eyeliner on a cat

eyeliner on a cat
beauty, scent & style scrutinized for pleasure

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Winner of the 2013 Indie FiFi Award!



Congratulations to Kilian Hennessy, Calice Becker and the entire By Kilian team on winning the 2013 Indie FiFi Award for Amber Oud




THE FRAGRANCE FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES THE 2013 INDIE AWARD WINNER

New York, NY, January 28, 2013. The Fragrance Foundation is pleased to announce that Amber Oud by Kilian was named the winner of the 2013 Fragrance Foundation Indie Award.

Based on both the fragrance and packaging, an esteemed panel of judges selected the winner from amongst 30 competitors.

“Once a year, The Fragrance Foundation recognizes indie brands for their unique and artistic fragrance launches,” said Elizabeth Musmanno, President of The Fragrance Foundation. “The Foundation always looks with anticipation and respect at the new indie launches each year.”

“Indie” is defined as an established brand that has been on the market for at least two years, is not distributed or owned by a large company and is sold in less than 50 stores in the U.S.

Each entry was judged on a scale of 1 to 5, (with five being the highest score) in the following areas:
·         The fragrance/quality of the juice (counted for 70%)
·         The presentation/packaging (counted for 30%)

The judging panel members were:

Paul Austin
President, Austin Advisory Group         
Anne-Marie Guarnieri
Senior Beauty Editor, Allure Magazine                

Virginia Bonofiglio
Chairperson, Cosmetics & Fragrance Marketing, FIT


Raymond Matts
The Art of Perfumery
Emily Dougherty
Beauty Director, Elle Magazine
Lucy Raubertas             
Indie Perfumes             

Gaia Fishler
The Non-Blonde

Bruce E. Teitelbaum
CEO, RPG      

Ann Gottlieb
President, Ann Gottlieb Associates, Inc. 
                                                           
Rayda Vega
Consultant, Aromadyn  


About The Fragrance Foundation
Dedicated to serving its member companies as a resource for industry expertise, innovation and education, The Fragrance Foundation was founded in 1949 to increase awareness and appreciation of fragrance in all its forms.                   

                       
Contact: Julie Leong/The Musmanno Group/212-308-2100/Julie@musmannogroup.com           

Friday, January 25, 2013

Top 5 Finalists for 2013 Indie Fragrance Award


Hearty Congratulations to the five finalists! It's times like these when I almost feel a sense of relief because I'm not faced with the judging panel's difficult task of choosing. 

The winner will be announced at the ceremony on Monday night at Elements Showcase. Best of luck to our finalists, and a huge thank you to all of the entrants this year!

~Carrie Meredith


THE FRAGRANCE FOUNDATION
ANNOUNCES THE FIVE FINALISTS FOR THE
2013 INDIE AWARDS

New York, NY, January 23, 2013. The Fragrance Foundation is pleased to announce the top five finalists for the 2013 Indie Award (in alphabetical order):

Fragrance                                                                                Brand

Amber Oud                                                                             By Kilian, Inc.
                       
CUIRELLE                                                                            Ramon Monegal Perfumes Barcelona
                       
NO. 30 EAU D’HIVER                                                         LE CHERCHE MIDI
                                               
Rima XI                                                                                  Carner Barcelona
                       
TERRASSE A ST-GERMAIN                                               JUL ET MAD


The final five represent a community of talented individuals who launched unique and provocative fragrances in 2012. The winner will be announced on January 28th at The Elements Showcase for The Fragrance Foundation Awards by Elizabeth Musmanno, President of The Fragrance Foundation.

“The Fragrance Foundation and our industry are thrilled to support small companies who have been chosen by our industry elite,” said Elizabeth Musmanno, President of The Foundation. “We look forward to honoring our finalists and applauding them for their creative achievements.”

“Indie” is defined as an established brand that has been on the market for at least two years, is not distributed or owned by a large company and is sold in 1 to 50 stores in the U.S.

The judging panel members were:

Paul Austin
President, Austin Advisory Group         
Anne-Marie Guarnieri
Senior Beauty Editor, Allure Magazine                

Virginia Bonofiglio
Chairperson, Cosmetics & Fragrance Marketing, FIT


Raymond Matts
The Art of Perfumery
Emily Dougherty
Beauty Director, Elle Magazine
Lucy Raubertas             
Indie Perfumes             

Gaia Fishler
The Non-Blonde

Bruce E. Teitelbaum
CEO, RPG      

Ann Gottlieb
President, Ann Gottlieb Associates, Inc. 
                                                           
Rayda Vega
Consultant, Aromadyn  


About The Fragrance Foundation

Dedicated to serving its member companies as a resource for industry expertise, innovation and education, The Fragrance Foundation was founded in 1949 to increase awareness and appreciation of fragrance in all its forms.                   
           

