Once Upon A Time, MiN New York Created Scent Stories Perfumes….

Once Upon A Time, MiN New York Created Scent Stories Perfumes….

If you are what we like to call a “perfumista”, and/or live in New York you have likely heard of MiN New York. Known for it’s incredible curated selection of fragrances, apothecary, a “men’s den“, etc, MiN New York is one of the several centres in the perfume universe. They celebrate beautiful things, and share their finds with their clients, often hosting exclusive parties for creators and “noses” and serving cocktails, with live music and magic. What else would you expect from a business that has an “Art of Living” tab on their website? With everything from the classical eau de toilettes used for decades in European barber shops, to the most exclusive modern perfumes, MiN has it all.

min_new_york_scent_stories_momento_edp_75ml

So it was no surprise and happy news to all when they announced the launch of their perfume project, MiN New York Scent Stories. I say project as this so much more than just smelly liquid in bottles.

MiN NEW YORK SCENT STORIES, VOLUME ONE:

An exclusive olfactory art project by Chad Murawczyk and Mindy Yang featuring eleven fragrant chapters, this collection aims to transcend space and time. Each potion is designed to create emotions, bring back memories, and inspire people to think differently about perfumes. As luxury collectibles that celebrate the Art of Living, they are limited editions with only 1,000 bottles coming from a single batch each year. Each edition is hand signed and numbered.

I don’t know about you, but the idea of wearing a perfume that is rare speaks to me. I’m so tired of common and boring – the same old perfume, rebottled and renamed. I love a perfume that has beauty and has heart. My first impression upon diving into MiN New York Scent Stories was that someone put their heart into these creations, that someone sat down and looked deep within themselves and put poetry in bottles. Scent Stories manage to feel like a throwback to the perfumes of the fifties, sixties and seventies, when so many of my favourite perfumes were created, not copied. Chad and Mindy have somehow managed to do this, while keeping these perfumes modern and fresh.

The perfumes evolve on the skin like living things. I made the “mistake” of trying several of the Scent Stories on different parts of my arm at once, and was haunted for hours, trying to figure out which beautiful note I was experiencing at any given time. Each perfume so clearly morphs from top, to heart to it’s base that in the end, you’d swear you are wearing a different perfume from the one you think you spritzed on. I can honestly say I have never smelled anything like any of the Scent Stories I’ve worn. With names like Moon Dust (smells like space – really), Long Board (best sexy surf fragrance ever), Barrel (dark spirits and wine), Dune Road (woodsy, grassy, sandy and breezy) these are not your run of the mill department store, or even high end luxury boutique, perfumes. These are something different….

There are so many different types of scents in Scent Stories that there is something for everyone. I have my favourites:

MIN New York Scent Stories Shaman

Scent Stories Chapter Four, Shaman is indeed, otherworldly. It does smell like it’s description, but you really need to experience it on your skin to understand how every descriptor that MiN New York uses is true. The first smoky notes threw me, as smoke is not my favourite note at all. But they pass and turn into the warm, sweet smoke of tranquil incense with the cool magical forest fragrance of violet leaves. The patchouli is sophisticated and warm, and all of the notes just circle around each other like tendrils of incense smoke. Soft, gentle and calming, Shaman is a perfume that must be worn to be believed. If you are seeking a calming meditative scent, you must try this. On first sniff I’d call this a masculine, but that’s just because I favour sweet girly florals. Shaman is for everyone.

MIN New York Scent Stories Magic Circus

Scent Stories Chapter Seven, Magic Circus smells even better than the description. Don’t be fooled by the candied notes – this is no Pink Sugar (not that there is anything wrong with Pink Sugar….) or some Victoria’s Secret confection (again, if that’s your thang….). This is an enchanted circus, the kind that travels at dusk, the blue hour, and it smells as magical as it sounds. All those warm and woodsy resinous notes ground the sweetness. Don’t get me wrong, there is a yummy aspect to this one, and I did get an urge to lick my wrist. But it never overpowers, and just feels like a velvet cape of warm sweetness.

MIN New York Scent Stories The Botanist

Scent Stories Chapter Three, The Botanist will change everything you have come to believe about fruity perfumes. An apple perfume that doesn’t smell like Jolly Ranchers (if you like that kind of thing, that’s ok….).  It smells like a warm day in an orchard – close your eyes and smell apple blossoms, green leaves and soft grasses and woods warmed by the sun. The breezes are picking up the scents of the wild roses, peonies and earthy scents from the forest floor and they mingle with the sweet fruits and magic happens.

