New York, The Clairmonde Perfume Project – and a Draw from MiN (and the Posse)

 

 SO Much Stuff To Talk About, I’m Going to Number Them All, Okay?  That way nobody misses anything (or if they do It’s NOT MY FAULT!)

1. Before I Reminisce,  Here’s a Fabulous Opportunity for those in (or coming into) New York this weekend:

MiN New York is offering TWO tickets to their amazing Clairmonde  Perfume Project .   This is for the SATURDAY EVENT 27 October (This coming Saturday) from 7:30p-9:30p.  Click on the link for Details.

Yet another reason to be jealous of New Yorkers.  I get to go to the Dollar Store.

To enter, drop a comment below – put the word Clairmonde in there so I know which giveaway (there are two in this post).  Also, let me know if you want one or both tickets.  The first random.org name that gets pulled determines how this will go.  If it’s a singleton, then the next name pulled that is a singleton wins the other ticket.  If it’s a two-fer, then that winner wins both.  Fair enough, right?  Hope so!  Given the quick turnaround, I will do random.org at 11p CST Wednesday 24 October.  Announced here and on the Perfume Posse and MiN New York Facebook pages.

 

2. New York, How I’ve Missed You!

For years, New York was my hangout place.  I’d go for a long weekend, visit my babies at the Met, the Frick,  I remember the delight when  Takashimaya floral  expanded to become...Takashimaya, with the gorgeous atrium and  tea and insanely fabulous tchotchkes!  soooo cooool , T where I had one of the best hot chocolates ever (with the pastilles), on a freezing January day…. Pearl Paint, Canal Street knockoffs……Zabar’s……Bergdorf Goodman.  The original Henri Bendel…. Maud Frizon for shoes (and lord, did I buy that gal’s shoes!!!) Martha , where I bought my first Jimmy Gamba suit (yet another reason to not gain weight.  That was a KILLAH! suit.  And peplums are BACK!  Of course, I couldn’t get my ankle in that skirt now!

 

What has this got to do with Perfume?  Nothing.  I was just rambling my old self down memory lane….

but a lot of old memories came flooding back, as I hobbled through New York last weekend.  And a lot of new memories were made.   Martha and Maud are now gone and Bendel is …well, it’s.uh..it’s …different.  Bergdorf has reinvented itself – it’s not the original Bergdorf (it’s lovely – but with a distinct N-M vibe now) – but at least they’re back from the Dark Days when the once-vaunted beauty department looked like a cross between TJ Maxx and Chenonceaux after a glancing hit from an ICBM, with the signature dove-grey carpet stained (and with HOLES!  At BERGDORF!) and ripped-open packing boxes just tossed in the aisles, like zombies were coming up 5th Avenue or something.

 

 

But enough of those old memories.  Let’s get to some new ones.  Patty already recapped Sniffa in general, with the mints and all.  Y’all know that March and I won the Bergdorf Box!  That was a hoot!   Lots of fun stuff in there, including an Histoires that I hadn’t sniffed (1969)  and a beautiful bottle of By Killian Beyond Love  and a MFK! And Atelier….(hang on)…Grand Neroli (which is pretty!)  And a bottle of Amouage Lyric Woman!  Squeee!!!!.  My BESTIE, Missy March?  She hates rose.  I love that Missy March hates rose.  Because I love Lyric.  There were lots of other cool things, too many to mention here.

Patty, March and I did Gangnam Style on the subway.  A couple of times.  We are ridiculous.  And apparently way behind the curve.   But we’re honeybadgers, remember?  We. Don’t. Care.  And it’s New York so nobody even glanced up.

Btw, if you’re doing ‘subway’ anywhere in the world you want Patty as your wing-gal.   Not only does she have an app for everything, she knows how to use them!

 

New York. U.S. Capital of  Fabulous.   I met some fabbo peoople and hung out at some incredible salons.  CB I Hate Perfume, which I blathered on about last Wednesday. Christopher Brosius?  Happy in his own gorgeous skin and not working too hard at cool, which makes him….cool.    A fabulous little  gallery full of …NOT PERFUME!   Just really cool olfactory experiences.  Visiting New York?  Get Thee to Brooklyn.  Love it!  It always has a bit of a gritty edge – you don’t want to act the fool in Brooklyn lest, as my dad says, somebody pop you upside the head.  You can show up in Brooklyn wearing sweats and feel okay – not that I would…..no, really.  I wouldn’t.

