Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Essence of Senses Experience, Harlem NY

After months of planning and rescheduling, I finally took the leap and curated my first urban sensory experience in collaboration with Kelli Saulny of Style and Taste. The event took place in Harlem at La Maison d'Art. The focus was Fall fragrances inspired by Cognac, Burbon, Whiskey, Rum, and Scotch. Kelli lead the spirits tastings, while I lead the fragrance conversations.  The goal was to create an interactive environment that exposes our unique audience to an elevated genre of perfumes and spirits, while simultaneously showing the similarities between taste and smell. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and I could not have expected a better reception.

Thank you to my brand partners, By Kilian Luxury Perfumes and Lucky Scent, for supporting my passion and providing me with wonderful perfumes to showcase to a new audience! The video is by Lites Out Entertainment and the music credit goes to Holly Hood Productions! The colorful artwork featured is titled, OPULANCE by Mexican-American artist, Javier Àvila.

For additional information on the fragrances featured, visit Lucky Scent or ByKilian.

Fragrances from @luckyscent
1. Curielle by Ramon Monegal
2. Maremma by Tiziana Terenzi
3. Frank No2 (Los Angeles)
4. Decennial

Fragrances from @byKilian
1. Straight to Heaven
2. Apple Brandy
3. Single Malt

Artwork: Location: La Maison d'Art, Harlem Artist/Artwork: Opulence at La maison d'Art by Javier Ávila

Thursday, September 24, 2015

MUSING in the Heights

 Location:170th st and Ft. Washington, #NYC (#theHeights)
My New Fall Fragrance: (Unisex) Tabacco Toscano, Eau De Cologne 100ml  
Brand: Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella (Italy) 
Notes: Tobacco, Vanilla, Malt, Amber, and Leather
#theMUSExperience #urbansenses #thinkdifferentsmelldifferent

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

MUSING in Brooklyn

Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn
I met my new client, Lisette, for some personal fragrance shopping at Twisted Lilly in Brooklyn.  It was a sunny 90 degrees in the city,  making it a perfect summer day to stroll the streets in search of a new perfume.  Lissete and I never met; however, we've shared many conversations over IG about perfume, beauty products, short hair cuts, and hair stylists we've used. We have a lot of similar interests and obsessions so I was certain we'd hit it off and the experience would be fun! She revealed to me that her favorite fragrance is, ByKilian's Good Girl Gone Bad, a gift from her husband, and that she was looking for something just as original…hat would stand out, should others, including her husband, get a whiff.
Twisted Lilly, Brooklyn
Lisette outside getting some fresh air

Lisette walked in with a great big smile. We embraced as if we knew each other. She wore a comfortable jersey dress, her hair was laid prefectly, and make-up minimal. Her look was effortless and  stylish.  She appeared ready and optimistic about her first MUSExperience. Her smile and energy really set the tone for how it would turn out. After a few moments of small talk, I introduced her to Tyler, who would assist us, should we need it, with Twisted Lilly's wide selection. We took a seat and chatted over cucumber water and cookies. I asked her to describe how her favorite fragrance makes her feel, how often she wears perfume, where on her body does she spray it, what was a reaction or memory she had after smelling a bad fragrance… and a hosts of other conversational question to learn more about her personality, style, and interests. I observed her demeanor and mannerisms as well…all of which gave me an idea of where to begin! Once I had what I need, we got started!

After two hours of exploring, Lisette selected Batucada EDT by L'Artisan and had this to say about her MUSExperience,

"I met this beautiful soul right here on IG and finally took the Muse Experience!!!. She was so patient with me. After a few spot on questions we were up and sampling fragrances in no time @twistedlily360 I found my 3 signatures and 2 hours later a happy customer. Talking to Kim was so easy, it felt like one of my close girlfriends I've known for years. We ended the Muse Experience at Sweet Chicks in Brooklyn over Waffles n Chicken along with their signature drink…Sweet Chicks (of course) & great conversation. @musexperiences thank you so much, I had a great time!!!"