MIN New York Scent Stories Momento

Scent Stories Chapter Five, Momento is my absolute favourite of all the Scent Stories. It took me several times to figure this out because I kept wearing more than one to figure out which one was making me drool. “This is the scent of love and happiness” – that is true. It must be the aldehydes that add the sparkling and slightly powdery aspect to Momento. Absinth and lavender in perfume are a magical combination, simultaneously intoxicating and comforting. The floral, woodsy and resinous notes are beautifully blended to take you on a “scentimental” journey from first spritz until the deep drydown. Momento is addictive and beautiful.

MIN New York Scent Stories

MiN New York Scent Stories are available in limited quantities on their website. A 75ml bottle costs $240 USD, with free shipping in the USA.

Gift Ideas: The Best Body Products

Gift Ideas: The Best Body Products

A luxe body product is always a great gift for the beauty junkie in your life, as we are more likely to buy a bottle of Olay at the drugstore for ourselves while hoarding our deluxe make up and perfume. A splurge on a body product is a luxury we reserve for gifts and they are always welcome! Here are some great ideas for someone who could use some pampering wrapped up with a bow:

Lancome’s Body Milk Accord 3 Roses is a gorgeous and rich body milk, gently scented with roses and full of skin quenching and beautifying ingredients. Scented with the classic Lancome rose accords and full of rose-y goodness, this is the perfect gift for anyone who loves Lancome, soft roses and body lotion.

Lancome Lait Corps Fraicheur $46

Why not elevate the everyday washing of our hands to something scented & luxe? Jo Malone’s new Blackberry & Bay line has a fresh, clean & unisex scent to wash away the grime of the day and the most stubborn cooking odours. Plus the bottle of hand wash just looks fab on the kitchen or bathroom counter. Buying info here.

Jo Malone Blackberry & Bay $50

 

Chanel just released a gorgeous cream to accompany their Exclusive line of perfumes, their Fresh Body Creme is “Subtly scented to flatter any fragrance in the LES EXCLUSIFS Collection, this exquisitely soft, light cream envelops the skin with pure luxury. The sumptuous cream is perfect for layering, for the ultimate LES EXCLUSIFS experience. Presented in a beautiful coffret.” So I can’t really say it any better than Chanel- doesn’t that sound gorgeous? My opinion- this cream would work with ANY Chanel perfume. So if you have a Chanel lover in the house, this cream is a must have! Available at select Chanel counters, boutiques and online.

Chanel Fresh Body Creme $130

 

 It wouldn’t be a luxury body product post with La Mer! If someone you know deserves the ultimate pampering product from head to toe, then why not splurge on the legendary La Mer Body Creme? Full of the famous La Mer goodness, “Like a seaweed wrap in a jar, this rich cream saturates skin in a wave of long-lasting hydration. With the nutrient-rich Miracle Broth™, the heart of La Mer’s profound powers of transformation, it helps break the cycle of dryness and dehydration to give skin a new softness and suppleness. …” Well. Sounds perfect to me! Available at La Mer counters in department stores, Holt Renfrew in Canada.

La Mer Body Creme, starting at $160

 

Don’t know where to start? Then allow me to suggest the ultimate pampering gift from New York’s premiere fragrance and skincare experts at MIN New York. MIN New York offers a Bespoke Concierge Consultation – a one on one  complimentary session  to select the perfect fragrance, gift(s) or grooming tool for you with house experts Chad Murawczyk or Mindy Yang. A bespoke profile is set up for you during your visit or phone call, and the cost of this session can be redeemed for the product(s) of your choice. Chad & Mindy have made it their mission to search the world for the finest in elegant beauty, grooming and fragrance – you can give the gift of their expertise and a choice of some the most gorgeous products you can lay your hands on. Forget a gift card. This is the gift that keeps on giving.

MIN New York Bespoke Concierge Consultation $95

 

Next up will be fragrant gift ideas of perfume and cologne…

Mysterious Perfume: A Lab On Fire’s L’Anonyme

Mysterious Perfume: A Lab On Fire’s L’Anonyme

 

I like perfumes that take a chance. They try to step outside of the box, either in the actual scent (which can be risky) or in design, style, distribution or what have you. The name A Lab On Fire conjures up a dramatic mental picture for me, and makes me think about the process of perfumery. It is a very small perfume house, with 3 scents, each designed by “the brightest talents in the industry”.  They have three scents, and if you like to step outside the perfume box, I really suggest you give these a try. I love the modern aesthetic of the packaging and the pitch. Elegant, I’d call it.