And I sure wouldn’t wear sweats to MiN New York.  In fashionable Soho, down the street from the Lana Sutra Yarn People. (caution:  this is totally NSFW, even though they are Yarn People)  MiN’s the love-child of the incredibly fashionable and beautiful Mindy Yang and her fabulous partner (and owner of MiN), Chad Murawczyk.  I walked in, saw Mindy in the candlelight and pretty much wanted to go back home and Just Start Over.  Mindy is gorgeous.  And very stylish.  And absolutely delightful…….(me, watching Mindy walk in a pair of skyscraper pumps that made my knees buckle just looking at them:  “omg!  how…do you walk in those?”  She could’ve just given me A Look.  Instead, she twinkled and said “I practiced for 5 days.  And I still can’t feel my toes”.  Gotta love a gal who ‘fesses up.  And looks great doing it). Let’s just stop for a second and imagine Musette in these pumps.  ERs all over the world stand at Red Alert!

And …Chad is super-cute (in a ‘guy’ way) and totally charming.  His dad’s an engineer and designed a ‘decant-helper’ that is one of those ‘d’oh!  why didn’t I think of that!!’ things….    And Chad & Mindy make a totally gorgeous and charming couple.  And their shop is one of the most comfortable perfume ‘places’ I’ve been in – ever.    With so much beauty and style and high-end product and chic-ness you’d think it would be really haughty.  But it’s the exact opposite.   From the moment we walked in, we just felt at home.  It’s like a combo living room/atelier, with a big leather sofa, comfy chairs and candlelight and … would you like a glass of wine?  Oh, btw…try one of Mandy Aftel’s essences” (her chocolate essence in a glass of red wine is the stuff of fantasy, never overwhelming the wine…instead, it ..I love the pairing of chocolate and wine – in theory.  In reality one always tends to overwhelm the other.  A drop of Mandy’s essence allows for a chiaroscuro of tastes, amping the wine without trampling it).  Yeah, I’ve got a Big Ol’ Crush on MiN New York.  It’s like Ali Baba’s Cave, with little boxes of fabulousness tucked here and there…and some of the coolest, cutting-edge apothecary ‘stuff’ – I’m TreatmentQueen so the idea of Fab New Skin Stuff and   Cool New Hair Stuff just makes my heart go pitty pat.

And I got to play with the Amouage Body Creams, which always  makes my heart go even pittier-pattier!    Hey, Amber Lovers!!    Did you know Cote Bastide does an Ambre Body Cream?   That just sounds…decadent, doesn’t it? like the legendary Amber Room of Peter the Great.       Candles and Incense, oh my!                                                                                                 A Certain Someone Who Is Not Me, dammit! picked up this little beauty

 

(I’m going over to her house.  In the dead of night.  With a lockpick)

 

We got there a bit later than planned, which is just as well.  Otherwise I’d have been thrown in debtor’s prison.  It’s a seriously seductive place, with beautiful, charming people.  And I was of a mind that if I just stayed there a leeeeetle longer I, too, could wear skyscraper heels, have perfect skin and hair and drop 3 dress sizes  – the ‘charming’ part is a crapshoot.  They don’t call me Cranky Old Bat for nothing.

Alas, even charming and beautiful people want to go home.  So they kindly let us throw ourselves out.  But, as Ahhh-nuld says “I’ll be back”.

 3. Next up: Another Soho Stop.  Or:  How Musette Drop-Kicked the  Head Across the Marble Floor!   Stay tuned!

 4. But before you run off, I promised you some Giveaway Loot!  Drop me a line, telling me what you most love about NY (real or imagined).  Carmine will hit the random.org button and the winner will receive some of the sample swag we got in New York!  (Clairmonde  Perfume Project enterers can enter this as well – but it has to be a separate comment)

 

 

 

66 Comments

  1. what i love about NY? The people. So may and so varied. Its impossible to feel anything but glad to be surrounded. At least that’s my feeling.

    Do enter me int he sample giveaway.

