Seattle's 1st Artisan Fragrance Salon

This weekend, Seattle's Artisan Fragrance Salon will take place at Pier 66 (2211 Alaskan Way). Tickets can purchased in advance online, and will also give you access to the adjacent Chocolate Salon. You can get your tickets for a discount online for $20, or get them at the door for more cash...

You can learn about the participating perfumers via their websites (below) as well as virtually "Meet The Perfumers" on the Seattle Sniff website (which is a spontaneous perfumer-organized and run organization, separate from TasteTV who are running this salon). 

April & May Events Calendar on the West Coast

Who said life on the West Coast is boring? Or scent-less?
I spotted at least 4 events that are taking place within the next 4 weekends alone.

April 11th in Vancouver
Photo by Noriko Mahoney

Hanami Tea Party at Ayala Moriel Parfums Studio - co-hosted with Dancing Leaf Design
Awaken your senses this spring with a modern and relaxed tea ceremony!
We will welcome spring with elements that will engage all your senses and delight your soul: 4 hand-blended teas incorporating seasonal local plants, visually inspiring flower arrangements, soothing music, stunning jewellery by Japanese-Canadian designer Noriko Mahoney of Dancing Leaf Design, and of course - the most delightful spring perfumes by Ayala Moriel Parfums.

The party is also a special opportunity to celebrate the new packaging launched for the brand's 12th anniversary; as well as limited edition Hanami sachets (hand-stitched from vintage silk kimonos), and two new soaps. 

Noriko and Ayala will be preparing delightful spring sweets and savoury appies inspired by our Japanese and Middle Eastern heritage. 

For more details, including menu, visit our event page or newsletter.
This event is limited to only 20 people, 10 are already taken - so please RSVP early!

Ayala Moriel Parfums Studio

314-1230 Haro Street, Vancouver

April 13th in Seattle
Northwest Perfumers Circuit at Blackbird Apothecary in Ballard - hosted by Blooming Dream
Portland-based erfumer and landscaep architext Suzinn Weiss will present her new perfume created espeically for the shop -Blackbird Vert.
Blackbird Apothecary 
5404 - 22nd Avenue
Seattle, WA 98107
When: 6-9pm

May 5th in Seattle
Artisan Fragrance Salon is heading up to Seattle!
So far the list of perfumers participating includes:
MIKMOI, Artemisia Natural Perfume, Meshaz Natural Perfumes, Blooming Dream Natural Fragrance, Pirouette, Imaginary Authors, Sweet Anthem Handmade Perfumes, Olympic Orchids, Gabriel's Aunt, Rebel & Mercury, House of Matriarch, Jolie Laide Perfume, Coeur d'Esprit Natural Perfumes, and Roxana Illuminated Perfume.
Great opportunity to meet with perfumers and creators face-to-face and make new perfumista friends!

Get your tickets in advance and save

Pier 66, 2211 Alaskan Way

Seattle, WA 98121

May 11th in Los Angeles
LA Scentsation - hosted by Perfume Posse
LA Scentsation will be taking novices and experienced perfumistas alike on an extraordinary day of sniffing, presentations, partying and shopping.  Participating stops on the Scentsation schedule include:
·        Luckyscent Scent Bar
·        Beautyhabit
·        Barneys New York
·        Opus Oils

Registration is limited to about 45 people, and half is already sold out already.
Register at PerfumePosse.com

May 11th in Seattle
Northwest Perfumers Circuit at Blackbird Apothecary - hosted by Ayala Moriel Parfums.
Join us for an evening of aromatic tonics and fragrant truffles to celebrate the new scent Ayala Moriel designed for Blackbird Apothecary. More details TBA - the scent is, for now, a secret...!
Blackbird Apothecary 
5404 - 22nd Avenue
Seattle, WA 98107
When: 6-9pm

2nd Artisan Fragrance Salon in San Francisco, March 24th 2013

So this is what I've been doing last Sunday... 2nd Annual San Francisco Artisan Fragrance Salon.  Spent the entire day at Fort Mason's Festival Pavillion with Miss T who helped me (well, mostly she just put up with all the boring perfume talk; and waited patiently for quieter moments when we can play Slamwich together...). It takes a lot of energy for me to settle back from trips, especially with it still being spring break and all. Besides, there is a lot to process, absorb, take in after such trips. They are inspiring yet exhausting... And I've met some wonderfully creative and inspiring perfumers who I want to try a few more times, write about and share with you. There was definitely a lot of exciting, high-quality stuff coming out and worth trying! 