                       
Contact:                                               
Julie Leong
The Musmanno Group
212-308-2100
Julie@musmannogroup.com
                                    

Monday, January 21, 2013

April Aromatics Jasmina: an Ode to Sol Invictus

jasmine peacock floral sculpture, unknown artist


April Aromatics Jasmina has achieved no mean feat in its life as a perfume, and that is to say, its design is focused solely on what the raw ingredients bring to the table, and how best to make them sing in harmony. I believe that to create a successful natural fragrance means several things: the quality of the raw materials must be the best, the skill of the perfumer is crucial, as is her/his taste level, and there should be humility in approaching the process-- because these gifts from the earth and their power is really bigger than all of us.

I have ticked off every box with Berlin perfumer Tanja Bochnig's fragrance Jasmina. Each time I wear it, I am struck dumb for awhile, unable to do anything except inhale the scent. I can't think coherently or even attempt witticisms. It activates the ancient lizard part of my brain that can only process urges... and then I bliss out for undetermined amounts of time. It makes me truly believe that simplicity is the most beautiful thing, and so far from boring. As I make the leap to another part of my brain to use words to explain what I'm thinking and feeling, I must try to assign importance to written and verbal language once again.

Notes: Jasmine Grandiflorum from India and France, Ylang Ylang from Thailand, Pink Grapefruit from US

I've got other jasmine and citrus-based perfumes in my collection that I love very much-- the combination of these notes is always cheerful and is a bona-fide, never-fail anti-depressant. Jasmina takes what I love about jasmine soliflores and intensifies it all.

It goes further with BIG jasmine, BIG pink grapefruit, and one other vital element that makes the jasmine explode as if being viewed through a kaleidoscope- ylang ylang. The ylang ylang gives it a bright but buttery  yellow sunlight feel. The hint of indole, the faintly animalic, earthy timbre, every facet of natural jasmine is honored here and certain ones magnified with impressive skill, restraint, proportion and positivity. Also, the outrageous quality of the raw materials doesn't hurt, either.

And when Jasmina's sun is setting, other colors and shadows draw close, merge and shift. The vast expanse of the world shrinks around you with the darkening sky, until it's just you and your jasmine flower in sweet solitude. The moonlight heralds the arrival of Jasmina In The Dark: the light touch of indole, the slight incense-effect-- almost like champaca-- and the emergence of ylang ylang is much more prevalent on my skin at night, as if the wind takes away part of the fragrance with it as it passes through, or perhaps it could be adding something, just as easily. Or both.

This perfume is so beautiful that it breaks my heart, much in the same way Guerlain's L'Heure Bleue does for me (though I am not comparing these two perfumes at all- they are not similar- just how they effect me). Perhaps the impermanent nature of perfume is responsible for this bittersweet emotion. When one's human failings render them unable to fully process and hold on to such natural beauty, what can they do? Let it go through tears of joy, until the next time.

Tanja Bochnig [photo credit: Holger Geffken]

I am no perfumer, but I do know that a truly great natural perfume is very difficult to make. What seems like just a few ingredients put together actually takes a lot of work and a lot of trial and error-- the perfumer must be like a jazz musician, following subtle clues and not afraid to enter uncharted territory. Aromachemicals are always exactly the same, but natural materials are rarely so. Due to this fact, many adjustments are constantly being made, especially between batches, to allow for the closest possible consistency for the bottles on the shelf.

To my mind, Jasmina is a love poem. Who has written it and who it's written for is not completely evident. I suppose it depends on what you believe. What I believe is that only Tanja could have written this particular poem with a hand guided by her passion and reverence for the earth and her flawless, modern artisan aesthetic and execution. Now, we are fortunate enough to be a small part of it if we'd like to be. It's an invitation that remains open.

[interesting footnote: Tanja works with special Herkimer diamonds as well as crystals, which she uses to infuse her perfumes with, in order to imbue the liquid essences with the specific energy of the diamonds and/or crystals. I was surprised to find a few crystals tinkling in the bottom of my bottle when it arrived! She also creates products for her AromaYoga line as well as a slew of room sprays that sound amazing]

April Aromatics Perfumes are available in the US via Etsy, and overseas directly from the perfumer's website at AprilAromatics.com as well as other shops across the globe .

Product sample provided by the perfumer for my consideration.

