That's true, Quarry. Perhaps it's a like mindedness. We just "get" each other.
Jarvis! Yes. I didn't get me much Jarvis time, but I did draw wonderful vibes from you during our brief moments with Chantecaille's rep Eddy as we shared our appreciation for dogs.
Like everybody else, I've been involved with other sorts of groups and get-togethers, but there is something about sensitive sniffers that makes them especially good company.
That's true, Quarry. Perhaps it's a like mindedness. We just "get" each other.
"Great art picks up where nature ends.”
- Marc Chagall
Jarvis! (your name suits you beautifully!) Glad to see you here. I'll forever smell your Neil Morris rose spritzed skin in my 'scent memory' - captivating!
I seriously hope basenoters the world over will continue meeting, sniffing, and connecting ~ there's nothing quite like it! For me, it's sort of like reuniting with a long lost sibling. Only better! No worries, conflicts, issues, etc. Only the good stuff!
I'd like to hear from each of our companions which scent(s) made the greatest impression. I keep coming back to the new Creed Aventus, not because I'd wear it much (it's decidedly masculine in a way I like a man to smell), but the black currant and the long-lasting basenotes keep catching my attention amongst the samples collected.
Top notes: Finest black currant, Italian bergamot, Calville Blanc apples, and a burst of royal pineapple.
Middle notes: Exquisite roses with a complement of dry birch, Moroccan jasmine plus a hint of patchouli.
Base notes: Musk with a touch of oak moss for depth, then ambergris and a dab of vanilla.
The other scent I haven't put on skin yet, but I feel attracted to on paper is Halston Woman, a rework of the 1975 scent of the same name. Son of a gun … I just looked up the notes, there's black currant again. (Not a fan of the space-age bottle though.)
Sicilian bergamot, marigold, black currant, rose, iris root, rose absolute, jasmine petals, along with patchouli, sandalwood and amber.
What? Halston Woman? Talk about a blast from the past. I always liked it but it was just too strong. I thought the lotion was beautiful though. Let me know what you think!
Wow, you guys! I've just been speechless since reading these accounts. What an amazing group you are! I'm so glad to hear of the wonderful times you had, and so touched by your warmth with eachother. And thanks for the vicarious thrills!! Wish I could have been there.
Hey Quarry ~ the Halston bottle was originally designed by Elsa Perretti, who designs jewelry for Tiffany's. Take a look at their website, once you visualize her collections you'll make the Halston bottle connection!
It was such a pleasure to be w/ ALL !
I'm so glad my friend Dora met up w/ us...
I knew Joy would love her- and everyone else
Jarvis is an angel, and Adam is such a sweetie...
Lesley I love.
[There wasn't a soul I didn't enjoy !]
SMM did such a bangup job.
Quarry- at LAST, I photo of me I can stomach ;-0
I need to use that as an avatar !
I wish I'd been able to go to Brielle's-
DH was unwell, and it wasn't gonna happen :-(
Next time :-))
It has been a week since I said goodbye to our out-of-town guests for the 1st Annual US Basenotes Weekend. I now have some time to sort through my thoughts and write about the weekend from my perspective. I want to get started with thanks to those who made this a special 48 hours for me. The people at the different stores Fiona at Chanel; Christopher, Ellen and Sharon at Saks; Ann Fanning, Annette, Laura and the entire staff at Neiman-Marcus. David Garten for opening his home to us on Sunday so that Neil Morris could show us his fragrances. Gabrielle, for opening her home up to us on Friday. Lisa, Catherine and Ida for being my back-up so that I could plan this. Things big and small go into planning something and all of the names above loom as big as they can get in the success of this. Now on with the show.