As in previous salons, it was exciting to meet some customers face to face for the first time - and reconnect with those who were in the historical 1st Artisan Fragrance Salon in San Francisco last July. And then there were bloggers and writers, such as the darling Tama Blough from Ca Fleure Bon, who also did a talk about how to write a perfume review; and Virginia Blanco from the bi-lingual blog Te de Violetas. Some customers travelled from the far southern parts of California, and others from as far as North Dakota (!!!) just to smell our creations and shop for perfumes directly from their makers. I hope this will be a destination - if not a pilgrimage - for perfumistas and scent afficinado to travel to once a year. There's a lot that's happening in the indie perfume scene on the West Coast and you can't find in the big trade shows on the West Coast - or Sniffapalooza, for that matter.

And, most importantly - the wonderful fellow perfumers who were also showing their creations that day, some of which were even students of mine, such as Ragna Rostad-Ruffner (Divine Life Perfumes).
Lovely Ragna of Divine Perfumes

Divine Perfumes
Divine Life Perfumes' Super Natural Cologne (above) and the rose collection - Trinity Rose, Rosita and Dharma Rose (below).
Divine Perfumes

Mick Moi who launched his line (he only did a one afternoon workshop with me last June in San Francisco - and now debuted his line at the salon. He was right next to me, and his table was buzzing with friends and paparazzi, so I never was able to take a close shot of him and his colourful perfumes, but here is a funny one: 

Jane Cate - A Wing and a Prayer
And across from me were Jane Cate from A Wing & A Prayer (based in San Francisco)
Sanae Intoxicants 
And also across from me - Sanae (Sanae Intoxicants) from Los Angeles.
Olympic Orchids
Olympic Orchids' Ellen Covey and her husband - they came all the way from Seattle!
I was excited to discover a new osmanthus perfume in her collection - Sonnet XVII.

Brent Lenoisio (SmellBent) from Los Angeles with his helper and his usual tongue-in-your-cheek expression.
Imaginary Authors
Josh Meyer from Imaginary Authors) (hailing from the cutting-edge city of Portland) hard at work selling his novels! 

Artemisia Natural Perfume
Lisa Fong (Artemisia Natural Perfume) setting up her table with flowers and smiles.

Up a couple of stairs on the gallery, were the rest of the perfumers, most of which (except forRoxana Vila and PK Perfumes) I was able to take photos of:

YOSH Olfactory Sense
Yosh was there, back from long travels in Europe, and was using her innovative aura reading and portraits to help customers in the scent-selection process. So much fun!

Dannielle and her team at the COGNOSCENTI table - you'll be happy to learn that she now has travel size spray atomizers of all three fragrances. I picked up a No. 19 Warm Carrot and now can enjoy it in more lavishly, along with the beautiful Warm Carrot body butter than Dannielle gave me at the tea party.

Sherri Sebastian from Sebastian Signs is a line I'm just beginning to explore - so there will be more write ups on that later after I process this trip.

Sebastian Signs team
Purusa Petalum natural perfume gel by Sebastian Signs. I think I found a new osmanthus love!
Purusa Petalum by Sebastian Signs

Maggie Mahboubian of Parfums Lalun
Maggie Mahboubian (Parfums Lalun), who came all the way from Los Angeles (I met her in September at the salon in Santa Monica and her line is exceptional).