The MUSExperience

The skin test /deliberation between 

The purchase

Friday, September 18, 2015

Insights from a MUSE

first logo
Over 3 years ago, I started this blog under the name ReminiSCENT. This was the original logo I used. At that time, I didn't know what direction I wanted to take, with regards to perfumery, all I knew was I wanted to express myself and my perspectives on fragrance and beauty. ReminiSCENT became my brand and a visual representation of what I sought to do. Over the years, the blog continued to be part of my story but at times it became a challenge, as I found it most difficult to write and describe something that is truly a personal experience and encounter. I struggled to find my voice. I didn't like reviewing fragrances. Talking about notes and stuff felt contrived. It alienated people who did not know the terminology. Heck, I didn't know it myself.  I discovered I wasn't into the chemical make-up of a fragrance, as much as I was into sharing how it made me feel and what original brands I encountered. Maybe, I didn't know how to translate my emotions into words or didn't give myself enough time to learn. I read other blogs and was impressed with the synergy of the language and the eloquence of fragrance descriptions but I wasn't inspired. Without knowing, I became more motivated by bringing awareness to niche and luxury perfumery than I did by writing about it. Sharing information and interacting with people instantly, excited me. Instagram became my primary way to share and engage versus blogging. I became an,  "insta-blogger" of sort. 
Second logo

Newest Logo
This November marks 2 years working as a fragrance specialist for ByKilian at his NYC boutique and over 3 years working for the brand. Between this opportunity and my experience with COTY, I've learned about the luxury retail selling and what consumers on either spectrum desire and yearn for. What I hear most consistently coming from the luxury side is, "I want to smell different. I don't want to smell like everyone else." They desire originality and are willing to pay for it. Whereas, the department store consumer asks for what they want by name. They wear the same fragrance or brand of fragrance all the time and they often want what's sells the best. The more recognizable the name, the more these consumers  are willing to buy blinded. Their price points are pre determined and gift sets with "free" shower gels often seals the deal.  Granted, these consumers are at different ends of the spectrum but in between them there is a middle group (which I belonged to early on in my journey) that just don't know but have the capacity to buy.

I've traveled to Paris, the south of France, Morocco, and Portugal on my quest to better understand the perfume culture.  Most recently, on my trip to Italy to attend Pitti Frgranze, an international fragrance trade-show,  I determined the "typical" American consumer doesn't know perfumery at a higher level nor do they have an appreciation for it, compared to Europeans.  Americans tend to purchase what they are most familiar with or mass produced, or found in department stores. They  purchase on trends and their perspectives are influenced by popularity and advertising. I feel, the "niche" fragrance market in the states is virtually non existent. Don't misunderstand me, there are Americans who are part of that community of folks who "know" but majority of folks just don't have a level of awareness, therefore leaving them out of this amazing scent culture.   For example, perfume is part of the Russian lifestyle. They are educated, engaged, and appreciate original perfumery. As is the case in Italy and Paris. Brands seek out the competitive Russian market  Similarly, consumers in Italy and Paris are equally attached. I must admit, while walking through the train terminals of Italy, having dinner at a neighborhood restaurant, or asking a random person to direct me to the Santa Maria Novella, there wasn't an absence of scent, anywhere. I always smelled and felt the presence of a fragrance near or around me. Perfume is as much apart of the Parisian fiber as fashion. Of course, this is only my perspective, but I honestly feel there is a lot of work to be done to engage more Americans into perfumery. 

I mention all this to convey, under Reminiscent I was learning. With MUSE, I am still learning but I am more knowledgable today, hence my rant! However, I am committed to sharing my unique sensory perspectives with multicultural consumers in ways that I hope will spark a level of curiosity and conversation that will (one day) rival the European consumer ;)  Until then, MUSE will focus on inspiring an olfactive lifestyle rooted in communication,  discovery, connection, and originality.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Modern Urban Sensory Experiences heads to Pitti Fragranze in Florence

For my birthday, I received a flight to Florence Italy to attend Pitti Fragranze, one of the premier  international fragrance trade-shows in the world. When given this surprise, I was in disbelief and excited. Anxiety set in and the notion of going, let alone, preparing and planning the trip became overwhelming. The internal debate, "Should I go now, or wait?" had me deliberating for a couple of days.  I reached out to one of my IG followers, Pefumemistress, who owns a fragrance boutique in Dublin, to pick her brain about the show and ask if she was attending. She told me, "the time to go is, NOW and waiting until spring shouldn't be an option." After a few nights of hard core thinking, I woke up one morning and committed to going. I booked the flight the same afternoon and started to look for a hotel, many of which were sold out already.  Its Sunday and I'm still looking for a hotel but everyday it gets closer to departing, I become more getty. Attending and representing Modern Urban Sensory Experiences (MUSE) internationally is pretty cool! Having the opportunity to explore perfumery, while simultaneously bringing a different presence and perspective to the trade-show, even better!  I look forward to sharing this experience with each of you on the blog and on Instagram.