My Basenotes Weekend began at 1PM on Friday with a mission to pick up my fellow agent ubuandibeme/June from Logan Airport. June and I had spent a whirlwind four hours in Chicago last October and we had such a good time I knew we would have more fun with more people around us. In almost comical fashion it took us 15 minutes to find each other in the airport and then I whisked her off to her hotel to check-in and have a rendezvous with chayaruchama/Ida. I returned later to pick her up and head up to Brielle87/Gabrielle’s house in NH. For those of you who have been following the saga of house renovation on the “off topic” board the reality is so much better. Gabrielle and her family have truly scrubbed the neglect off of a beautiful piece of yesteryear. Throughout the house there are things to marvel at and for those of you who end up in this neck of the woods it is worth cajoling an invite to Maison de Brielle. As much as the house was a star it was the people inside that made it even more special. When we got there Pomander/Lisa, Quarry/Joy and Gabrielle’s best friend Diana made us all immediately feel as if we had fallen in with our scented family. Beyond that Gabrielle’s real family, her husband Nate and his parents plus Gabrielle’s mother rounded out the dramatis personae for the evening. Joy passed out buttons which said “I <3 Perfume” and we were off and running. For the first part of the evening it was eating and connecting on things, mostly, not perfume related. It was one of those conversations where the subjects veered wildly from topic to topic and made the time fly by. Of course we did finally have to turn to our favorite…..ahem……obsession. Gabrielle was ready to invite us up to the lab to see what was on the slab and we shivered in anticipation. The way it started was this totally non-sequitur conversation:
June to me (what she said): Have you ever tried Djedi?
June to me (what I heard): Have you ever tried Jedi?
What I thought (in about a split second): There is a Star Wars fragrance? I know there are Star Trek fragrances. They must have debuted them at Comic-Con this weekend. I wonder if they smell any good. Wait a minute…why would June be asking me about a Star Wars fragrance. That can’t be what she’s asking about. What could she be asking about? I know Gabrielle is one of the few people I know who has a bottle of Guerlain Djedi and she shares. That must be what she’s talking about.
My reply to June(after confused look on my face turned to understanding): Do you mean Guerlain Djedi?
June to me: Isn’t that what I said?
Then I related to her my split second stream of consciousness and our line for the weekend was born “May the Force be with you.”
We then went upstairs to Gabrielle’s Cabinet of Many Delights and broke out the Djedi and, like the Force, it bound us together and permeated our beings as we all experienced one of the true perfume classics on our own. June was especially consumed by the Force that was Djedi but it was just the beginning as Gabrielle pulled out bottle after bottle from her vintage stash and we all experienced fragrances that have long passed into memory but are alive again in Gabrielle’s cabinet. Even with a long day ahead of all of us we couldn’t stop until the wee hours of the morning but we all required some sleep before the next day. So we parted to rejoin together in a few short hours with even more people to join us.
(To Be Continued)
I woke up on too little sleep with the arm still smelling of Djedi under my nose and the Wild Poodles of Somerville on my legs. It was time to be up and about to meet the rest of our group and enjoy our day together. After showering off the remains of the evening before, I chose By Kilian Back to Black as my fragrance for chest and neck, leaving my arms as completely unused real estate for testing. I hit Starbucks for my caffeine and got to The Taj to await the arrivals. Ubuandibeme/June arrived via cab at the same time as me and chayaruchama/Ida was there soon after. Then the rest of the group slowly arrived; phthalo/Lesley, Knit At Nite/Mo, nvrland/Adam, Katerine/Katherine, Pomander/Lisa, chipper/Chris, ComDiva/Catherine, Brielle 87/Gabrielle, Quarry/Joy, jtcomboy/Jarvis. Once we were assembled we immediately split up again as June and Ida headed off to Cambridge and Colonial Drug. The rest of us invaded Chanel and had the lovely Fiona guide us through the Les Exclusifs and let us all sniff to our heart’s content. The only Les Exclusif that I don’t own that I want is Eau de Cologne and I was hoping to get someone interested in a split. Lisa was almost there but the longevity on her skin made her cautious and I thought it would be another day before I finished out my Les Exclusif collection. Then Fiona let us know that in September Chanel is coming out with half-sizes of four of the Les Exclusifs, Coromandel, Sycomore, Beige, and wait for it Eau de Cologne…For The Win!!! I have to wait a bit but I ordered it on the spot.
