Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Jazz New Year's Eve with Steele Hillier Quartet feat. Sali Oguri

beginning at 10PM
with Live Jazz & Vocalist,
a Midnight Champagne Toast,
a Cash Bar after Midnight,
and Dancing into the Early Morning Hours

Reserved Dinner Seating Only

Celebrate New Year’s Eve at the Light Horse Tavern

199 Washington Street • Jersey City, NJ 07302 • (201) 946-2028

Friday, December 31, 2010 10:00pm - January 1, 2011

Live Music: The Steele Hillier Quartet
Steele Hillier (b), Stefan Teti (p), Noel Sagerman (d), Sali Oguri (v)


Pink Manhattan Blog Top 100 Fragrances of the Decade 2001 - 2010


So, here we are, the moment of truth I hope you've been waiting for: I am unveiling my list of Top 100 perfumes of the DECADE. How quickly time has gone! My list is by no means complete, since I have yet to try many of the newer launches, but hopefully, my list can serve as a guideline to build your own favorites list or fragrance wardrobe. Your taste may be similar to mine or not, but we won't know till we've smelled and analyzed them all.

First up is my pick for the Fragrance of the Decade, for these reasons: 1. It was my holy grail for some time; I loved it so much and used it up quickly. 2. It was a trendsetter, one that spawned a great many smell-alikes such as Stella McCartney, Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely and Guerlain Idylle, just to touch the tip of the iceberg...and 3. I also think the sleek, beautiful bottle design, plus the tasteful shades of pink in combination with black, deserve an award for Packaging of the Decade. I appreciate the shape of the bottle and the fact that it is glass, not plastic (except the cap). The silver edition was also beautiful. We've seen lots of gold packaging on the market as of late; in 2011, shall we see more silvery platinum tones (and more glass, please)?

Pink Manhattan Blog Fragrance of the Decade: Narciso Rodriguez for Her (2003) (perfumers: Christine Nagel and Francis Kurkdjian)

Undoubtedly, 2001-2010 was the decade of the return of Chypre; in particular, the patchouli-based kind, while traditional oakmoss seems to have bid farewell, save for a handful of obscure launches. The definitive nouveau Chypre, Narciso Rodriguez for Her, certainly shook up the mainstream fragrance world, but, perhaps Narciso came onto the scene with thanks to two other very popular Chypre perfumes, Chanel Coco Mademoiselle and Chance. I should probably mention Grès Cabaret, which had preceded Narciso by one year, and Agent Provocateur, the naughty and austere rose leather Chypre that set a certain kind of stage in 2000.

Patchouli was easily the star note of the decade; there hadn't been so much patch in the air since Halston of the '70s and Grès Cabochard of 1959. Patchouli was used with abandon in a majority of new launches, in the style of Thierry Mugler Angel (Woody Oriental), the (still reigning) star of last decade. We can't forget the immense influence of Thierry Mugler Angel in the millenium with superstars Aquolina Pink Sugar and Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb carrying on the Fruity patchouli / Gourmand patchouli torch. While many patchouli fragrances stayed in the gourmand range, many others split off into the unsweet nouveau Chypre range. Some walked the line between two worlds as Chypre-Oriental, often with fruit notes weaving together the transition seamlessly. As patchouli has become a mainstay in Women's fragrances, we'll see more patchouli-based Chypre in 2011 with the much-anticipated launch of Rihanna Reb l'Fleur.

Since 2001, we stared seeing a neoconservative bend in the marketing of fragrances, with the Green trend (Chypre and Woods for women is part of that movement, I believe), and also the return of fragrances for Women with names like Miss Boucheron, Miss Dior Cherie, etc. At the same time, the pop music scene also turned retro in a 1950s - early 1960s way, with easy, nostalgic chords and beats.

Also, we saw the popularization of iris (root) and the explosion of Woody Floral / Woody Oriental scents for Women. There was plenty of gender bending going on, which is good, not that ladies couldn't simply pick up a Men's fragrance for themselves and vice versa. That's coming from someone who loves both the color pink and music that is performed by and marketed to the gender demographic across the aisle. We also saw lots more fragrances marketed under shared gender, a trend I hope to see more of in the coming decade.

In the latter part of the decade, there were new, lovely orange blossom / Citrus florals such as my current favorite, Jean Paul Gaultier Ma Dame. A white floral was never so assertive and energetic - light and airy, but demure no more. It's classified as a Floral but to me, it has shades of 4711, a classic citric Fougère. I would like to see more Fougère /Fougère-leaning types for Women (Fougère is currently dominated by Men's, as Floral dominates Women's). Ma Dame was composed by the same perfumer who co-composed Narciso Rodriguez for Her; with the launch of his own line, it seems to have been a fruitful decade for Francis Kurkdjian.

This list is not in any specific order of rank, but I will start with my most favorite launch of the decade. And now, without further ado...