About Pitti Fragranze

"From Friday 11 to Sunday 13 September 2015, the Stazione Leopolda will host  Pitti Fragranze. The international fair that brings the world’s finest artistic perfumery to Florence is a Pitti Immagine production. The outstanding observatory looking at the galaxy of scents, Fragranze presents the most exclusive essences, the finest artisan quality, wellness products, cosmetics and sophisticated accessories made by more than 230 of the world’s best names in the industry

Every year in September, the greatest names and the world’s most prestigious noses gather in Florence to discuss what’s happening on the olfactory scene and the myriad links between fragrance and contemporary lifestyles."

Additional information:

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Early Fall Fragrance Release: ODIN 12 Lacha

With September around the corner, there will be a hosts of new fragrances released in time for you to  switch it up for Fall/winter. Odin New York's latest addition, Odin 12 Lacha, sounds like it will make a nice seasonal fragrance for men or women. "A spicy blend of black pepper, rare Lacha saffron-(a spice known for its multiple threads and fibers filled with taste and aroma). Saffron is commonly cultivated in Spain, Iran, or Italy. Lacha Saffron, however, is from Kashmir and is extremely difficult to obtain due to vegetative/weather conditions and tough export restrictions from India. However, ODIN has managed to sprinkle a little bit of this unique saffron into there fragrances.

The Inspiration: Indian Culture.
For whom: Men and Women. 
The notes: "black pepper, Lacha saffron, nutmeg and carnation, flowers, sandalwood, leather, and patchouli.  
The Price: $165 100ml #theMUSExperience #yousmellgood #scentstyle #scentedinspiration #fragranceinspiration #standout 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Montreal Perfumer adds Soul to her Scents

#ScentDesign: #Perfumer Dana El Masri's, Jazmin Saraii's fragrance collection seeks inspiration from  musical genres and artists like, Sade, Otis Redding, Hip-Hop, Rhythm and Blues, and Rock. The song selections, mixed with her creativity and artistry caught my attention, as I was strolling IG.  I appreciate music and originality and will order a sample pack to explore further. I've  included a review of the collection from fellow blogger, Colognoisseur.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

4am Summer Rain…Memories and SCENT

I've been meaning to share a fascinating experience I had a couple of Mondays ago but didn't have time to write until today. Do you like the smell of rain? I do. This post is about an experience I had in the early hours as it poured raining outside my window. There is something calming, sensual, therapeutic, and tranquil about rain and its after scent. It's been two weeks and the details of that night are as clear as they were on August 4.

It was 4:14 am when the smell of rain awoke me from my sleep. The scent was intense, so much it entered my nose, flowed through my subconscious, and then somehow told the brain to open my eyes.  The rain was pretty heavy that night and the thunder loud. Yet, the smell of rain that awoke me. How can I be certain?  Well, normally, loud, violent, and unsuspecting sounds, like thunder, a gun shot (hey, I live in NYC), or the fall of a piece of art from a wall in the middle of the night, can startle someone causing fear or a tense reaction; however, that wasn't the case. My eyes opened rather calmly and naturally. I smelled rain before hearing it. I guess the night breeze had something to do with the movement of the scent across my nose and throughout my room.  It was a perfectly quiet summer night, complete with some humidity and a subtle breeze. For a few moments, I laid in bed listening to the natural down pour and welcoming the air against my partially covered body. The quietness of the room made it very easy for me to drift into my thoughts.  I turned over to grab my iPad mini as something told me to write down what was happening in that moment. I unlocked it and begin typing in darkness. This is what I jotted down: down pour, loud, roar, breeze, sleepy, thunder, loud, tired, alone, stillness, quiet, down, intermuntwnr (I have no idea what that last word is but I typed it maybe as I was falling back to sleep-who knows).