The one thing I knew I wanted to buy was at our next stop Hermes. Now that they were offering mix and match travel sets of the Hermessences I was hoping to get someone interested in splitting a set of four so I could get a travel spray of Vanille Galante. Thankfully with a group this big it wasn’t a problem and I think we sold a couple of travel sets which we split up. The new Eau Claire des Merveilles was there and it was interesting to see the reactions to it. It is definitely from the Merveilles bloodline but the opening is so different from the other three it can be jarring, I think, although I generally like it.
We then took a short walk over to Prudential/Copley where we would spend the rest of the day. We stopped for lunch in the food court there and while we were eating people went into Sephora to get alcohol wipes so they could reclaim skin real estate already covered by random Chanel and Hermes fragrances.
Ida and June caught up to us and we entered Saks together. First stop was the full Guerlain boutique where Christopher showed everyone the power of the Death Star of Guerlain. As a regular visitor I was able to restrain myself, mainly because I am waiting for the extrait version of Habit Rouge this fall. I walked down to the By Kilian counter with a few people and introduced them to Ellen who runs the counter and we started talking about these fragrances. The discovery set of all of the L’Ouvre Noire fragrances sold well as it was a great way to try all of the fragrances and with the 15% off it was a really good deal. I walked down to the Bond No. 9 counter with Katherine and Lesley and we talked about the line and I pointed out Chinatown, Silver Factory, High Line, New Haarlem, and Fire island as ones worth trying. Sharon was kind enough to give out samples to both of them so they could try them out in the future. It took me a while to round up the group and we headed towards our cocktail party at Neiman-Marcus.
We made a quick pit stop at Barney’s so some could sniff the Frederic Malle fragrances and we all got a chance to smell the new L’Artisan Le Coeur de Vetiver Sacre which they had a tester of. It wasn’t anything special and we were off to Neimans.
We were greeted at Neiman-Marcus by Ann Fanning who runs the fragrance counter there with enthusiasm and style. She and her staff really went the extra mile to create a special event for us there was champagne, a cheese platter with a honeycomb to drizzle honey on the cheese, shrimp and a veggie platter. A very efficient smiling waitress kept our glasses full at all times and then we got down to sniffing. Eddie from Chantecaille gave us a preview of the three new fragrances coming in September from Chantecaille; Vetyver, Petalia, and Kalimantan. All of them will be housed in beautiful etched glass bottles. Kalimantan is the one that rang my chimes and is the one I pre-ordered. Creed also had a tester of their new masculine Aventus. I had the good fortune to review it a month ago but for everyone else this was their first chance to sniff it. Acqua di Parma had a tester of Essenza in the snazzy all black bottle and it is definitely a more amplified version of Colonia. I’m still forming my opinion on it but I’m inclined to liking it. I also made my big splurge on a bottle of Brioni which I had been coveting on many trips and finally bit the bullet and bought it. For two hours we sniffed each other and swilled champagne and ate cheese and shrimp. It was a lovely event made special by all of the Basenoters surrounding me.
For those of you who have never spent time with Ida besides her voluminous knowledge of all things fragrance she is mad for dogs. I’ve learned never to get between her and a dog or else I will get her foot prints on my chest. While we were in Neiman’s a couple came in with a little beagle puppy and she made a beeline for him. The picture of her and the little puppy is her current avatar and while Ida has love to spare for all of us it is when she is hugging her four-legged friends that she just glows with maternal energy. I love seeing her like this.
The final stop of the day was Essence where you can make your own perfume from their library of essential oils. Most of the group bellied up to the bar and were unleashing their inner Jean-Claude Ellena or Edmond Roudnitska as they combined and mixed up their own potions. I chose to sit with Joy and reflect on things. Joy mentioned she wanted us to do this in New Orleans next year and as she has already mentioned she will take the lead on that. I just wanted to spend the last little bit of time with Joy because it was going to be an unlikely thing for us to be together before she got on the train on Sunday. The picture of me smelling June’s hand comes from Essence as June was trying to convince me that I could smell her combination. It took having her hand shoved in my face to convince me I could smell it. I think it was a (D)Jedi Mind Trick.