    • It is wonderful, isn’t it? Though it can get to be a bit much at times. I was on Mad. Ave as the Hispanic American Parade was staging. It was so much fun to see so many costumes and bells and whistles (literally)….and the energy!

      But then it got to be a whole lotta lotta!

      So I walked on!

      xoxoA

  2. What I love most about NY? Gosh. Probably all the restaurants. And just the energy of the place, the never-sleepingness, and the feeling that you’re with the smartest and best and brightest.

    • It is one of the most energetic places on earth, imo. Everybody, from the financier to the busboy, seems to always be hustling!

      xo

  3. I’ll get to New York City one of these days. That means that I would probably have to quite buying decants and bottles for a year or two. The logical part of my brain says that I would have to learn to enjoy what I have and maybe use up some perfume. But there are so many perfumes that I want to try. But perfume shopping in NYC would be pretty cool.

    • Perfume shopping in New York is excellent! So is handbag shopping, shoe shopping, Mallomar shopping….

      yummm….Mallllomarrrrrrrrrrs……

      xo

  4. You know? I almost went last week. Saturday was sold out, but there was still space for Sunday… I figured I would hop on a plane if I could and just wander around Manhattan Saturday, pretending I was at the event, and then join up legitimately Sunday. In the end, yeah, I chickened out and didn’t go, but it sounds like you all had fun, so maybe I will try next year.

    Last time I was in New York I was with my cheapskate Japanese friend, who would only do things that didn’t cost anything. We rode the State Island ferry at least three times!

    My favorite memory of New York is from the ’80s, I was there for a wedding, which was held in an old factory in SoHo. It had huge windows, and perfectly framed behind the wedding ceremony was the Empire State Building. It was a very beautiful wedding.

    My niece was studying at Juilliard for two years until recently. I kept threatening to come visit but I never made it and now she is back in Chicago.

    • Oh, I wish you had! It would’ve been so much fun – considering our schedules it’s more likely I’d see you in NY than Chicago! LOL!

      Yikes! the SIF THREE TIMES? I mean, I like it as much as the next person (It’s a great way to see NY from afar) but..THREE TIMES?

      xoA

      • Well, I’m of Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, at least until the end of the year…if that ever works into your schedule!

  5. I love New York because it’s the city that (like me) “never sleeps”. (Of course, I highly doubt the city “never sleeps” due to galloping menopause.) The city has a great energy, diversity and surprises….you never quite know what you’re going to encounter. And great food!

    • TaffyJ, I’m having the reverse with menopause – I can’t seem to wake UP!

      NY always has something going on, no matter the hour, doesn’t i?

      xoA

  6. Never been, but I imagine it’s like those great dreams I have where I’m surrounded by food of every possible type…….

  7. This summer I finally managed to make a long vacation in the US – our first stop was New York.
    I loved everything I saw and hated every closed space because of NY’s crazy air conditioning. I was ready to spend way too much money into the three Bs but I just couldn’t bear the F***ing temperatures. Well. End of rant.
    Anywaaaaay: the NY highlight was a trip on the ferry to Staten Island – looking at Manhattan floating over the water, gilded in the sunset, the liberty statue so straight and right, it was almost like looking at a mirage. It was magical and we felt happy and in love with the city and the country.

    • AC in the USofA is ridiculous. We have 90 outside and 50 inside! Ditto heat.

      Glad you loved us! Come back and visit!

      xo

  8. I love NY- imagined for now- and I WILL visit in the future.
    the love affair started years ago while reading Helen Hanff’s book
    thanks for sharring

  9. I’ve been to NY three times and can’t say I enjoyed it. The first time I had bronchitis which means I should have never even gone the way I felt. The second time I was hobbling around with a broken toe, not an easy thing in the city. And the third time the “friends” I went with turned out to be total jerks. I’ve never gone perfume shopping there and would love to someday. I just need to go with the right people and when I am feeling well.

    • Oh, Poodle. You can’t blame that on New York! LOL! And so OW on the broken toe. That must’ve made subway trips hellish!