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Official Nominees for the 2013 Indie FiFi Award


There are some truly amazing entries for the Indie FiFi Award this year-- the competition is stiff! Judging by a specially selected panel will be done next week, and the winner along with the runners-up will be announced during the Indie FiFi Award ceremony at the upcoming Elements Showcase in NYC on January 28 at 7:00 pm.  Best of luck to all nominees!


THE OFFICIAL “INDIE” NOMINEES OF 2013

Below find the official 30 Indie fragrance nominees recognized by The Fragrance Foundation and the “Indie” Committee in alphabetical order.
                       
Fragrance & Brand
                                                                           
Amber Oud                                                              
By Kilian, Inc.
                       
Boutonnière No. 7                           
Arquiste Parfumeur
                       
Bowmakers                                                  
D.S. & Durga
                       
Broderie                                                       
Hayari - Paris
                       
Calling All Angels                                     
April Aromatics
                       
Cuirelle                                
Ramon Monegal Perfumes Barcelona

Eau de Flog                                                          
Opus Oils

Eau La La                                                     
Edward Bess
                       

Eau Monumentale                             
Third Man Inc.
                       
Glam Monster                                                                         
Donato Style LLC
                       
Hothouse Flower                                          
Ineke LLC
                       
Intimacy eau de parfum                                                           
JoAnne Bassett
                       
Lady Day                             
Maria Candida Gentile
                       
Le Cherche Midi NO. 30 Eau d'Hiver                     
Le Cherche Midi
                       
Le Smoking for Denver Art Museum                                   
DSH Perfumes
                       
Lightscape                                          
Ulrich Lang New York
                       
Meadow & Fir                                         
Phoenix Botanicals
                       
Moss Gown                                
Providence Perfume Co.
                       
Purusa Root                                               
Sebastian Signs Fragrances Company (LLC)
                       
Qajar Rose                                            
Parfums Lalun, Lalun Naturals, Inc.
                       
Raw Spirit "Firetree" Fragrance Oil                                   
World Senses Pty Ltd.
                       
Rima XI                                                   
Carner Barcelona
                       
Rodin                                                             
Rodin Olio Lusso
                                                                                                           
Speakeasy                                           
P. Frapin & Cie
                       
Strawberry Passion                                   
Skye Botanicals
                       
Terrasse a St-Germain                      
JUL ET MAD
                       
Trayee 
Neela Vermeire Creations                    

Treazon                                         
Ayala Moriel Parfums
                       
Wild Roses                      
Aftelier Perfumes
                       
Woody                                                          
smell bent

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My Beauty Picks: The Best of 2012

I savor the thrill of new beauty products. Skin care, hair care or cosmetics- I love it all, but anything new does get preferential treatment. 2012 was a good year for beauty-- natural and otherwise. My eyes have been opened to the benefits of going organic whenever possible, so my obsessive label-reading habit has hardly abated, but has definitely changed a bit. I used to just look for the names of cosmetic chemical compounds which contain whatever it is I need in my products, now I scan for natural ingredients as well. Not every product will be ideal for everyone, but the following gems have really caught my attention and have made a difference to me.

In Fiore Visage Vitale
This treatment toner from In Fiore is like nothing else out there. Loaded with natural ingredients like aloe juice, Irish moss, apple cider vinegar, comfrey and willow bark, it's a superb non-abrasive exfoliating treatment and also the perfect product to use when your skin needs to detox. Its job is to boost circulation and clear the path for whatever actives you use next. For me, it makes my pores appear smaller and in the morning, my skin texture overall is much finer. It also goes a long way in preventing breakouts.




Aftelier Wild Orange and Blood Cedarwood Facial Oil
I'll be honest here, I have a gazillion face and body oils. This one is most definitely in my top 5 favorites EVER. Aftelier oils are unique in my collection due to how well they are absorbed into my skin and the generous amounts of creatively-used, high-quality ingredients in them. The Wild Orange & Blood Cedarwood oil is so light that my skin drinks it right up, squashes any and all dryness, and leaves the faintest healthy sheen that looks like you've just spent a half hour painstakingly applying luminizing cream. A huge bonus: when one of the most talented perfumers in the world creates skin care products, you just know they're going to smell amazing. The fragrance of the best wild orange essence and the best cedarwood oil graciously lingers on the skin for hours and makes me incredibly happy, which makes it a very effective aromatherapy product as well.