Saturday ended with Katherine, June and I strolling back down Newbury St. at twilight talking about perfume. They got into a cab and I caught the subway home. There was still one more event left.
(To Be Continued)
Once again I woke up with the Wild Poodles of Somerville on top of me and smelling a forearm smelling of Brioni. I sprayed on the fragrance Neil designed with me in mind, Patchouli Narcisse and I was off. Today would be much more low-key but still fun as we would visit with Neil Morris at his business partner David Garten’s beautiful South End townhouse. First it was off to pick up June from her hotel and then to find parking near David’s never an easy task in metro Boston.
We found our way there and Ida was behind the door to greet us with smiles and hugs and we walked upstairs to a table with testers of every Neil Morris fragrance in existence. It was like perfume El Dorado. Over the next 30 minutes others would arrive as most of the group from Saturday was here. For a few this was their first exposure to Neil’s fragrances and they were met with a smorgasbord of fragrant delight. For the jaded lovers of Neil’s fragrances he had promised six new things to smell and he delivered. The Rose Tattoo really resonated with me it has a rose in it but it also has an inky accord reminiscent of tattoo ink. The other one that hit me in all of the right places was Only You and this is what I want when I say I want a fresh and clean fragrance as it sang on my skin. Needless to say I bought both of these. The rest of the day was spending time with the people as I knew this was coming to an end and I didn’t want it to.
After we were done at Neil’s six of us went and got lunch at a little place nearby called Francesca’s Café. I can’t speak for everyone else but I didn’t want it to come to an end. It was Katherine from New York who mentioned a theory that I very much believe in. Every time I have fallen in with a Basenoter it feels like I’ve known the person much longer than I really have. The shared connection of a sensory obsession somehow seems to open up other parts to feeling connected. It is a lovely and amazing side effect of this avocation of ours and I cherish it.
Finally and sadly the fragrant tribe had to break up and we all separated for the last time for this weekend. I still had to get June back to Logan to catch her flight back. Before that I gave her the Somerville Metro Man cheap version of a driving tour of Boston. Alas we finally ended up at the airport and where this whole experience began. I hugged my fellow Perfumed Jedi Knight and sent her on her way back to her family. I will cherish this weekend and now pass the organizing reins off to Quarry so we can do this all over again in New Orleans in 2011. See you all there.
SMM/Mark ~ You deserve a standing ovation! Love your writing! Now I'm REALLY missing all of you guys...
Wonderful accounts and pix - thanks for letting us all in on the experience
Mark - must pester you for thoughts on the Brioni at some point. I've tried it in passing here a couple of times and really like it - very classic feel to me. Have you reviewed it anywhere?
If I might interject ~ BRIONI smells absolutely gorgeous...with a pricetag to match!
New orleans 2011 or bust!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"Like a lobster with a pearl in its claw, the beet held the jasmine firmly without crushing or obscuring it. Beet lifted jasmine, the way a bullnecked partner lifts a ballerina, and the pair came on stage on citron's fluty cue. As if jasmine were a collection of beautiful paintings, beet hung it in the galleries of the nose, insured it against fire or theft, threw a party to celebrate it. Citron mailed the invitations." Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins p. 189
What I am loving right now: Shalimar vintage extrait, Chanel Bois des Iles, Chanel no. 22, Le Labo Iris 39, Guerlain Iris Ganache
Now that I own a bottle and can fully wear it and assess it I will very likely review it somewhere.
Short review ala Turin/Sanchez: Sophisticated Elegance
NOLA is a wonderful place for spouses, too — an amazing amount of entertainment within a few blocks: history, architecture, food, the Audubon Aquarium, Harrah's Casino. If we can, DH and I will make more than just a weekend of it. Of course, we'll take the train to and fro. (For those ADHD hours onboard Amtrak, to which I can be prone, too, I watch DVDs on my daughter's laptop. I took it along to Boston and watched Stardust for the first time, Perfume again, and some season 5 episodes of Buffy, the Glory year .)
