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 PerfumeCritic.com 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!