dawn, yes thank goodness for Tara!! I was told you had to be present to win. She saved the day!

If you read my follow up post on POL:

You will find, shockingly so, all I bought was a t-shirt!! It was so crowded in Apothia and I had just been there not too long ago. At SMN I sniffed a few I had tried before but felt non-commital even at 20% off. I'm sure I will regret that later at some point. Tomorrow I might do a re-cap of the sniffings.

Hope your ankle is better today!

Victoria said...

Hi Greeneyes, Thanks for stopping by! I want to go to the NYC one at the end of March, but oy! I would probably cost close to $3k go go and spend money. But I have to say I'm tempted.

Gail S said...

Oh wow......
That sounds like it was so much fun!!! Great job on the description and I'm ready for a West Texas Sniffapalooza!

Madelyn E said...

Dear Victoria,
What a great synopsis - with photos ! Would have liked to see your picture too ! What did you buy ? I would like to go to the NY Sniffa ,now even more !

Victoria said...

Hi Gail, thanks for stopping by! I will be posting a recap tomorrow.

Victoria said...

HI Madelyn, Oh do go to the NYC sniffa! I am so tempted! I didn't even think to have my own picture take, but I'm sure there will be ones of me floating around when all the pictures come back.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Victoria! It was so great to meet you, and you did a terrific job of capturing the day's events! Rob and I were so glad we drove from Arizona to attend. We'll share some of his photos soon, too. We hope to make it to an NYC sniffa next year and are keeping our fingers crossed that the LA event will become an annual tradition. I'm enjoying catching up on your blog! Linda

Flora said...

Oh, that just sounds like pure bliss to me! I hope I can attend one of those someday, even if LA is as close as it gets. So glad you had a great time!

Victoria said...

Hi Linda! Thanks for posting! Please email me I'd love to stay in touch! And I want to hear all about your Scent Bar trip!

Victoria said...

HI Flora, oh must try and come, it's like nothing else to be around a group of people who are of like minds. Nothing like it.