Mario T Gomez at EnVoyage PerfumeryMario T Gomez manning Shelley Waddington's table (EnVoyage Perfumes). Notice the wild display of real orchids and plants!
EnVoyage Perfumery

Laurie Stern of Velvet & Sweetpea's PurrfumeryLaurie Stern's whimsical display (elvet & Sweet Pea's Purrfumery), full of details and treasures.

Bruno Fazzolari
And in contrast - Bruno Fazzolari's minimalist booth, which debuted at this salon. I promise I will write more about his scents later - he gave me his sample kit, so it's actually feasible to promise such a thing. 

Jennifer of Smells & BellsNext to Bruno - the dreamy Jennifer Craine from Smells & Bells. These photos don't do justice to how adorable her packaging looks in person. Unfortunately, I hadn't had much of a chance to smell her creations during the event.
Smells & Bells
Jennifer also makes soaps and body products - and they are all natural and beautifully packaged. 
Smells & Bells 
And last but not least: the glowing and beautiful Ineke  and her abecadary collection and Floral Curiousities collection she created for Anthropologie.

Little girl in a bit convention centre...
Little girl in a big and not yet full Fort Mason's Festival Pavillion, just before the show.
Ayala Moriel Parfums team
And here's my team again - me in the middle, with Tamya and Dave, who kept me company (and made sure I eat something).

And as if the travel, the work and all the other efforts weren't worth it on their own - I just got the word out that I won no less than 5 awards at the salon: 2 golds and 3 silvers!
The golds were awarded for "Best Ingredient Combinations" (along with
Bruno Fazzolari,  Roxana Illuminated Perfume, Artemisia Natural Perfume and Olympic Orchids Artisan Perfumes); and for Top Artisan Perfumer (alongside INEKE, Velvet & Sweet Pea's Purrfumery, Roxana Illuminated Perfume and COGNOSCENTI).
The silvers were given to me for Best in Salon (next to Bruno Fazzolari), Best Aroma (next to Olympic Orchids Artisan Perfumes, Imaginary Authors, MIKMOI, Velvet & Sweet Pea's Purrfumery and Parfums Lalun); and Top All-around Product Line (again with Bruno Fazzolari). 

Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon (September 23)

Coinciding with the 6th annual LA Chocolate Salon, TasteTV has organized their 2nd fragrance event this year - 1st Artisan Fragrance Salon in Los Angeles. The event took place at the east wing of the Civic Center auditorium in Santa Monica, where hundreds of perfume and chocolate aficionado congregated from all parts of southern California for an all-encompassing fragrance and flavour experience.

This perfumista got everything under his belt
Although primarily a consumer show, the salon attracted industry professionals such as suppliers and retailers. Budding perfumers as well as students and hobbyists also came to the show to connect with perfumers and other like-minded individuals, as well as search for additional perfumery training opportunities.

The unique thing about this show was in its diversity, independence and free spirited creativity that is is such a defining characteristic of West Coast (which is home to all except for one perfumer participating in the show) - and clearly reflected in the aesthetics of the new brands that debuted that weekend.

The salon was a great opportunity for emerging brands to debut their line in a supportive environment where the audience is clearly passionate about their craft! And there is no better opportunity as well to network with others in the industry, and draw inspiration from their experience and expertise. Several promising new perfumers arrived at the show, and their olfactory aesthetic as well as the visual presentation of their line and their booth is evidence that the sky is the limit when it comes to creativity!

SANAE Intoxicants - debut appearance with Sanae Barber
Sanae Barber's eponymous line is one of the surprises of the salon - as I've met Sanae a few years back in Los Angeles, and had no idea she was interested in becoming a perfumer! Sanae Intoxicants perfumes are all-natural, and have a deep, dense, earthy tonalities with exotic Indian attars in the compisition that give them an unusual edge. They also bear unusual name, such as Smoking Rose, Meadow Slumber and Burning Ocean (pictured below).

