FRAGments #1: Indie Fragrance Event in So. CA for Spring/Summer 2013 Podcasts with 2 Designers!
FRAGments is/was an an indie, artisanal and underground event that pulled together spectacular brands from the West Coast and beyond! This event happened on 6/22 in the Highland Park in the San Fernando Valley in a cool little gallery of more than just wall art- but 3 D art displays as well. As one of the hottest days that spring, it was an intoxicating event.
FYI, I know this is late. I have been trying to get to the point as I was working on all the different scents podcasts that I needed to put together text about the brands and I was busy working on reviewing the scents they presented at this incredible event. Talk about an amazing day– this was it!
This event — along with other upcoming events- features a moderated salon discussion followed by a reception and exhibition where perfumer/creators will be able to present their work in a collective popup shop designed and styled by FRAGments founder Maggie Mahoubian! .
The name for the series is derived from FRAGRANCE MOVEMENT and picks up on the slang word for perfume, “FRAG”. While the event represents a collective, implicit is the recognition that independent, artisan perfumers are fragments of a whole that move in different directions. FRAGments seeks to celebrate these differences.
“Artisan perfumery is a growing movement where individuals are exploring unique olfactory directions through a variety of fragrant media and palettes” says Maggie Mahboubian, founder and curator of FRAGments.
“However, very few venues exist for these perfumers to present their handcrafted work. FRAGments will fill that gap”. She adds, “it will provide a small scale, intimate forum for artisan perfumers to interact directly with their audience”.
Another unique aspect of this event is that it will define a community and spotlight the art of fragrance design through interpretive and experimental work.
The first FRAGments event was at MorYork Gallery in Highland Park outside of Los Angeles, the studio
of eclectic sculptor, Clare Graham whose work visually embodies the spirit of this diverse group of perfumers, who create unique, multifaceted and experimental olfactory art.
For more information about Clare Graham and this extraordinary venue please visit:www.claregraham.com.
The line was long when the door finally opened! As opening time approached, people exited coffee houses and restaurants to line up at the front door. While I had been there early enough to be #3 in line at 11 AM, it was crazy insane to see this many people there so early in the day– and it was only June!
One of the highlights of the day was how the event kicked off: a salon-style discussion session moderated by Saskia Wilson-Brown. Ms. Wilson-Brown is the director of the newly formed Institute for Art and Olfaction in Los Angeles. The IAO supports the work of olfactory artists through grants, research opportunities, lectures, workshops and a materials library.
For more information, please visit www.artandolfaction.com.
Summer Solstice Saturday, June 22, 2013
11am-12pm, Moderated Discussion Session with perfumers (photos of the salon group discussion are below)
The following artists presented their work at the 1st FRAGments event on June 22:
JK DeLapp, The Rising Phoenix Perfumery (www.TheRisingPhoenixGroup.com)
David Falsberg, Phoenicia Perfumes (www.phoeniciaperfumes.com)
Amanda Feeley, Esscentual Alchemy (www.esscentualalchemy.mysupadupa.com)
Lisa Fong, Artemisia Natural Perfume (www.artemisiaperfume.com)
Heather Kauffman, Jolie Laide Perfume (www.etsy.com/shop/JolieLaidePerfume)
Maggie Mahboubian, Parfums Lalun (www.parfumslalun.com)
Christi Meshell, House of Matriarch (www.matriarch.biz)
Mik, MIKMOI San Francisco (www.mikmoi.com)
Ayala Moriel, Ayala Moriel Parfums (www.ayalamoriel.com)
Sherri Sebastian, Sebastian Signs (www.sebastiansigns.com)
Nikki Sherritt, Rebel and Mercury Parfums (www.rebelandmercuryperfumes.com)
Meredith Smith, Sweet Anthem Perfumes (www.sweetanthemperfumes.com)
Dawn Spencer-Hurwitz, DSH Perfumes (www.dshperfumes.com)
Laurie Stern, Velvet and Sweet Pea’s Purrfumery (www.purrfumery.com)
Roxana Villa, Roxana Illunimated Perfume (www.illuminatedperfume.com)
Shelley Waddington, En Voyage Perfume (www.envoyageperfumes.com)
Event Highlights and Notables:
*Persephenie will present an experimental olfaction project.
*En Voyage Perfume will be launching their new fragrance at the 1st FRAGments event.
*House of Matriarch will spotlight their Blackbird fragrance which was just named a Top
10 fragrance for 2013 by Men’s Journal magazine, the only Indie fragrance that made their Top 10 list.