L’Anonyme (the anonymous) is what I would call a soft woodsy scent, with soft & sexy musk base that I could almost describe as mouth watering. That doesn’t mean it is foody or gourmande, rather,  it plays tricks on your senses. I find some musk molecules can make me wonder if I am indeed sniffing or tasting a fragrance. The Lab on Fire website describes it as “deep, unique” and “an enigma”. I have to say, I almost prefer this to a laundry list of perfume notes. Yes, maybe there are notes of woods, suede, bergamot and geranium, but tossing those notes around doesn’t really help to describe this scent.

The talented and handsome Olivier Polge…

The perfumer, Olivier Polge, most recently known for his Balenciaga scents (Paris and Florabotanica), really knows his way around a perfume. Amazing to me that he could create the baroque confection known as Flowerbomb and then use his magic on this minimalist and elegant scent. But, he also created Dior Homme, which is one of best woodsy iris scents out there. Seriously, so elegant. And I suppose I can detect a hint or shadow of  the Dior Homme impression here, without it being identifiably masculine. L’Anonyme could be worn by a man or a woman, easily. There is something so delicious about the woodsy notes – I had my nose buried in my arm while the dry down of the scent progressed. The dry down on the skin is simply beautiful. Soft, clean yet sexy- that is the magic of those musk molecules. I love L’Anonyme- it is everything I wanted Escentric Molecule 01 to be and more. If one could describe a perfume as urban and otherwordly at the same time, L’Anonyme would be that perfume.

I got my A Lab On Fire L’Anonyme from MIN New York

Sweet Sexy Tuberose: Heely Bubblegum Chic vs Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia

Sweet Sexy Tuberose: Heely Bubblegum Chic vs Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia

 

Every time I spritzed on Heeley’s Bubblegum Chic, the intense heady top notes reminded me of another perfume I knew I had in my collection. No, not the ass-kicking-take-no-prisoners tuberose of Fracas. It was definitely something more velvety and smooth. Bubblegum Chic is sold as a jasmine perfume, but I have to say the jasmine takes a back seat to the tuberose. Not surprising, as tuberose rarely takes a back seat to any other note in perfume. Such a diva, that flower.

Almost as soon as I took the cap off my Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia I knew this was the one. Gorgeous, creamy and bewitching, ELPC Tuberose Gardenia is my favourite tuberose perfume. It just sings on the skin, wafts gently all day long, weaving slowly in and out of tuberose and then gardenia notes. It is a mostly green scent, I’d say. I read a review awhile back that said EL PC Tuberose Gardenia was more about the “perfume of a flower” vs “a flower” – could not have said it better myself. It is like the heady air around the flowers – heavy, moist and sweet. The gardenia note takes the floral aspect and makes it headier and greener, but the sweet tuberose is always there. In true Estee Lauder perfume fashion, the concentration of perfume, even in the eau de parfum, is high, and the lasting power incredible. The parfum is divine, as are all the parfums/extraits in her Private Collection series. Seriously, smell them all if you can.

Estee Lauder diva who would LOVE Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia

These perfumes start out quite similarly, but the heart and drydown is where the differences start to show. Something to love in both of them…

Frenchy blowing a sweet bubble….

Heeley Bubblegum Chic Extrait de Parfum takes that initial heady blast of sweet tuberose and takes in a different direction with sweet, watery fruity notes. I don’t get bubblegum exactly, although if you said it was Strawberry Bubblicious, or maybe Watermelon Bubblicious, then I would say yes! This fruity candy is a perfectly complimentary note to the tuberose. It makes the tuberose ethereal and fairy like – like a tuberose dream rather than a garden overflowing with the perfume of ripe tuberose flowers. I say strawberry because I do detect that note, but I also get a melon note, albeit a sweet watery melon. The jasmine note gently whispers thoughout the drydown and it’s progression is soft and dreamy. The perfume is softer than the Estee Lauder, and wears closer to the skin, while still being a sexy whisper of tuberose. I’d say this is the perfect tuberose scent for the tuberose phobic, as the soft yummy fruity notes make this a lovely and wearable scent. “Chic” is an appropriate name as well. As is the case with all Heeley perfumes, this perfume is elegant and refined, even with the word “Bubblegum” alongside it. Not surprising from the company that makes the most heavenly and ethereal incense perfume I’ve ever sniffed, Cardinal.

So, does one win? No way! I love them both, and both have a place in my collection. Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia when I am feeling like a diva, and Heeley Bubblegum Chic when I feel more ladylike than man-eater.


Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia is available online and at select Estee Lauder counters. Heeley Bubblebum Chic is available online at Heeley and online and in person from MIN New York.