      I think NY is best visited either with fun friends like March and Patty…or by yourself. I used to spend most of my time in NY working so my downtime was MY time.

      xo

  10. I love New York because my youngest daughter loves it. I took her there for her 12th birthday and she has been in love ever since. So New York for me..is the memory of our day trip together…Magnolia cupcakes…the ferris wheel in ToyRUs…the excitement she felt every time she thought she spotted a celebrity. 🙂

  11. As far as I’m concerned, the Vosges Haut-chocolat Boutique in Soho makes NYC All That! 😉
    (Visited the Las Vegas outpost this summer, but didn’t love it as much…)

  12. I had the good fortune of visiting New York twice and enjoyed the city very much. I thought the best thing was… umm…. the Frick Collection. The Whitney. Theatres and musicals galore. Central Park. The Staten Island Ferry (as good as any theatre performance!). Crab cakes (even if we had them here, they’d cost a fortune. Crabs range up there along with caviar). Barbecued ribs. Bryant Park. And most of all the energy and the creativity of the place. I’m definitely going to visit NYC again!

  13. MinNY is fabulous!!! I consider myself one of the luckiest women on the planet because I work about 2 blocks away. Mindy and Chad are two of the most accessible, wonderful, helpful people I’ve ever met. Haven’t shown up in sweats but I’m always the one in raggedy jeans at their wonderful events. (Hey…I spend my money on perfume not clothes these days. Gotta make some choices in life.) They have helped me pick out perfumes that truly match my personality and smell divine with my skin chemistry.

  14. What I love most about NYC is the Broadway theater world and the great museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Those are the things that call me back. I’ve visited many times and seen all the tourist sites, so it’s things like shopping, restaurants, shows, and art that make me want to visit again.

  15. Oh, you lucky ladies! I know you were over the moon when you opened that goodie box and saw the Lyric (I’m not a rose lover either but that’s one of the few I like), so hooray! Which MFK did you get, 754, the Bergdorf exclusive?
    I love New York’s energy, excitement, amazing restaurants and the ability to find just about anything you’d ever want, especially fragrance-wise. Alas, the last time I set foot in the Big Apple, I was not the perfumista I am now, so it pains me a bit to think of all those wasted opportunities. But truth be told, I guess I’m getting to be a bit of an old fogey, because the thought of massive crowds and taxicab craziness makes me a wee bit uncomfortable now. I guess I’m better suited these days for soaking up San Francisco’s more relaxed vibe or wandering up and down Michigan Avenue in Chi-town. But I wouldn’t turn down a free trip to NYC …

  16. I spent a lot of quality time in Charivari on Columbus Ave. back in my “Old New York” and still mourn the demise of H&H and Shakespeare and Co. but I will survive . . .

    I did get a chance to pop over to MiN NY last summer for one of their Meet the Blogger events and had a blast. Your descriptions were spot on! For those of us who no longer live there it’s nice to be able to live vicariously through wonderful posts like this.

    I LOVE Gangnam Style.

  17. I’m a country mouse, so approaching the city and taking in the skyline never fails to floor me. It’s awe inspiring. I love it, and I need to go again soon!

  18. Sounds like a fabulous time was had by all!

    I love New York-the food, the Met, the people, the bookstores. I love the feeling that you can absolutely do your own thing and yet you are part of this vast organism of energy. Nowhere else I have been has that same vibe- London is great, as is Paris and Amsterdam and Dublin and Rome but none have that same mythic energy.
    Must go next time I am Stateside!

  19. I love reading this! And Lyric Woman? Ooooh, how nice. That’s the only Amouage I have a decant of, such gorgeous stuff. Thanks for your description of MiN NY,wow. And I had a pair of Maud Frizon pumps once upon a time, great memories of those shoes. As to the whole dropping 3 dress sizes and being able to function in Seriously High Fashion shoes – y’know, I had it once. I want a T-shirt that says that: Yeah, I had it once. 🙂

    • “Yeah, I had it once” — you and me both, lady! 😉 I never had any Maud Frizons but had a seriously sexy, sky-high pair of emerald-green suede Charles Jourdan pumps. I adored them but was only able to wear them a couple of times, so I gave them to a chic friend in the TV biz who could handle ’em way better than I could!

      • I can’t even go there without bursting into tears…:-(

        okay, maybe not ‘tears’…but I sure would like to drop those dress sizes.

        Maybe I need to lay off the Mallomars. Ya think? Betcha Mindy never ate a Mallomar in her entire life. Betcha.

