• Betsey Johnson Too Too - New York Launch Party

      For my second assignment as New York Correspondent for Basenotes, I was granted the mission of sitting through the most girly-girl, pinkrific, tulle-ified event one can imagine, and I loved every minute of it! What better way for designer Betsey Johnson to launch her new fragrance called "Too Too" than with the lovely, lovely ballerinas from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy? The launch party (and breakfast, actually) took place at a dance studio where these ballerinas were placed along the edges of the room, some against the tall windows facing the quiet downtown street in the Meatpacking District, others in the back by the "it girl DJ" booth pumpin' Whitney Houston, holding positions against a gritty backdrop of sanitation workers, trucks and a car wash behind them, and one petite, blonde prima by the entrance when you first walk in, who ushers you with her lithe splits and steely arabesques to the perfume display table - ooh la la!

      When I hear Betsey Johnson's name, I can't help but feel all the nostalgia of being a girl growing up in New York. I remember passing by Betsey Johnson's Upper East Side boutique on those special occasions I met with my friends in Manhattan for a Serendipity frozen hot chocolate. I always loved her funky, legendary rock 'n roll style - my favorite designs are probably the ones worn by Edie Sedgwick in Ciao! Manhattan (1972). Body-conscious and ready for movement, perhaps the love of dance is what inspires her creations. I remembered, too, that once you've danced, you can't help but trace over those steps your body won't forget.

      I arrived a bit late, so I don't know if the perfume display bottles were full or empty at the start of the event, but by the time I was ready to sample TOO TOO, the new Betsey Johnson fragrance for Women, there was not one mighty drop left to try. So, I asked one of the guys that worked the event if there were samples available. He was kind enough to bring out a tester for me, so I asked if I could spray it, and he said OK...

      Well, it's a very nice fruitchouli - maybe no surprises there. In fact, there are no shock elements here at all, and for once, I'm glad. What I found most pleasant about it was that it seemed to be a bit softer and more Floral Oriental (Floral Gourmand) than the original Betsey Johnson fragrance, something akin to the ever-popular FiFi winner Gucci Guilty. I smelled cool, aqueous berries at the start, reminding me of Bond No.9 Bryant Park and a Ralph Lauren scent (probably RL Cool, or Style). Too Too, with its assertive Coca Cola or jeans company-like logo, smells absolutely mainstream in the best way - like something safe and pretty, something you and your little girl can agree on and happily share, all fitting for a perfume that comes housed in a clunky-but-cute, ballet tutu-styled atomizer.

      (Speaking of clunky, someone at the event asked me if she can take a photo of my shoe, a Fluevog Mary Jane pump. If anyone has seen it online, please share a link - thanks!)

      I'm glad I stayed awhile longer, because Betsey Johnson herself came out with her youthful energy and smile, and as she thanked everyone for coming to her party, it was announced that it was also her birthday! To my delight, the funky, bright hot pink cupcakes served at the breakfast table matched the color of Ms. Johnson's dress. I had one of these cupcakes; it was so fluffy and delicious. That description pretty much summarizes Betsey Johnson Too Too for me.

      Betsey Johnson Too Too is set for official launch this October, exclusively at Sephora. Available as Eau de Parfum 3.4 oz, 1.7oz and 1.0oz.

      About the author
      As well as being our New York Correspondent, Sali Oguri is a singer-composer, writer and editor-in-chief of her own blog, Pink Manhattan. In 2005, Sali launched a conceptual art project called PINK MANHATTAN: Sensorium of Song and Scent Part I (Music CD of original songs) and Part II (an original indie perfume). Her website can be found at salioguri.com


    Loving perfume on the Internet since 2000