My reaction to the smell of rain was strange and instinctive. Strange because the encounter was new and instinctive because it was automatic.  I recall waking up twice that morning and both times the sound of rain wasn't the immediate trigger; instead, it was the smell and the roar of thunder. It's hard to describe the scent of rain but before I drifted back to sleep the first time, I wondered how'd  I describe what I was smelling, had someone asked me to.  I knocked back out before answering the question but thinking about it now, I'd say rain has a distinctive smell to it. It's  fresh, earthy, natural, wet, green, chemical-like, grassy (kind of like the smell of grass after it gets mowed), airy, light, welcoming, pleasant, and euphoric. Don't get me wrong, I've been on this earth for 34 years and I have smelled rain before. Yet, never before have my senses and emotions been so intertwined, heightened, or engaged over rain, out of all things! This is what scent does, it extracts and creates complexities that triggers a reaction, expression, or memory. The sense of smell is connected to a lot.  It brings about awareness and acts as a trigger of sort.  Before you see or hear, you smell first (at least, I believe so). That night I smelled the scent of rain; it awoke me from my sleep. From that, an authentic connection between me and rain fall was created and a new memory embedded. For me, the scent of rain is no longer  what comes after a down pour;  instead, it's a reminder of a summer night in August I laid sprawled across my bed filled with  emotion, inner peace, and late night thoughts.

Do you have any summer rain memories?

I am attaching a video by Carl Thomas called, Summer Rain. The song is not only good  R&B music but the lyrics are similar to what I write about in this post…It's such a sexy song that brings back such wonderful memories.

 " Storming Outside/rain she keeps me home Quiet conversations makes me warm/So Summer rain Whispers me to sleep and wakes me up again/Sometimes I swear I hear her call my name to wash away the pain/My summer rain…"

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Beyond the Bottle: Perfume as a a lifestyle enhancer

SENZA FINE for Women by Profumi di Firenze
Sometimes I determine my "scent of the day" by how I feel in that moment or how want to feel the duration of the day. Today, I was going to the Jersey shore to have dinner with my girlfriend to celebrate her birthday. I woke up this morning feeling rested, even spirited, and a little getty, if that makes sense. I originally decided to wear a one piece dress but voted against it after realizing I wasn't feeling the look. I went into the bathroom to apply my makeup. I attempted a cat eye and suprisingly it came out perfect, almost. I was feeling myself (in my Beyoncé voice). I wanted to feel and exude sexy. I went back to my room and started shifting through clothes. I wanted to show legs and skin, after all I just spent a small fortune treating it to a thermal body wrap and scrub!  I wanted high heels. I wanted oil skin. I wanted to feel tall...strange but that's the vibe I was going for! I pulled out a light weight grey/white symmetrical stripped skirt with a mean slit up the thigh! I paired it with a white tank. It was casual, sexy, and very summer! So sexy as I walked (or strut) all you see is my thigh. Yes, in the comfort of my apartment I was completely comfortable but walking outside I was like, "ok, these thighs may cause a slight problem." Before leaving I spritzed on, Senza Fine. It's an Italian perfume from the house of Profumi di Firenze. I got this a few months back from Twisted Lilly in Brooklyn. I've worn it a few times but was waiting for it to pair nicely with everything, from my mood to my style. What I mean by that is, perfume plays multiple roles in my life. It's not something I spend a lot of money on only for it to sit on my dresser and collect dust. For me, it's a mood stabilizer or energizer, it compliments my outfit, is part of my style, projects my personality, evokes my originality, serves as a gift to others, holds fond memories in tact or enables the creation of new ones, it allows me to explore myself or tap into a reserved part of who I am. A great fragrance will do wonders for you; it's much more than the scent it gives off.

Today everything was in unison and when it happens like this, I want to capture and share those feelings and emotions on the blog or IG. For me, this is essentially why I started ReminiSCENT and continuing with MUSE. I want to offer unique perspectives on scent ( in various ways) that changes the way people perceive, relate to, and discover perfumery, while simultaneously inspiring a lifestyle of scent. For example, if this particular post or anything I may share peaks someone's curiosity so much that they take the time to explore Twisted Lilly or Senza Fine EDP on their own time, I am happy and smiling HARD…like dimples and all.  At my core, all I want to do is expose others to luxury and original perfumery in a way that they can identify…get them excited as much as I am about it! I truly believe when a person can look beyond the bottle to see perfume as another form of individual expression, an extension of who they are or wish to be, it becomes a game changer, a style changer and a life changer. A great bottle of perfume (or two, three, or four) needs to be part of the urban lifestyle and I'm on a mission to make it happen.