SANAE Intoxicants Burning Ocean 
Below are Sanae's testers, from which she placed drops of perfumes onto glass bowls to allow show's spectators to experience the scent before applying on the skin.

 SANAE Intoxicants

David of Imaginary Authors
Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Imaginary Authors is Josh Meyer's new fragrance line proves that Portlandians's creativity does not end at pickling every possible organism and stamping birds on every object of desire.

Imaginary Authors
Each perfume has a story behind it, of course - an obscure uhm, imaginary American author (and usually long dead), and the story behind a completely fictional novel they wrote, serving as the inspiration for the brand's original line of fragrances. What caught my nose was The Cobra and The Canary - a modern, dry leather-tobacco scent with notes of "Lemon, Orris, Tobacco Flowers, Leather, Hay Fields & Asphalt".

PK Perfume
Another new line at the salon, using uncommon combinations of raw materials - synthetics and naturals, including some fascinating oils from South Africa.

Paul of PK Perfumes

Parfums Lalun - Maggie Mahboubian
Maggie Mahboubian was born and raised in Persia, and has been concocting body care and cosmetics based on recipes that women in her family would concoct for their use in the hammam for many generations. Her love for pure, simple aromatics has lead her to studying perfumery as well and developing 5 distinctive all-natural perfumes that will take you from sunrise to late night: Aqua di Calltiris (fresh citrus water), Phenomene Vert (herbaceous), La Lune de Miel (spicy and honeyed), Qajar Rose (powerhouse of saffron and rose) and Blance de Bois (abstract woods).

Parfum Lalun sample sets
Lalun's sample packages are a giveaway to Maggie's past life as an architect - little paper structures that cleverly hold her 5 fragrances. 

Photo courtesy of Sebastian Signs

Sherri Sebastian is the chief perfumer at Fragrance West, and also has her very own line of fragrances and scented body products. At the show, Sebastian Signs launched Purusa Naturals - an all natural (base and fragrance) perfume gel based on patented green technology that transforms Argan oil into a smooth gel. Each fragrance—Root, Petalum, Seed, Leaf—was named after the part of the plant from which the oils were derived.  Purusa is Sanskrit for ‘pure consciousness’ and Seed has become a personal favourite, featuring carrot seed in rather unusual way. Carrot seed seems to be a recurring theme at the salon, which you will discover in a moment...

Photo courtesy of COGNOSCENTI

Cognoscenti debuted at the Artisan Fragrance Salon in San Francisco a few months back, so it's still bright and fresh and deserves the spotlight! It garnered many awards then, and this salon was another great opportunity to showcase this unusual perfume line of three distinct fragrances. Interestingly, the nose behind it, Dannielle Sergent, is also an architect (or was till recently...). And while her outer packaging is rather brisk and minimalist, her fragrances bear a structure that is incomparable to anything else I've ever smelled. Abandoning almost entirely the centre core of floral notes,  the perfume have a unique dymanic of weaving in and out of phases unexpectedly, always keeping you on your toes. They refuse to be categorized or pinned down, and likewise their names betrays very little if at all of their enigmatic creator. No. 1 is strange, green and fig-tea-like; No. 16 begins like leather and tomato leaf and ending on a white musk accord; and No. 19, subtitled "warm carrot" won my heart with it's unusual core of carrot seed, revealing a surprising beauty of an often overlooked raw material.

Photo courtesy of COGNOSCENTI


Amanda of A Perfume Organic
Amanda Walker's line was distinctive not only because it's entirely organic; but also because it's the only line that came all the way from back east - from Manhattan! Amanda's 5 perfumes are all oil based roll-ons that are  beautifully packaged in seed-embeded boxes and printed bottles  - Urban Organic, Green, White Magik and Mejica. She's also created a new scent in her Perfumed Wine Trio - Rosé. The line is certified by USDA, OTCO and PETA.