*Esscentual Alchemy will present “Moon Valley” – Featured in Vogue UK May ’13 issue
in their Natural Beauty Selections.
*Mario Gomez, Olfactory Ambassador will represent perfumers who are not able to attend event ( there were 3 fragrance creators who could not attend)
Yosh Han, Eau de Yosh (www.eaudeyosh.com)
What was I doing there? I was going to interview everyone there on podcast and edit them together in pairs. The interesting part was that if you realize that it’s less than 20 brands– but I was not able to get all of them on an audio recording! It was incredibly interesting and we kept almost everyone to about 10 or 12 minutes. I also interviewed Maggie Mahoubian and Saskia Wilson-Brown. I also met the most incredible man there, John Sterling who sources out the most exquisite and incredible essential oils for various fragrance designers. While I caught up to him during the event, he did stop to talk to me and but I was unable to record him. He had some questions and comments and I was fascinated.
In a building holding the fragrances of all these brands– who wouldn’t be fascinated and also immersed in the world of fragrance. The interesting part of the day was that it became incredibly warm and the scents became richer, more potent and vibrant with each passing hour. It got to a point that at the back of the gallery, I was woozy, practically drunk from the heady richness of the various scents.
While I know this was a long time to wait for this series, it gave me the time to stop, test and try various scents and get a bead on each fragrance line. AWESOME event. I know there will be another one for the Winter Solstice!
I have structured this as my route around the room. Each podcast will feature just 2 lines or people– and thus you aren’t feeling overwhelmed in listening to everyone, nor are you reading a ton of text. Also I missed about 3 lines while there (and I was there pretty much to the end!!), so those lines did either phone interviews with me or a written email interview. Those 3 lines will come last with their posts featuring their lines individually.
Parfums Lalun (Etsy page link)
Carnal florals, creamy woods, fragrant fruits and fresh incense. Inspired by Alain Robbes-Grillet’s eponymous novel, La Jalousie
La Lune de Miel (“honeymoon” in French and a play on the name “Lalun”) is a perfume that evokes the mystical passion of the honeymoon as a union of sol and luna, gold and silver
With a nod to George Bataille’s “Language of Flowers”, tragic white florals just past their prime crown a creamy gardenia enfleurage.
Decadent and divine, the Persian rose beloved by Qajar artists and Sufi poets alike; the petals symbolize the curtains of knowledge that lead to the heart as well as to carnal intimacy.
Seven plants sublimated
for three moons,
fixed with green amber
and cloaked in felt.
A classic “eau de cologne” type fragrance that opens with a fresh citrus burst. Callitris graces us with her camphoraceous, minty top notes that give way to soft, herbal, woody shades.
Maggie’s interview is taken out of order because we talked about the FRAGMENTS event and how it came to be. Since Sherri Sebastian was #1 interview, I decided to have Maggie talk about the event and its origins and feature Sherri Sebastian next!
Podcast with Maggie Mahoubian of Parfums Lalun and Sherri Sebastian/Sebastian Signs
Sebastian Signs, a line created by Sherri Sebastian happened to get some visibility and buzz going on right before FRAGments! WWD covered the line because of the unique technology of the fragrance presentation. Now that we have Sherri on podcast, you can hear her talk to me about this new technology and how she created these unique and totally cool scent in a more solid form! PURUSA is new presentation- and it’s found HERE on the Sebastian Signs website.
The PURUSA is a new gel based fragrance collection. Not a solid or concreta of any sort, this presentation is extremely innovative and something I found quite attractive.
It’s expanded a great deal since I spoke to Sherri Sebastian last: there are products in perfume gel and pillow spray in this Natural Collection. It’s really unique. She also has essential oil collections as well as a Numbers Collection.
The fragrances gels are what I have samples of and they include:
Seed Natural Perfume Gel,
Purusa® Seed is infused with sexy notes contained in essential oils derived from cardamom, coriander, and cumin seeds.
Purusa® Leaf was inspired by traditional French eau de colognes made with the oils of petigrain, violet, and bucchu, all distilled from the leaves of plants.
Purusa® Root is evocative of a classic European scent with essential oils derived from the roots of Eco Certified Organic Vetivert from Madagascar and hints of ginger.
Infused with precious oils from the petals of davana, jasmin, and osmanthus flowers, Purusa® Petalum is a classic in the making.
Find Sherri Sebastian’s Natural Perfume Gels and more fragrances on her website: www.SebastianSigns.com Not only does she sell direct to consumers but there is a list of retail store outlets!
Thank you to Maggie Mohoubian for all the great information and the invitation. Thanks to Sherri Sebastian for the time she provided me!
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