Fragrance Notes:
Bergamot, Mandarin, Ylang-Ylang, Orchid, Water Lily, Musk

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Fragrance Chronicles: boyfriend vs. girlfriend

I snapped this picture of him after we shared a good laugh
This morning I hear multiple squirts of something coming from the bathroom. In my mind, I'm hoping it's not one of my fragrances that is being used in excess by my boyfriend, AGAIN. I yell, "what are you squirting?  He replied, "I'm making my own fragrance combination." I take a deep breath before asking, "what fragrance are you using?" He ignores me and I become instantly annoyed. I sit up in the bed and the agitation seeps in with every spritz I hear. He continues to ignore me…

 See, majority of my perfumes are unisex. He loves to smell good and I appreciate that but he doesn't appreciate my collection or what they represent to me. For him, as long as it smells good, he will wear it. For me, I don't want him bathing in my expensive scents without any regard! Instead of making quick decisions, I feel, he should put some thought into it but I learn men are not as insightful as women.  Karim has a heavy hand. He does not know how to apply fragrances with ease. He selects one and then sprays it 10 times on himself. When he finds "the one," he lives with it and drains the bottle. His latest obsession is MY, "Jazz Club" by Maison Martin Margiela, which almost gone! 

Back to the story. He comes out of the bathroom carrying a vial of fragrance in his hand. I'm giving him the screw face as he approaches the bed smiling and laughing. He sees my reaction but shows no regard. He leans in to spray the concoction on my arm and I instantly smell, ByKilian's Lemon Zest perfume and it sends me to into a rage. I don't recall giving it to him; instead, I passed it along for him to try out.  Now, he altered the scent by mixing it with multiple fragrances! The hand and head gestures start and somehow in between them I managed to  knock the vial out of his hand. It drops, glass shatters, and the liquid covers the wood floor. Now, I'm really upset. We argue (I'm upset that my perfume is now on the floor and he doesn't get it ) he yells, "see, what you did! I have to make a new one." He exits the room, while glass is everywhere, and proceeds to search for another empty vial to refill. I hear more squirts and I just shake my head realizing it's no use in exerting the energy arguing with this guy. 

He's happy so I let him indulge. Besides, he gets as much enjoyment and satisfaction from smelling good as I so he gets a pass this time ;)

Do you share mutual items with your partner? Do you ever fight over those items?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Turning passion into a thing of Beauty

I really appreciate coming across women who are living their passion to the fullest. I find it inspiring and motivating in so many ways. Next Monday, which happens to be my 34th birthday, I will be attending The Beauties and Brains Behind the Brands event in Brooklyn. Presented by Essence and In Her Shoes blog, it's a photography exhibition showcasing 25 "fly entrepreneurs" from NYC! Pretty dope, right?!

While browsing the In Her Shoes blog for additional information on the event, I came across a beauty by the name of Desiree Verdejo. She is an attorney, wife, beauty junkie, entrepreneur, and the new owner of Harlem's first luxury beauty boutique, Vivrant Beauty. I read her story and went to Instagram to look her up. I found out she was having a soft opening today and decided to go check it out. 
Desiree Verdejo 

My friend (Toure) and I strolled on over to 220 Saint Nicolas Ave to pay her a visit. Not only is Vivrant located in a brand new building, it's chic modern design, large windows, and easy to navigate layout is very appealing and welcoming. We met Desiree, her staff, and her husband, who happened to be behind the scenes putting the last minute touches on the merchandise but was kind enough to peak out to say hello.  She showed us around and we spent time chatting about the neighborhood, corporate America, entrepreneurship, beauty, fragrance, and what it takes to commit fully to your dreams. Desiree was so expressive, enthusiastic, engaging, and full of positive energy.  She had me  feeling encouraged and optimistic about my own potential. I'm excited to attend her grand opening in a few days and look forward to shopping at the boutique for my beauty needs, especially the Mario Badescu facial spray with rose water (a staple). More insights to come!