        Okay. Maybe one.
        xo

        • Oh, honey, don’t feel bad — you’re doing way better than I am! I’d need to drop more than 3 dress sizes to be in serious fashion mode these days …

  20. I’ve lived most of my life within a short bus or train ride from NYC, and have seen it through bad times and good. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with it, but I’d say the love far outweighs the hate most of the time. What I love best is how, even after walking around this city for many, many years, I will still notice something I never saw before each time I go there.

    Thanks for entering me in the drawing!

  21. I’ve never been to New York – in fact, the farthest east I’ve ever been is Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (really not kidding about that, unfortunately). I’ve gone South and West, but not East just yet. NYC for me is Central Park, Broadway, MOMA, the Public Library, and now Sniffa and perfume shopping. After hearing about this last trip on several blogs, I admit I went online to check out flights from Calgary to NYC, and they were only $500……. Sooooo tempted.

  22. I, here on the opposite coast, guiltily confess that I have never yet been to NY, but my list of things I’d like to do there is long… including at least one trip on the Staten Island ferry. I keep reading great theater reviews and wishing I were close enough to go and see just a few things (although we do get to a lot of plays in Los Angeles, which isn’t the same, but it’s something). And constantly adding new perfume shops to the list too, now.

  23. I,too, have never been to NYC, and am frankly a bit intimidated by the thought, but what fascinates me about it is that it seems there seems to be sooooo much to see and do in a relatively small area. I was born in raised int eh rural South, where we had to drive 45 miles to grocery shop, and 3 hours for a mall, and have spent my adult life in SoCal, where things are spread out in a different way.

    New York just seems crammed full of awesome that is easily accessible!

  24. Hi Musette! Wow, it sounds like you all had a fabulous time! I have been to New York twice. I just love walking around! And looking at the buildings, the Met, the great coffee at this little cafe place, in this funky hotel where everything was dead and spray painted black–cant remember the name. I’m going to have to win a lottery ticket, though, to get back there any time soon! Xxoo

  25. My favorite part of NY is the High Line. I love the breezy views of the river, the rolling chaise lounges, and the “forest” that you walk over and could look down into. I go there every time I visit NYC.

  26. Next time you all make the trek I want to play with you. NYC on one hand terrifies me – too much noise and rude tourists. (Did I really say that?) Subways and my gimpy self? a definite “I don’t think so, thanks.” My favorite part of NY (after selling DN4 into servitude to feed my craven wants) is upper floors. I think the architectural surveys I did in a prior life force me to look up. I’ve also developed a bad habit of reading building permits in SOHO and Lwr Mahattan as I go down the street. I’m a sucker for old architecture.

    Congrats on the Lyric Woman. I’m liking it, but still trying to wrap my head around it. Roses and me, you know. And yeah. I get you. Wardrobe can be an issue – the whole ‘up’ / ‘down’ thing.

  27. Central Park. The Met and MOMA. The theatres. The restaurants.

    What I love best about NY is that all of them are right here, in one place, for me to enjoy, savor and discover.

    Thank you for the sample giveaway!

  28. I’ve never been to New York, but it’s on my List. And one of the things I think I’d love most about it is the shopping – especially for perfume!

  29. Love the varieties of food, Central Park, and perfume sniffing at various places I don’t normally get to experience. Thanks for the draw.

  30. The best falafel I have ever eaten came from a teeny tiny shop called Jerusalem ( think it was somewhere near the 50’s block of w. 106th St). Ten years later I still have dreams about that falafel!! What I daydream about now is all the opportunities I would have to walk into actual perfume stores and touch and smell and see instead of ordering online. I love how walk-able NYC is, but I can walk everywhere in the small town where I live w/o having to wade through masses of people -it just completely overwhelms me. Thanks so much for the draw! The goodie basket sounds fabulous, so glad you won it!

    • I burst out laughing when I read this. I know exactly what you mean. There are certain ‘food moments’ that stay with you forever, don’t they? Patty, March and I shared a gyros that I can taste right now…sooo goood. Standing on the sidewalk in Brooklyn, at a halal storefront….oh…sooo good.

