On Monday and Tuesday of this week, members of the beauty and fragrance industry gathered to attend the second installation of the Elements Showcase, which took place at Skylight Studio in New York City. It describes itself as, “the first-ever curated event devoted to the art of fragrance design.” Essentially, it’s an opportunity for buyers and members of the press to connect with niche fragrance and skincare brands. Participants included MCMC Fragrances, Atelier Cologne, Odin, Caron, Six Scents, Ursa Major, Bond No 9, Histoires de Parfums and many more. For a fragrance enthusiast like myself, it was two exciting days.
I tip my hat to the event’s architects, Jeff Lawson, Ulrich Lang, and Frederick Bouchardy. They’ve done a good job of bringing together an interesting mix of companies, while keeping the show fresh in its design. As Harry Sheff of Cocktails and Cologne said in a recent post, it’s a different kind of fragrance show, and I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been to quite a few trade shows and they can be boring. The vibe at Elements is quite relaxed and for the most part, the brands are quite engaging. I loved the fact that they invited Dorie Greenspan to sell some of her delicious cookies. The juxtaposition was just brilliant. What follows below is a few of the standout moments from the show.
Atelier Cologne, makers of one of my summer favorites, Oolang Infini, is opening a store here in NYC on Elizabeth Street. That block, Elizabeth between Houston and Prince is becoming quite the destination. Le Labo and Aesop also have stores on that strip.
One brand that I deemed a “newbie standout” (I tweeted from the show) was Carner Barcelona. They are looking to get distribution here in the U.S. and if they do, your fragrance collection will better for it. One of my favorite scents from its collection included Cuirs. Let your chest hairs fly with this one. It’s confident, spicy and unmistakably masculine.
Caron, on the second day of the show, had a cocktail hour where mixed drinks, inspired by its fragrances, were available for consumption. I indulged and the first and only drink I tried was inspired by the soon to be launched L’Accord 119. It was by far the most peppery cocktail I’ve ever experienced. It was so good that it piqued my curiosity in the fragrance itself, which is a bit spicy for Caron. I’m looking forward to its launch.
I knew the brand Ursa Major and always heard great things about its shaving cream. I’m an electric shaving man so I never really had use for it. But upon hearing it was launching a skincare line, I patiently awaited its arrival. I’m happy to report, the good press will continue. One key nugget I didn’t know, its founder, also founded Sharps. A key “duh” moment occurred when they were taking me through the application of its new Face Toner. It’s considering selling cotton rounds on its site. It’s the best way to apply toner but I never buy them. I use the ones my wife owns when I’m using Ten Skin but I never think of buying them. Why, because they’re in the women’s section. Brilliant move Ursa Major.
Rising stars D.S. & Durga and Joya have collaborated for a limited edition scent called Staghorn Sumac and it is great. From the juice to the packaging, it is a true collaborative effort. Created in batches of 100, each bottle is numbered and Joya founder Frederick Bouchardy says it, “reminds him of his French grandfather, who favored simple pharmacie colognes.
What isn’t there to like about Amouage. Add two more to the like list. Honor, its newest release and Memoir Man, just released were two standouts I sampled. An even more exclusive assortment of scents includes its Library Collection.
Overall, I very much enjoyed the show and it really excited me about new products coming this fall. It will be crowded with launches but I’ll make my selections and feature them here at Fragrant Moments.
The next Elements Showcase is slated for January 2012 and I am looking forward to seeing how it evolves.