All smiles (pic from @adjah_l)

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Random Girl talk leads to a fragrant discovery

After work, I ran to Neiman Marcus to return a couple of items. I frequent the store pretty often, so much, the employees know me by name. Upon checkout, I was chatting with one of the store managers about my dreams and goals, which included opening a fragrance boutique one day, among other things! I told her about MUSE and how far I intend to take the concept!!! Ironically, she asked have I ever heard of "By...somebody. Hennessy?" I said, ByKilian?" She literally was floored. I said, "yes, I've worked 3 years for the brand as a freelancer on my weekends!!!" She nearly fell out and proceeded to tell me how much she loved Don't Be Shy, how she can not stand cheap perfume, and how her sister could rival my perfume collection. We totally had a fragrance girls moment at checkout!!!! Come to find out, she use to work for Bergdorf Goodman, a place where ByKilian Luxury Perfumes are also sold! I live for these interactions, I really do! 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

New perfume samples

Samples from Min NY
It's always dangerous to visit MIN NY in Soho because the chances of walking out with a great perfume over $150 are very HIGH! However, this time, I collected a couple of samples to try out. I picked up Gran Ballo by Italian perfume house, Xerjoff and Paul Emilien's Premiere Danse for women. Both are distinctive and left more to be desired.    

MUSING on a Saturday…

I love it when my followers see my vision and point me in the direction of things and ideas that reflect what I'm doing. This cute MUSE shirt and the bag came from is Zadig & Voltaire!
a "MUSE shirt by Zadig & Voltaire

HARLEM: Random moments of fragrant inspiration

Lenox Saphire
I had a strategy meeting with my friend Corey of "Love, Auntie Bonnie."  We originally met at Lenox Coffee but because it was so freakin quiet, we decided to leave to avoid our rambunctious voices destracting focused customers! We walked to Lenox Saphire, a  French inspired  pasty shop and restaurant  near 125th street in Harlem. A few minutes into our conversation, I noticed a young woman, applying a roller-ball perfume to the pulse points along her neck. There was authenticity in that moment that had me in awe.  I whispered to Corey, "Look, that girl is applying perfume in the middle of a cafe."  I don't recall if it was me or Corey who broke the ice with her but I was determined to generate a conversation. In true Kim fashion, I strolled over to her and introduced myself! We chatted for a few moments and I found out she LOVES perfume as well. She even started to share her perspectives with me. She carries her Ralph Lauren spring/summer fragrance everywhere she goes! What's even more amazing, and what I can't seem to get out of my head, is the visual of her standing in a cafe (in the heart of Harlem) applying her favorite scent while waiting for an espresso in HARLEM! I took that as a clear message of inspiration. This is what modern urban sensory experiences is about...Getting men and women, who live and play in urban cities, to consider making fragrance part of their daily much that it becomes a natural integration. I only wish I'd captured that moment on my phone. I can kick myself for not doing so. DARN!!!! It's forever embedded in my mind. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Harlem Heirloom: An Urban Gem for Home Decor

 I came across Harlem Heirloom on Sugar Hill Market's IG. Surprisingly, I've driven past the store numerous times but never stopped in, until today! It was such a pleasure to meet co-owner Tyler and pick his brain about the inspiration behind the store and what's it like being a business owner in Harlem. Come to find out, we both hold down full time jobs but still find time to be entrepreneurial.  In between our conversation, I checked out their cool items and decided on a marbel cheese platter (so heavy, it can be used as a weapon, if need be! Great quality!) , a Heirloom candle (put it in my room and closed the door and the scent is wonderful...I didn't light wick) , a water jar, and Lemongrass soap, which was recently feature inside CurlBox! A small space indeed, but big on personality and character, this home decor spot is a must destination for those seeking to add some urban style to their home or personal space. Of course, I saw an opportunity to plug and solicit some support for my upcoming sensory experience next month and to my surprise, Tyler was receptive! I appreciate and will always support those who, like me, are driven by passion and just want to make our dreams a  reality! 

Live in Harlem, pay them a visit!

#UrbanLifestyle #UrbanLiving #Harlem

Saturday, May 9, 2015

CHANEL NO. 5 POP-UP EXHIBIT OPENS at 461 W. 14th Street. in NYC

Number Five,My lucky number. It will be CHANEL No5

No5 "In a New Light" Exhibit in NYC
You can't miss the beautiful and creative windows that instantly grabs your attention when you turn onto 14th street from the West side highway. Located underneath the High-line, this temporary "pop up" runs until May 17, with a special surprise treat for guests on Mother's Day. If you're in NYC, I highly recommend you check out this quick and innovative exhibit. It's free and open to the public from 12-8 daily.