A Perfume Organic: Mejica

JoAnne Bassett
From southern California, JoAnne Bassett has years of experience in aromatherapy and as an educator and natural perfumer. Her French Collection has many beautifully made, classic constructed scents from naturals only. 
For the salon, JoAnne created Venus Amber eau de parfum - with a musky, spicy, amber accord and a soft powdery, drydown of vanilla and benzoin.

Mario with House of Matiarch
House of Matriatch won Best in Salon and for a good reason! This elaborate display stood out, and being a traveler from far away myself I can't even imagine how Christi Meshell has brought this entire show with her on the road!
Christi has also created perfumed fans that she gave to all the perfumers participating in the show (You'll find a few pics of us posing with them along this post...).

Especially for the salon, Christi created 4 decadent chocoalte-inspired perfumes: Cocosigaro (inspired by luxurious Italian after-dinners cigars), Cocoblanc (white chocoalte with nuances of coconut), Cocorosa (chocolate and rose) and Cocosenesis (chocolate and orange).

House of Matriarch

Lisa Fong - Artemisia Perfume
Artemisia Natural Perfume has a definitive, complex yet light characteristic that's elusive and non-conformist. For the LA Artisan Fragrance Salon, Lisa Fong has created a new perfume for the show: Saveur d'Abricot. It's surprisingly animalic, with notes of apricot accord and costus that adorn a very high quality osmanthus absolute.

Team Fong at Artemisia Perfume

Velvet & Sweet Pea's Purrfumery
Laurie Stern, the sweet lady of Velvet & Sweet Pea's Purrfumery has a way with the bees, cats, flowers and her displays shows it all too well! Every bottle is beautifully packaged and decorated with fabric pansies, ribbons and collectible labels. Her newest creations that launched last weekend is titled "Fleur de Caramel". Yum!

You might also like to know, that Laurie is very passionate about animal rights, and does not use animal materials, or materials that were tested on animals.

Gary at Velvet and Sweet Pea's table
Gary (Laurie's husband) watching the Velvet and Sweet Pea's Purrfumery table before the show begins.

Roxana & Greg
Artist, aromatherapist and perfumer Roxana Vila lives in Santa Monica, where she concocts her all-natural botanical perfumes also from tinctured indigenous plants (as in oak for her Q perfume, and desert sage for Chaparal). She's also an avid bee keeper, and she and her husband, artist Greg Spalenka, brought their own bee hive with them to the show!

Roxana Illuminated Perfume

Roxana Illuminated Perfume
Roxana's new perfume Chiaroscuro, with jasmine flowers from her garden, which she especially tinctured for this perfume. 

Ayala Moriel Parfums
From Vancouver, Canada, Ayala Moriel Parfums brought the new perfume Etrog Oy de Cologne, whose fruit (California grown!) adorned the minimalist table display; and salon special preview of Treazon, Ayala Moriel's "killer tuberose" due to launch 12.12.12. Other items of interest were the new Vetiver Racinettes soap, fragrant chocolate bars, and real citron frtuit from a farmer in California, that spectators could "scratch and sniff" and compare to the Etrog fragrance.

Etrog display

Sarah Horowitz Parfums
Sarah Horowitz Parfums brought their traveling "Fragrance Journey" organ with various perfume notes which are used for creating their custom perfume. Each month, Sarah Horowitz creates a limited edition perfume for that month only, and September's limited edition that was dedicated to the salon's chocolate theme -  Chocolate Sunset.

Kedra of Opus Oils
Kedra Hart - the perfumer behind old Holywood chic perfumery Opus Oils, and creator of Eau Pear Tingle, Tiger Powers series, and many more. Some of her scents are all naturals, and others are mixed media. Opus Oils' Jitterbug Perfume Parlour in Hollywood is a destination for perfume lovers, and you can also take workshops there as well as experience the perfume parlour teas, scented with floral absolutes.

Opus Oils

Luckyscent is a leading niche and hard to find online fragrance store, with a brick-and-mortar spot on Beverly Boulevard (a must visit place for perfume lovers!) called Scent Bar. They were at the show with some more established European and North American niche and artisan brands such as Andy Tauer, Histoire de Parfums, Mona di Orio and Keiko Mecheri (who is also based in Los Angeles). 

