While I was in NYC last week, I visited the Elements Showcase, a fragrance and beauty tradeshow held biannually. I apologize for the lack of pictures, but I’m an experiencer which doesn’t make me a great journalist. I get lost in sniffing and conversation and often forget to take pictures. When I did take pictures, they came out merely decent. Talk my husband into buying me a rad camera, OK.
I got to catch up and meet with some amazing people. This industry really does have some amazing people.
Carlos of Arquiste was there showing off Boutonniere No. 7 which is a crisp, green gardenia. There is a collaboration between Arquiste and Cire Trudon, a lovely and complex guava scented candle that I can’t wait to own. There’s nothing else like it on the market.
Charna of Providence Perfume Co. was there showing off her hand-crafted, straight from the heart goods. She said that the testers of Moss Gown and Cocoa Tuberose were almost empty when she got home. And they should be, Cocoa Tuberose is genius. Her husband is a great sport too, working the booth. The two have the most amazing energy.
I finally got to meet Stephen Broadhurst, the creative director of Tommi Sooni. This was there first time debuting the line in the U.S. I hope this line gets the attention it deserves; it’s one of my favorite indie houses. Plus, Stephen has a little cute mixed-breed dog named after Patsy of Absolutely Fabulous. If you name any of your pets or even your children off of a character of AbFab, then you can do no wrong in my book.
Tanja Boching of April Aromatics is a real life glamazon. She’s just as stunning as her all-natural creations.
Plus, it was awesome to see bloggers: Mark from Ça Fleure Bon, Ron from Notable Scents, Barney from Fragrant Moments, Gaia from The Non-Blonde, Lucy from IndiePerfumes, Ida from Fragrantica. Frunkinator and everyone else that I know I’m leaving out.
I could go on and on about the awesome people, but lets talk about trends:
Don’t forget the fellas:
I noticed a lot of products marketed to men during this show. And that’s great. So many of my perfume friends are male. They make up a huge portion of the market.
M. Micallef has launched Royal Vintage, a sophisticated masculine with classic masculine notes in a beautiful sport’s car inspired bottle. If you are looking for a sugar daddy, just familiarize yourself with this fragrance. Your sugar daddy is waiting for you behind an aura of Royal Vintage.
NEST Fragrances has the After Midnight trio of candles. Yes, these aren’t technically for guys but you can tell that these more masculine with notes of leather, smoky notes and woods. The packaging is very sleek and sexy.
Recipe for Men is a Scandinavian skincare line designed for men with a lighter, oil-free texture that still moisturizes. Guys, take care of your skin. Stop using body wash on your face!
I wouldn’t say that this is a new trend at all. But, I am seeing more representation of natural brands at events like this. It is a growing market and I feel it is only going to grow larger.
Pure Natural Diva is a new line of all-natural perfumes by lifestyle blogger, Tania Rueben that retail for under $100.
Like I said before, April Aromatics and Providence Perfume Co. were at the show presenting their sophisticated blends. It’s wonderful to see their brands get the attention of traditional and online media. Many of us bloggers have been supporting them from the beginning, I want to see these indie bad gals become superstars.
I got to finally sniff Undergreen perfumes which I really like and should spend more time with. They’re good.
And “my people” (see my August post), Juniper Ridge were there perfectly representing the West Coast with their wild-crafted goods.
Speaking of the West Coast….
Seattle: We are straight up Kurt Cobain’n your fragrance industry
The distributor of M. Micallef was there showing off Nasreen, named after our very own, Nasreen of Parfumerie Nasreen, a luxury perfume shop in Seattle.
And of course, tons of buyers and perfumers were in from the area. I’d talk to a booth and they’d ask where I’m from. They’d always say, “There are TONS of you guys in from Seattle.” Yep. We’re entrepreneurial, snobby and at the same time rebellious. Watch out. We still have real-life riot grrrls. And yes, soOud offends us…
OMG. Carrie Brownstein was on my flight from Seattle to NYC. I totally fan girled on her. She’s so amazing. Feel free to talk about how amazing she is in the comments. Feel free to talk about her in the comments of any of my posts from now until forever.
Moving on…I didn’t notice anything too new that I haven’t mentioned before. Gardenia is a big note. Candles are a growing market. Expect a million 1920’s inspired perfumes (see gardenia). This time of year isn’t a hot time for launches. So, I’m going to give out my imaginary awards for the show.
The biggest risk takers:
Tommi Sooni and Juniper Ridge. Both are very different in their risks but they hit me as the biggest risk takers of the entire show.
Tommi Sooni is this Australian niche line making these timeless classics. Let’s be real. It’s risky to launch a classic chypre or something aldehyde heavy this day in age. This brand is taking a risk, ignoring the trends and I love it. It will work out for them in the long run.
Juniper Ridge is coming from their own thing, hiking. They have no background in perfumery but they make scents. They go around in the Breaking Bad-ish van collecting botanicals that nobody else is distilling and make that sh*t into perfume. It’s the most badass thing ever. It’s punk, it’s anti-establishment, it’s risky and I love it.
Majda Bekkali Mon Nom est Rouge - Yeah, I love rose so it shouldn’t surprise you that I leave the show wanting a rose. This rose isn’t nice. It’s metallic, cold and mixed with smoky tobacco notes. My skin loves it. This is such a “me” fragrance. I also got to meet the perfumer, Cécile Zorokian. She’s very talented and knowledgeable. We are sure to see more form her in the future.
M. Micallef Rose Extreme – A “me” rose in the other direction – warm, gourmand, sweet and jammy. (Sorry, I’ve mentioned this line like 50 times already).
The Humiecki & Graef line - I’ve been dying to try this line and I’m happy that I did. There are some weird ones in this, like good-weird (Skarb, Multiple Rouge, Blask) and some delicious ones (Candour). This line is challenging, unusual and intellectual. In a world of fluff and stuff, this line stands out. My biggest complaint with the indie world is the lack of risk taking and the redundancy. There is too much “sameness”. Too much target marketing. It makes me so happy to see a line, even if the copy is ridiculous, make perfumes that represent the feelings of trust, the Slavic soul, hot naked guys breaking vases in a heat of fury, and Mrs. Robinsons…you’ve got my attention. I’m always saying “go there”. And I feel the line is already there.
Vagabond Prince Enchanted Forest – The prettiest bottle at the show. You have to feel it to “get” it. It’s hefty and heavy; hence, it comes across as luxurious. So many brands skimp on bottles, even the luxury brands. This one actually feels luxurious. It’s like the most Russian thing on the market which is cool.
You know what sucks? My checked bag was inspected by TSA and I’m missing a bottle of perfume and all of my samples from Elements. This is slightly off-topic but I’m giving you a TSA PSA. If at all possible put your ‘fumes in your carry-on baggie and put your cheapie stuff like toothpaste in your checked luggage. Never underestimate the rottenness of people. Don’t let your guard down.