I Hate Perfume: A short film about Christopher Brosius (with a sneak peek at new fragrance Invisible Monster)

I first met Christopher Brosius sometime in the mid-1990s, when he was promoting his small perfume brand Demeter on the main floor of Henri Bendel. It was the first time I had ever met a perfumer, and I was fascinated by his approach: he was offering a signature scent called Demeter that smelled unlike any other fragrance I’d ever smelled, as well as single-note scents of Lavender, Geranium, and so on. The fragrances were natural-smelling, back-to-the-basics, and utterly wearable.

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Just Because: Manhattan Special Espresso Coffee Soda

Manhattan Special is one of my favorite summertime drinks. It’s been brewed in New York City since 1895 and it contains real coffee, sugar, and carbonated water—no high-fructose corn syrup or artificial flavor. Most importantly, it’s delicious. And that label image is pure 1920s urban romance. You can read more about Manhattan Special, the drink and the company, here.

Image: photograph by Tinsel Creation.

Product Review: Sunday Riley JUNO Transformative Lipid Serum

Can I resist a product named for the queen of the gods? I can not. Well, I don’t know for certain whether Sunday Riley had ancient Roman mythology on her mind when she created Juno, but that’s what the name means to me, in any case.

To start at the beginning: when Juno made its appearance as the signature product in Sunday Riley’s skincare line, I did manage to ignore it for a little while. It was very expensive, after all, and I didn’t really have a clear idea of the company yet, and I was still leery of using oil-based products on my face.

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The Art of Perfume Ads: Estée Lauder Pleasures

If you’ve opened a fashion magazine over the past fifteen years or so, you’ve probably seen an advertisement for Estée Lauder Pleasures. The “face” of pleasures has changed from time to time: actress Gwyneth Paltrow and model Carolyn Murphy, as well as numerous adorable puppies, have appeared in Pleasures ads since the fragrance was launched in 1995.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Elizabeth Hurley was the embodiment of this best-selling sheer floral. For an ad published in 1999, Hurley posed on a swing in a forest or garden blooming with pink and white flowers (appropriately chosen to suggest the fragrance’s composition of peonies, lilies, roses, and green notes).

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Product Review: LUSH Emotional Brilliance Eyes Right Mascara

Over the past week or two, I’ve been trying several products from LUSH’s new “Emotional Brilliance” cosmetics line. (You can read my previous posts about Emotional Brilliance here and here.) One item I’ve been enjoying is Eyes Right Mascara, a simple but innovative mascara that contains natural ingredients and a minimum of preservatives.

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Photo Album: “Coming to My Senses” with Alyssa Harad at BookCourt, July 19th

Last Thursday night, Alyssa Harad visited BookCourt in Brooklyn to read from her new book Coming to My Senses: A Story of Perfume, Pleasure and an Unlikely Bride. Her reading was followed by discussion and drinks in a happy gathering of friends, readers, and perfume-lovers. Here are a few photos from the event.

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