Photo courtesy of smellbent

Los Angeles based SmellBent launched their new series Sunset People at the show.  It's all about disco and the fabulous nightlife. The packaging and the display is colourful and whimsical, playing on the "mad scientist" cliche to its fullest in a most fun, vibrant way.

Photo courtesy of smellbent

Ellen Covey is an orchid grower, and lives just south of me in Seattle. During the salon, Olympic Orchids launched Sonnet XVII - a collaborative effort between perfumer Ellen Covey and Michelyn Camen, Editor-in Chief of CaFleureBon, as described here. It is a fragrant tribute to the love poems of the great Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (1904-1973). Notes feature citron, cubeb, white champa flower, mastic, spikenard, oakmoss, Haitian vetiver, Bourbon vanilla, woods and musks, and a touch of natural ambergris tincture.


Photo credit: Sophie Lee

40notes also hailed from Portland, and is no hipster! Miriam Varledzis is an indie perfumer with a long career in the fragrance industry as a fragrance evaluator and in other capacities (and before that she was an architect - are you noticing a pattern in the North American indie perfume community?). For this show, Miriam brought a special limited edition perfume, Crystalline Hyacinth Limited Edition perfume, that she created last spring.

"Hyacinth is elusive, at once fleeting and headstrong.  To me it is Spring everlasting, which makes it more mysterious than innocent", says Miriam. She created it in winter/spring 2012 working with real-life hyacinth flowers as an inspiration and reference. The notes include natural hydro-distilled green lemon, hydro-distilled grapefruit, and nuances of white lily.

The perfumers showing at the salon were also given TasteTV Awards, and 40notes was a 2nd time gold medal winner for "Best in Salon"! Other lines that were receiving many awards are the new brand COGNOSCENTI and also Sarah Horowitz Parfums.

New Brands: Cognoscenti, Imaginary Authors, Parfums Lalun, PK Perfumes, Sanae Intoxicants, Sebastian Signs
All-Natural Brands: A Perfume Organic, Artemisia Natural Perfume, Ayala Moriel Pafums, House of Matriarch, JoAnne Bassett, Parfums Lalun, Purusa Natural (by Sebastian Signs), Opus Oils (some scents), Roxana Illuminated Perfume, Sanae Intoxicants, Velvet & Sweet Pea's Purrfumery
Organic brands: A Perfume Organic
Mixed Media (aka combinations of synthetics and naturals):  40notes,  Cognoscenti, Olympic Orchids, Opus Oils, PK Perfumes Sarah Horowitz Thran, Sebastian Signs Fragrances, SmellBent,
Canadian Brands: Ayala Moriel Parfums
East Coast Brands: A Perfume Organic
Retailer: Luckyscent/Scent Bar

Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon

The 1st LA Artisan Fragrance Salon is just a couple of days away - and Ayala Moriel Parfums is thrilled to take part in it! Visit me at booth no. 16 to experience our newest creations: Etrog Oy de Cologne (just in times for Sukkot!), our new Vetiver Racinettes soap bar, and a pre-sniff of Treazon - aka my killer tuberose!

Participating perfumers: Velvet & Sweet Pea's Purrfumery, SmellBent , COGNOSCENTI, Roxana Illuminated Perfume, Artemisia Natural Perfume , Parfums Lalun, 40notes Perfume, Sarah Horowitz Parfums, Sebastian Signs Fragrances, Olympic Orchids Artisan Perfumes, House of Matriarch, Luckyscent, Opus Oils, A Perfume Organic, PK Perfumes, JoAnne Bassett, Ayala Moriel Parfums, Sanae Intoxicants, Imaginary Authors.

Civic Center Auditorium
1855 Main Street
Santa Monica
California 90401

Sunday, September 23rd, 11am-5pm

Get your tickets here

18ain Street, Santa Monica California 90401

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