Regarding Jedi/Djedi … readers should understand that SMM and I had been fully engaged in conversation about TV sci-fi—specifically Joss Whedon series—prior to Ubu's entering the room and asking SMM whether he'd tried "Jedi." I witnessed a genuine gnashing of SMM's mental gears and a quick-change set of facial expressions prior to his locking in on the true nature of the question. The memory replay makes me grin again even now.
Fantastic account, SMM! I have tears in my eyes, both from laughter and in reaction to your sweet remarks about perfumista relationships. I would love to meet you all!
Oh, and could you tell me more about Neil's Only You fragrance? Sounds interesting...
FINALLY, got these images of our Boston Basenotes weekend from my silly camera. They are not the high quality of Quarry's, but I wanted to post them anyway!
Yay! Yay! Yay!
That was a great read, SMM! I think you must be a wonderful master of ceremonies. Great pics, Ubu! I loved reading and seeing you all. I have a huge yen to visit Colonial Drugs now.
Dear fellow Boston meet-up veterans,
I truly cannot fathom that it has been two full weeks since our marvelous, magical, energy- filled sojourn through the humid streets and hallowed boutiques and department stores of the city of my birth. I'm still savoring every moment so much that I haven't posted anything on this thread before now; just reflecting on the experience and reading your descriptions and photos of that day have provided countless smiles.
Except for- ahem- the snapshot sneaked in by Quarry inside essence on Newbury Street, wherein after almost 12 hours at it- yours truly no longer reflects the enthusiasm of the day, but is the personification of a flagging and exhausted woman in need of a foot massage, at the very least. Also, since viewing said photo a cadre of cousins have since informed me that they thought my departed grandma had been resurrected because in said photo, I am informed that I the spitting image of said departed grandma. Something about a withering gaze and multiple chins. Good to know, and thank you for your support, dear family.
Personal silliness aside, our Saturday was truly divine and a huge overdue recognition to SMM for putting it together, and Brielle and her darling husband for schlepping me and my cousin Pat the newbie back to Haverhill. As expected, her world was rocked. She recently informed me that she is thinking of joining BN with the screen name Sagapo (I love you in greek) which was included in chayaruchama's georgeous operatic offerings in the lobby of the Taj. May it be so.
Until next time..... May the Force Be With You
Last edited by knit at nite; 11th August 2010 at 03:57 AM.
Awwwwwww. Hugging you, Knit!
I really can not believe that two weeks have passed already, it seems like just the other day. There could be no better way to have brought good Karma into my new home than having my BN family join my own family, best friend and I that Friday evening. I do hope if anyone is in the area they will feel free to come visit and stay over.
Tonight I am wearing Neil Morris' Parfum d'Ida, created for our own darling Chayurama, and it brings back the joy that was that weekend. Not to mention the Guerlain Vega, wonderfully decanted for me by an angel, which will keep our romp in Saks fresh in my mind also.
Truly a huge hug and kiss to each and everyone who I shared such a wonderful weekend with and have a lifetime of glorious memories to experience over and over as I walk through my house.
I cannot open up my wardrobe of fragrance without feeling slightly melancholy remembering the fun we all had passing around my fragrances. Sharing them with everyone made each scent more treasured than before.
Looking forward with much excitement to next years get-together in NOLA, it should be an amazing time.
Quand on boit l'eau, il faut penser à sa source
Didn't mean to interrupt the love - enjoying the reflections from everyone
sound good thank you for this information
2010 autumn fashion www.wadima.com
Sweet!THE NEXT BASENOTES MEET UP
If no one cares to challenge me, I’ll volunteer to coordinate for New Orleans in 2011 — I’m thinking autumn, when the weather shouldn’t be too hot. NOLA has a Saks Fifth Avenue where we could check out the new fall releases, but it’s the perfumeries on Bourbon Street that warrant the pilgrimage.