I had the chance to visit today and was totally impressed! The moment you walk in, the air is filled with fragrance guiding you along the CHANEL No. 5  creation experience. Its like a maze, Creation, begins the tour followed by Cultivation, Composition, Abstraction, and Revelation. The exhibition ends with the original bottle design that releases fragrance when you stand by it. The experience reminded me of my trip to Grasse, when while walking in the small town, small systems would fan fragrance into the air. It totally added another level of engagement and intrigue. The social area is awesome too! It's where you can take pictures and write out CHANEL NO.5 postcards to be sent, by them, to anyone in the world! Of course, I sat there and couldn't remember anyone's address but mine and my parents, so I wrote myself a motivational note.

The showcase is filled with great information, much of which I didn't know about Chanel or NO.5.  If you're around, I encourage you to go check it out; It's a wonderful experience!

*Don't forget to collect your free sample of perfume before leaving!

Modern Urban Sensory Experiences (MUSE)

MUSE, Modern Urban Sensory Experiences, is a concept brand fusing perfume with the lifestyle and culture of the urban consumer. It offers unique, authentic, and diverse experiences on fragrance via curated sensory engagements. These engagements act as a "sensorial conduit" between niche, luxury and retail brands and unfamiliar urbanites who seek originality and exclusivity. By elevating a sense of connection, knowledge, and exposure, MUSE seeks to redefine way perfumery is perceived, related to, and discovered, while simultaneously inspiring a lifestyle of scent. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

VENUE booked for spring fragrance showcase in Harlem!

Took today outside of the La Maison d'Art
I'm excited to share the venue for Modern Urban Sensory Experiences (MUSE) spring fragrance showcase has been booked! The inaugural experience will take place in Harlem at "the stylish and artistic"  La Maison d'Art Gallery on Saturday, June 21, 2015. Located on the ground floor of the brownstone, MUSE will present a curated selection of spring fragrances I feel reflect the style and vibe of one of the most culturally diverse sections of New York City.  Exact details are forthcoming but I'm really happy to be jump starting these urban sensory experiences and giving men and women the opportunity to experience and discover unique fragrances and contemporary art in an intimate and relaxed setting.

Now, its time to execute.

Stay Tuned!
Ground level entrance of La Maison d'Art

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Next Stop, HARLEM

La Maison d'Art (Garden level where MUSE will host showcase)

Outside view Guest House and Art Gallery
Dope picture: Photo Credit: @sugarhillmaket
 Last Sunday Gyl, my good sister-friend, and I met at this brownstone in Harlem to check out a flea-market. It's called the Sugar Hill Market and it happens the first Sunday of every month. I spotted the market on IG after one of the vendors I know (Harlem Candle Co) posted they'd be in attendance. The market takes over two floors, the parlour and garden level, and is filled with unique items for sell.  As we strolled through, I surveyed the space and the ideas began to hit me one after the other.  I turned to Gyl and told her I want to have my MUSE event here.  She identified the owner and I strolled on over to introduced myself. After a brief cordial exchanged, she gave me the run down and her business card to follow up.  Just a few moments ago, I contacted her via email to express my interest in renting the gallery for a few hours!!!! Once I lock in the date, the real work begins.

A vendor at the Market Pic Credit: Instagram @Sidneyandsons
As promised, I'm going to be keeping ya'll in the loop! Anything can change, between now and then, but I'm circling Saturday, June 21 on my calendar as the big day…putting it into the universe!

Stay Tuned!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Staying the Course in 2015

Last week, I spent my days recovering from a stomach virus I caught during a business trip to Nashville. Over 200 employees from my company became ill while staying at a well-known hotel It caused  mild hysteria and panic for many, including myself. I was quarantined in my hotel room before making the trip back to New York City with an unsettled stomach. Needless to say, me, my stomach, and my spirits are back to normal!

The night of the Addictive State of Mind event
As I sit here at my desk, I cannot believe the end of January is approaching. We are almost a full month into 2015 already. So far, despite my illness, I'm satisfied with the way my days are unfolding. I've started to plan a MUSE event for March. Its kind of a big deal because my last event was in August in collaboration with ByKilian Luxury Perfume. I had a beautiful venue as my backdrop, the ByKilian Boutique in the Meat Packing District. The brand provided the perfume, support, and atmosphere; it was perfect. This time around, I will be creating and securing all that for myself. To elaborate a little, last year I hosted and organized the NYC boutique launch of By Kilian's, Addictive State of Mind fragrance collection. The night was FABULOUS and the turn out was nothing short of wonderful. I made a brief introduction of the collection, we sipped champagne, nibbled on light apps, listened to some music, and  absorbed the vibe as Bravo cameras filmed season 2 of their Blood, Sweat, and Heels reality show. Reflecting now, I had so much fun that night. I remember feeling more encouraged and optimistic than ever.
BRAVO cameras filming

