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.

Friday, January 2, 2015

A visit to SPACE. NK apothecary in SoHo and The Winner of MUSE's "New Year, New Scent" give-away

Space. NK apothecary, Soho
Today, I spent the day hanging with my little cousin, Rayven, in SOHO. We checked out SPACE.NK apothecary on Greene St, had lunch at Bill's Burger in the Meat Packing District, and made a quick stop into Sephora for some goodies. I happened to stumble upon SPACE. NK on a random night after attending an event a few doors down. I took a mental note of its location and committed to returning when I had some free time. I'm glad I did! It's a rather large open luxury boutique that carries the latest in skin care and beauty products.  Not a compact store, but its well designed and organized enough for quick shopping or a leisure stroll. It's welcoming and very minimalist. The brands they carry are commercial, DIPTIQUE candles and perfume, ORBIE Hair Care, Lipstick Queen makeup, Hourglass, Laura Mercier, and By Terry to name a few. Although I was hoping to find a wider selection of niche independent brands, I managed to walk way with two new items: a beautiful red lipgloss by Hourglass and a perfume called Laughter created by SPACE. NK founder, Nicky Kinnaird. I will discuss the perfume in a later post!

I had to announce the winner at 2 pm so after shopping we went to have lunch. I gave Rayven the responsibility of choosing the winner. She read through all the comments and selected Camille LesPierre. Actually, it was a tough choice between Camille and Hector!

The million dollar question was, What's the one item you have that REFLECTS your individual style or personality? Camille replied, "The item that best reflects my personality are my silver Ankh earrings. The Ankh is an Egyptian symbol representing infinite and eternal life. For me it is a symbol of inspiration and never ending possibilities."

Rayven believed Camillle's response "didn't simply give an answer to the question; it went beyond. It expressed how her earrings connected to her emotion and spiritual beliefs."

Whether it's perfume, earrings, sexy shoes, wooden art, or a vintage purse, there's always something that elevates the soul and inspires individual expression.

Congratulations Camille and thank you for participating!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

It's a NEW YEAR...How about a complimentary New Scent?!

First day of 2015! 

A mysterious fragrance awaits you  
While organizing my apartment, the idea of sharing a new luxury fragrance collection with a follower entered my mind. It's the start of a new year and I wanted to add a little something to jump start it. I'm not going to reveal much about the fragrance, it's a surprise! However, I will say the scent is a soft desirable sandalwood that wears nicely on the skin and evokes a simple yet woody sensuous dry down.  Not too complicated with its composition, this mysterious scent is just that, a mystery. If you are selected to discover this fragrance, I have no doubt it will peak your interest and your nose.

As I mentioned in a previous post, MUSE seeks to INSPIRE people to discover perfumery that elevates their individual style and personality.  With that being said, answer the question below by leaving a comment. I will select one reply tomorrow Jan 2 at 2pm! 

What's the one item you have that REFLECTS your individual style or personality? 

Example: One item I have that reflects my personality is my bottle of Grenats perfume by Keiko Mercheri. The scent is me…vibrant, simple , free spirit, easy going, charming, feminine, slightly mysterious, complicated at times, but liked by many! 

*Please Note, this fragrance was not provided to me for promotional purposes.  Instead, it's from  my personal collection.