Pink Manhattan Blog Top 100 Fragrances 2001 - 2010

1. Jean Paul Gaultier Ma Dame
2. Narciso Rodriguez for Her
3. Guerlain Les Secrets de Sophie
4. Chanel Chance
5. L'Artisan Parfumeur Ambre Extrême
6. Givenchy Very Irrésistible
7. L'Instant de Guerlain
8. Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb
9. Vera Wang Princess
10. Frédéric Malle Une Fleur de Cassie
11. Parfums Delrae Amoureuse
12. Marc Jacobs Blush
13. Le Labo Jasmin 17
14. Chanel Les Exclusifs Eau de Cologne
15. Nina Ricci Nina
16. Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque
17. Serge Lutens Vetiver Oriental
18. Hermès Un Jardin Après La Mousson
19. Marc Jacobs
20. Christian Dior Addict
21. Miller Harris Noix de Tuberéuse
22. Chanel Les Exclusifs 31 rue Cambon
23. Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue
24. Aquolina Pink Sugar
25. Donna Karan Be Delicious
26. Guerlain Homme
27. Ralph Lauren Blue
28. Monyette Paris
29. Kilian Straight to Heaven
30. Christian Dior Dior Homme
31. Chanel Coco Mademoiselle
32. Guerlain Insolence
33. Guerlain Idylle
34. Cartier Eau de Cartier
35. Guerlain Cuir Beluga
36. Annick Goutal Songes
37. Cacharel Gloria
38. Burberry Brit Red
39. Vera Wang Rock Princess
40. Calvin Klein IN2U
41. Kilian Love
42. Penhaligon's Amaranthine
43. Stella McCartney Stella
44. Francis Kurkdjian APOM pour Femme
45. Tom Ford Moss Breches
46. Serge Lutens Gris Clair
47. Guerlain Shalimar Light
48. Penhaligon's Artemisia
49. Kenzo Amour
50. Frédéric Malle Carnal Flower
51. Annick Goutal Les Nuits d'Hadrien
52. Benefit Maybe Baby
53. Annick Goutal Neroli
54. Fifi Chachnil
55. Bond 9 Saks Fifth Avenue for Her
56. Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille
57. Kate Spade Beauty
58. Dolce & Gabbana Sicily
59. Zirh IKON
60. Dolce & Gabbana The One
61. Délices de Cartier Eau Fruitée
62. Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vanille Banane
63. Giorgio Armani Armani Code
64. Cacharel Amor Amor
65. Britney Spears Curious
66. Britney Spears Fantasy
67. Serge Lutens Daim Blond
68. Jo Malone Blue Agava & Cacao
69. Tom Ford Grey Vetiver
70. Loree Rodkin Gothic II
71. Lacoste Inspiration
72. Salvatore Ferragamo Incanto Charms
73. Pilar & Lucy To Twirl All Girly
74. Le Labo Fleur d'Oranger 27
75. Coquette Tropique
76. Grès Cabaret
77. Christian Dior Miss Dior Chérie L'Eau
78. Parfum d'Empire Ambre Russe
79. Jean Paul Gaultier Fleur du Mâle
80. Clarins Par Amour Toujours
81. Kilian Cruel Intentions
82. Burberry Brit
83. Agent Provocateur
84. Comptoir Sud Pacifique Caramel Sunset
85. Creed Himalaya
86. Chanel Les Exclusifs No.18
87. Valentino Rock 'n Rose
88. Lanvin Rumeur
89. Solange Azagury-Partridge Stoned
90. Christian Dior Miss Dior Chérie
91. La Prairie Life Threads Gold
92. Guerlain Samsara Shine
93. Guerlain Iris Ganache
95. Kenzo KenzoAmour Florale
96. Gabriel Strehle Strenesse
97. Floris White Rose
98. Creed Virgin Island Water
100. Heeley Iris de Nuit

(Edited on 1/17/11 - Burberry Brit Red was listed twice. I meant to list Burberry Brit and Brit Red.)

Most interesting launches: Chanel Les Exclusifs, Hot Topic Twilight, Les Nez L'Antimatiere, Solange Azagury-Partridge Stoned (Lyn Harris), Le Labo, Rich Hippie (organic), cult oil perfumes: Monyette, Coquette Tropique, Child and the rest of the niche set that defined an era.

Special mentions: Where to start? Lancome Magnifique, MJ Daisy (if you like EA Sunflowers...) & Splash Grass, the return of GAP Grass and Francis Kurkdjian's grass-scented bubbles, plus many more that aren't prestige fragrances but are delightful, memorable creations.

A very special thanks to Virginia Heffernan of The New York Times Magazine for mentioning my blog in her wonderful piece, "The Medium: Good Vibrations". Thank you, authors Jan Moran, Michael Edwards, John Oakes, countless website owners, bloggers and my friend Marian Bendeth of Sixth Scents for their exhaustive work in the field, without which I could not fuel this passion for perfume.

Finally, I apologize for my grandiosity, but this was an amazing decade for me, having pursued one of my little dreams, of launching my own fragrance creation alongside my original music CD. I'd like to say THANK YOU to all of my Pink Manhattan Purrfume and Persephone New York (Unreleased Mix) customers over the years - I hope I'll have a chance to present something new and exciting in the near future. Until then, please stay tuned to my blog for updates. And thank you, dear readers, for your on-going friendship in cyberspace. Best Wishes in 2011!

