On the evening of August 20, the International Fragrance Association, North America and the American Society of Perfumers hosted a scent experience and cocktail reception at the Sutter Club in Sacramento, California. The theme of the event was “Inspired by California”. Among the attendees were twenty-two men and women from the fragrance industry representing the two host organizations as well as Robertet, Symrise, International Flavors & Fragrances, the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials, Givaudan, Arylessence, and drom international.
The Sutter Club is an old-style gentleman’s club frequented largely by California state legislators and prominent businessmen. It is a lovely venue with antique paneling and hardwood floors that was made even more attractive by a centerpiece table stocked with cheeses, crackers, fruits and vegetables and ornamented with potted orchids. Both wine and cocktails were served, and waiters in white jackets often circulated with trays bearing warm, gourmet appetizers. Everyone was treated like a VIP.
The stars of the evening were two professional perfumers, both of whom started their career with a degree in chemistry and worked their way up to the position of perfumer. Each of them had created a fine fragrance especially for this event which was inspired by the extremely diverse locations, vistas, plants and crops found in California.
The first is Christopher Diienno (above, left), President of the American Society of Perfumers. Chris grew up in Newport Beach, a beautiful coastal town in southern California, but currently resides in New Jersey and works for drom international in New York City. drom is a fragrance house that was started almost a century ago in Munich. Today it has a presence in Europe, North and South America, the Middle East, the Far East and Australia. Its five creative centers are located in New York, Paris, Munich, Sao Paulo and Guangzhou. Chris mentioned that there are only about 900 perfumers world-wide, and 200 to 300 of them live in the United States. He named his fragrance Virtual and describes it in this way: “This fresh, modern scent is introduced with vibrant citrus notes and fresh marine air to express the brilliant golden hues of the sun sparkling on dancing ocean waves. As the sun moves toward the horizon, the citrus moves through the fragrance, revealing a stunning bouquet of sensual florals highlighted by Sunset Rose, Golden Poppy and delicate blossoms of Night Blooming Jasmine. An addictive fusion of amber, sandalwood, and ethereal musk captures the essence of sun-warmed sand and weathered driftwood, creating a lasting impression that is gently kissed with a touch of sweet sugar cane.” To me, it has the feel of an aquatic fragrance, which is not surprising considering Chris’s boyhood on the beach.
The second is Monica Aneiros-Burke (below, left), who is employed by Arylessence, Inc. Arylessence is a contract fragrance and flavor family-owned business headquartered in Georgia. It creates fragrances for personal care, beauty, cosmetic, laundry and household products and air fresheners. She calls her fragrance Caliverde and says that “The lush green and aromatic wood notes create an enticing experience that attracts men and women to its essence. An exuberant burst of lemon and grapefruit sparkles against beams of sunshine, accented by the impactful verdant quality of tomato vines. As earth’s soil and sun unite, the magnificence of the redwood forest inspires the foundation of Caliverde…A drop of coastal water, sensual dark musks and voluptuous amber.” It has a distinctive, almost gourmand feel to it. To demonstrate the evolution of Caliverde, Monica had separate bottles of the top, middle, and base notes as well as the final composition. It was a very instructive presentation.
It was truly a privilege to attend this unique and very special event. I had the opportunity to meet and network with many people who are influential in the fragrance industry, and am thankful to the International Fragrance Association, North America and the American Society of Perfumers for doing a great job of hosting it.