Saturday, April 18, 2009

My April 2009 Top 10 Fragrances & Commentary on the State of New York's Economy

Please visit my Examiner article here: NY Fragrance Examiner: My April 2009 Top 10 Fragrances & Commentary on the State of New York's Economy

My recent visit to the observation deck at the Empire State Building was kind of a shocker. Due to the economy, they've done away with actual guides and have replaced people with a pre-recorded device to carry around. When you push a numbered button, you can hear (although it was barely audible, especially with all the gusty wind up on the 86th floor) a man with the heaviest New York accent you can imagine, telling you about the ethnic duy-voi-sidee of the foods you can experience in the direction of Restaurant Row which you may (or may not) be facing right now. Oy, the cutbacks...and they're especially painful when you realize machines just can't do the job best performed by competent human beings. Thankfully, it's not all bad news here in The Big Apple; while many businesses have closed and / or moved in the past year, some small businesses have thrived - Palomba Academy of Music in The Bronx, a family-owned music school which, thanks to the owner Mike Palomba who takes good care of his talented music teachers and the young rockers and jazzers who take lessons there, got a well-deserved write-up in the Daily News this month, and another family-owned business, Starving Artist Cafe and Gallery on City Island, a haven for local artists who don't live in Manhattan or fancy pads in DUMBO, neighborhoods artists made cool and then were ironically shut out of by rising real estate as rich wanna-be-artists and fashionistas followed them. That said, City Island is a healthy mix of people, some being quite well-to-do in this charming little New England-like town. Starving Artist is a very relaxed and down-to-earth hang (with good food!) and a great local venue to show and sell visual artwork, as well as for musicians from all over the world to come and play (owner Elliott Glick is a musician as well - visit the website on My Space). So, for all the blues we're singing these days, there's still some room for growth in production and creativity.

I wish I found the perfume biz as inspiring. My latest stroll through one of my favorite stores in the city, Sephora, didn't turn out to be fruitful. There just wasn't anything new and exciting to discover, although it was nice to see they'd already gotten the new Vera Wang Rock Princess in stock. I thought there were less people there, too, not just touristwise but I felt there weren't as many staffers on the floor, either. Maybe it was because of Spring Break that the usually bustling Midtown shop seemed rather desolate - for New York, anyway. On the upside, tourism still seems to be booming, as I had the hardest time walking through those congested streets last night. The weather's been beautiful these past couple of days, and I've been happy not needing a heavy coat at night, strutting around in a skirt and fishnets with my rubber-soled Fluevog heels once again.

What fragrances do I wear on such a New York night? I'm in need of a little chutzpah in my fumes as of late, to keep my engine running. Here is my updated Top 10 list of favorites, so enjoy, and come visit us here while we still have some culture and nightlife to offer.

1. Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle Musc Ravageur
2. Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb
3. L'Instant de Guerlain
4. Christian Dior Hypnotic Poison
5. Naomi Campbell by Naomi Campbell
6. L'Occitane Almond Blossom Dew
7. Vera Wang Rock Princess
8. Bond No.9 Saks Fifth Avenue for Her
9. Santa Maria Novella Tuberosa
10. Momoberry perfume oil (when I want a change of pace from my Pink Manhattan perfume oil)