  31. I’ve only been to NY a few times, and they were all pre-perfume obsession, so I’ve never done any shopping there : (. The thing I love most about NYC is Central Park. Sounds silly, since it’s the greatest city, shopping, restaurants, museums, etc, to go and look at nature, but I love it. Plus a free zoo! Walked almost from top to bottom last time I was there. Of course, part of the magic is that you walk a few feet, and then you are back in the city.

    • Actually, that sounds lovely! Central Park is one of the most beautiful parks in the world, imo (especially since it’s been gussied back up)…and I love that you can look up, amidst all that green…and see the gorgeous buildings.

  32. I love my memories of going to NYC as a child with my parents, staying at the Plaza, and ordering room service, just like Eloise!

  33. What do I love about New York? The whole centre of the universe package – the people, the food, the subway, the park, the cab drivers that seem like they’re right out of a movie, the museums, the shopping, everything.

  34. Going to NYC to cheer on hubby in the Marathon at the end of October and am so excited I can hardly stand it. Currently reading my way thru a list of Top 10 Novels Set in NY.

    I love the smell of roasting candied nuts on a busy NY street on a crisp autumn evening.

    Can’t wait.

    Pls enter me in the draw!

  35. The ability to try on all of the fabulous scents available in NYC would have to top the list for me. Not to mention all the history, art, amazing people and fabulous food. Thanks for hosting the sample loot draw.

  36. Inspired this morning, I couldnt help myself trying to wake up my son gangnam style….he is 15…Not a good idea, even when I pleaded “but my perfume friends did it on the underground in NY”… It sounds like you guys had the best fun and I am so happy you won that spectactular gift basket, especially for all you give to us peeps! Enjoy

    Aaah, reading this post, I felt I was right there…in NYC
    I too have past memories of pearl paint, zabars, filenes basement, the staten island ferry, the met, the guggenheim, the museum of natural history and the childrens museum, definately the upper east side, dagostinos, fairways and the lincoln centre and loads more…my brothers wedding weekend in the fancy St Regis where when I wanted to take some desert home, they told me to just take it on the china plate…when I got home, it was limoges!

    Along with some of the older, the newer memories are the three Bs…yayayah perfume..the caron shop. The newly renovated columbus circle area, whole foods, and trader joes with all its yummmy foods(lots kosher) sephoras and blue mercury, bed bath beyond and la maree for great kosher steak in times square. The m & M store, hershies store and toys r us. Have not been downtown to Min, but hopefully I will be able to remedy that one day…

    And of course central park…over the years when the kids were little we would go annually to the carousal and meet Michael who worked there. We would take him stuff from HK like I love HK t -shirt, and he was always so happy to see them. Sadly he got ill and is no longer there, but a great memory.

    And mostly the reason for why we r able to go to Ny…my Beloved mama and pops who moved to NY when we move to HK a good 23 years ago! A big thanks to them :-)))

  37. I love the following: great Dominican Food, the freshness that a thunderstorm adds to the city, gourmet mac n cheese, the metropolitan museym of art, people watching, outdoor concerts and music everywhere. I grew up there and have such great affection for nyc.

  38. Takashimaya was so fantastic. I miss nyc something fierce! I used to live on the edge of No,it’s and Chinatown, so I miss that distinctive smell of trash, ugly fruit, fish, and all the other things that makes Chinatown so great.

  39. I love New York and I am lucky enough to work there. What I love best about New York is the neverendinf variety of things to do!

  40. I’ve never had the chance to visit NYC (and the way my life is going, I most likely never will 🙁 ), but I imagine the shopping must be fantabulous. In fact, that’s what I’m going to offer as my “Best Imagined Thing about NYC”. *le sigh*

    NP

  41. Grew up in a small town called Bayonne, NJ, and spent long periods of my teen years hangin out in “the city”. What’s not to like? I’ve walked mostly everywhere in Manhattan, and found all of it interesting. Livin in San Antonio, TX and currentlt unemployed has kept me from visiting there for too many years. Miss it at times. Want to go again. . . . G

  42. I’ve only been to visit a few times, but I love all the cultural opportunities – the theaters, the museums, etc. I could live in the theaters on broadway for months on end. But now that I’ve learned they exist, I would love to visit during some of the perfume events as well. There’s nothing like these near where I live!

  43. I love the central park unicorns. I usually feed the purple one because he smells better

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