Aroma M Beauty Camellia Hair Oil
This little bottle is filled with heavenly things, and it's such a pleasure to use. I use it on damp hair and then air dry, while simultaneously enjoying the subtle, delicious scent of tuberose. It makes my hair extremely shiny and healthy looking, and it only takes a few drops for an entire long mane. I've come to realize this year that camellia oil (green tea) is a most beautiful and useful thing, and is wonderful for all skin types and hair types. This is definitely a must-have hair product that I hope to keep myself stocked well with.



LUSH Emotional Brilliance makeup line
I love this natural cosmetics line from LUSH. I love the bottles, the formulations and the wacky fortune-cookie-like theme to them. The colors are fantastic, and I do hope they add more of them in the coming year. With one mascara, a bunch of eyeliners, lipsticks and eyeshadows, there's lots of room for additions. Beautiful, well-performing and captivating colors.




Olie Biologique Radicale 005 Facial Oil
Here's my new fave from Olie Biologique- also a camellia-based facial oil, Radicale 005. The first time I used this oil, I looked at the supernatural glow of my skin and had to laugh, it was just too crazy how my skin went from kinda icky and flaky to glowing and super-hydrated in one minute flat. Along with camellia are a bunch of other radiance-boosting anti-aging ingredients that plump the skin up so well that you won't stop using it until the last drop is gone. Then, you will plot and plan how you're going to buy more. Truly fabulous.



ILIA Neon Angel and Inkpot Lipsticks
I mean, just look. I have both of these organic lipsticks, and I know they look a bit extreme in the tube, but they are gorgeous (and I mean BIG time gorgeous) on the lips- sheered out or full on. If you're looking for a cool-toned bright fuschia, look no further than Neon Angel. And for the slightly more daring set, Ink Pot offers an indigo-deep purplish shade that works beautifully as a stain and as an unexpected shade for full-coverage. The next time I have the opportunity, I'm wearing my Ralph Lauren tuxedo to a fancy event, and I'll have Neon Angel or Ink Pot on my lips and the rest of my face bare. I need to try and have a Tilda Swinton moment before I kick the bucket.



RMS Cream Eye Shadow in Karma and Lip Shine in Sublime
I adore RMS' organic pots of gorgeous, organic makeup. A couple of new shades were added to existing products that I feel were noteworthy. Directly below is Cream Eye Shadow in Karma- a wonderful sooty, muddy brownish black. Perfect for creating an imperfect smoky eye. Below that is the new Lip Shine color that I wore all summer long-- Sublime. Man, do I love a good cool-to-neutral toned pink for the face, I just can't get enough. The Lip Shine formulation is very hydrating and doesn't need excessive touch-ups like some glosses do. There is a major color payoff here.



Konjac Sponge Company French Pink Clay Sponge Puff
These facial sponges have come to the US from Korea, and I got mine via NuboNau.com, which is where I get pretty much everything. I will admit my initial confusion about the product, but it's pretty simple actually. There are different colors of sponges for different skin types, and they are infused with the kind of fine clay that is best for your skin type. In my case, I have sensitive, dry skin so I get the French Pink Clay. If I wanted to, I could also use the white or red ones (ultra-sensitive/baby and anti-aging/mature respectively. The sponge expands moderately in water, and it's very squishy and dense. You massage in circles all over the face, with or without cleanser, and the result is a porcelain-like smoothness to the skin. Yep, the clay infusion actually works as a gentle cleanser and pore-refining treatment. The sponges last 3 months, are reasonably priced and are just plain fun to use.





Now, as near as I can tell, the last two products on my list may not have launched in 2012 exactly, but when I discover products this good and vitally important to me, I'll let it slide with full disclosure. They're so much a part of my beauty routine now, that I feel I'd be gravely remiss by skipping them.


Badger Creamy Cocoa Butter Lip Balms
I am addicted to these lip balms. Nothing has come close to providing that intense, quenching feeling of having really well moisturized and protected lips since I've cut out all mineral oil and petroleum based products. I love everything about them-- the soothing, fragrant goodness of cocoa butter, the fact that they are organic, and I especially love not EVER having dry lips. Ever.



Original Moxie Get Clean! No Foam Shampoo
This creamy, non-lathering natural shampoo has saved me from quite a bit of color loss, dryness and scalp irritation in the several months that I've been using it. It's been a major revelation. Taking care of my super-long black, thick and slightly wavy hair is always a challenge, but it's so wonderful to have a product like this that is so nourishing and gentle that also cleanses really well. I'm so impressed by the Original Moxie line that I really don't like to use many products from other brands if I can help it. Nothing else is quite as good.




What were your favorite beauty discoveries of 2012? Are there any you can't live without now?