Since then, I've initiated conversations and ideas with people who can take MUSE to another level. Back in October, I sat in a restaurant in Harlem with Len Burnett, COO at UPTOWN media and co founder of Uptown Magazine, to talk about our interests in luxury perfume and the industry as a whole. We brainstormed ideas of ways to collaborate. It was a great exchange and I left feeling supported as Len was someone who inspired me early on. I was thrilled. We had a follow-up conference call a few weeks after, and although I was still excited, I became overwhelmed at the potential of what we were planning to do. Doubt entered my mind. I wasn't sure if I was capable or ready to work with an established brand or person, after all, I was still trying to solidify MUSE. As life would have it, my full time career became very busy and I had to shift focus. I reached out to Len informing him I was busy with the my job and had to table our plans for right now. Although he understood and my explanation was partially true, I still felt I allowed fear and insecurity to get in the way (once again) and paralyze me from moving forward. I told myself I wasn't ready, start small, and trust timing. To this day, I'm not sure how to feel about that advice but I'm trusting it and staying the course.
Guests enjoying themselves

Despite not jumping into the arena full throttle, I'm still moving in the right direction and building confidence in myself and my brand. Thus far, I've inquired about a few spaces in Manhattan to host my next sensory experience. I'm working on a plan and putting some thought into what brand or retailer I would like to partner with.  I'm looking forward to bringing my vision of a boutique sensory experience to reality. Continue to read and watch my next event unfold.

Here are a few pictures from my first MUSE event.

Aaron and I with the ladies of Blood, Sweat, and Heels

 My girl Daisy of Blood, Sweat, and Heels

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

MUSE: Connecting People to Perfumery....

Taking Linda out fragrace shopping

Working at the ByKilian Boutiqe in NYC
I've been following my passion for perfumery for over 3 years in different capacities: as a blogger, freelance fragrance specialist for ByKilian Luxury Perfumes, a fragrance collector, and a fragrance consultant. All of my experiences, thus far, has afforded me the opportunity to establish some really wonderful relationships and gain valuable consumer insights. However, 7  months ago, I started desiring more. I knew I had something inside of me that needed to come out but I couldn't put my finger on it, logically. Therefore, I took a break from blogging to think of creative ways to combine my experiences  in perfumery with my entrepreneurial desires. I toyed around with a lot of thoughts and ideas but always came back to why I started in the first place. Initially, I wanted to simply expose others to niche perfumery...kind of like promotional marketing via social media. I felt there was an entire world of perfumes my demographic knew nothing about and so I charged myself to be that person who would expose them using my own fragrance discoveries as inspiration. However, as time progressed, people started to request my opinions and suggestions on perfumes.  I soon recognized my abilities to truly influence and be a resource for others......yet, the million dollar idea took sometime to evolve.

Enter MUSE aka Modern Urban Experiences. MUSE is my way of mixing my passion for perfumery with my urban culture and lifestyle.  As a native New Yorker, I'm accustomed to the NYC vibe. Whether one is visiting or residing in NYC, at any point through their travels around the city, he/she can feel and observe its sense of authenticity, passion, culture, attitude, diversity, mystery, movement and personal style. With MUSE, I want to capture and project that same urban sensibility and use it to inspire the way men and women perceive, relate to, and discover perfumery.

With Carlos...I hosted an event for ByKilian at the boutique
Through select partnerships and collaborations with luxury perfume companies, independent retailers, and lifestyle brands, MUSE will curate sensory experiences around NYC and abroad (maybe, Paris 2016?!?!). These experiences are designed to mix urban lifestyle and culture with perfume exploration. MUSE will also offer tailored sensory experiences for indiviuals and groups who prefer exlclusive interactions. The collective goal is to give the individual an opportunity  to discover some of the most luxurious, unique, and emerging  fragrance selections from around the world.. Simply put, MUSE seeks to connect people to perfumery that elevates individual style and originality.

When family gets to see my passionworld, while, creating a memorable  experience simultaneously.