Now, onto my personal current Top 10...

Jasmin Impératrice Eugénie, my most beloved perfume of the year. Dear House of Creed: Would you please bring back these older style bottles for Women, in the same style as the Men's? I'm not as fond of the "feminine" style of the new look (the slimmed down, curvier one), although I'm sure it has its fans. However...

I am smitten with your gorgeous Italian leather atomizers, shown here in white. True, I'm a platinum Girl, but gold with gold trim seems appropriate for Jasmin Imperatrice Eugenie (Available at

I love Creed for their products as well as superior customer service, for which I vote for Creed as the best fragrance shop of the decade.

My Top 10 of December 2010

1. Creed Jasmin Imperatrice Eugenie
2. Caron Narcisse Noir
3. Jean Paul Gaultier Ma Dame
4. Vera Wang Princess
5. Creed Spring Flower
6. L'Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse aux Papillons
7. Jil Sander No.4
8. Frederic Malle Une Fleur de Cassie
9. Creed Fleurissimo
10. Miller Harris Noix de Tubereuse

Hall of Fame
Christian Dior Poison (1985)

I generally don't care for celeb scents, but one I'd like to see because she's immensely talented and cute: Demi Lovato ---- I'm also looking forward to Rihanna's perfume, a Barbados-inspired tropical Chypre (will it remind us of pineapple-y Jean Patou Colony or the gardenia-laden Carven Ma Griffe?).

"It's better to dance than to march through life." --Yoko Ono

Don't Stop the Music
- Writers: Michael Jackson, Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Tawanna Dabney, Produced by Stargate, Performed by Rihanna

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Nina Simone - Love Me or Leave Me

"To most white people, jazz means black and jazz means dirt, and that's not what I play. I play black classical music."

"Once I understood Bach's music, I wanted to be a concert pianist. Bach made me dedicate my life to music, and it was that teacher who introduced me to his world." Read more quotes by Nina Simone @

Wikipedia: "Eunice Kathleen Waymon (February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003), also know by her stage name Nina Simone (/ˈniːnə sɨˈmoʊn/), was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil rights activist widely associated with jazz music. Simone aspired to become a classical pianist while working in a broad range of styles including classical, jazz, blues, soul, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop.

Despite having been diagnosed with bipolar disorder,[1] multiple personality disorder and schizophrenia,[2] Simone recorded over 40 albums, mostly between 1958 — when she made her debut with Little Girl Blue — and 1974. Read more about Nina Simone.

Happy Kwanzaa! December 26, 2010 - January 1, 2011

Image: Kwaanza Photo By Nelo Esteves ~ As Seen Through Hazel Eyes

Friday, December 24, 2010

Ella Fitzgerald - Let It Snow

Merry Christmas!

Metallica-Enter Sandman (Smooth Jazz Version)

All instruments played and recorded by AndyRehfeldt, uploaded to You Tube on February 10, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Peace on Earth and goodwill to all

"Fair Weather" (Kenny Dorham) from the 'Round Midnight soundtrack

Chet Baker: vocal & trumpet
Herbie Hancock: piano
Pierre Michelot: bass
Billy Higgins: drums

Season's Greetings from Pink Manhattan!

R.C.A. Building, Rockefeller Center at Night poster, image source:

Merry Christmas, Happy Winter Solstice, Happy Kwanzaa, *~HAPPY HOLIDAYS~* ! I have a one track mind lately, and by that, I mean gorging myself on French vanilla macarons...that, and a fragrant delight worthy of spiritual offering: Sandalwood, sandalwood, sandalwood - preferably natural, and Indian! Now that winter is officially here, with temperatures in New York City dipping into the low 20s F, I'm out of my predominantly fruity phase and onto Floral Woody (Floral Oriental) fragrances, preferably with true, rich sandalwood in the base, and a luxurious, sophisticated heart of jasmine and/or other white florals classically married to rose. Of course I'm describing Creed Jasmin Impératrice Eugénie, my absolute favorite at the moment, possibly of all time. I just might turn into a signature scentist after all. The Queen of classic white florals, Caron Narcisse Noir parfum, is currently the only close second (and occasionally number one - I don't think Empress JIE minds, for the two 'friendly rival Woody White Florals' share warm and enveloping sandalwood base notes with exquisitely full hearts of pure olfactive liquid gold).

I don't know if you were with me during the Creed fragrance layering trend of this decade, but Creed was one of the forerunners of this trend. I had written a post about their "Spring Fling" which I learned at the Creed boutique was a blend of Spring Flower with Fleurissimo. Another blend that was recommended to me was Spring Flower with Jasmin Impératrice Eugénie, although I did not catch its name. Although I enjoy Creed fragrances on their own, it's great to have these fragrances on hand, so I could have fun experimenting with the blends that work best for me on any given day. If full size bottles are out of your current budget, generously sized samples are available for purchase at the online Creed boutique as well as through various other sources the heavyweight perfumistas already know about.

I come to this post bearing a gift - I am about to share with you something wonderful that was brought to me about 3 years ago via an anonymous Pink Manhattan blog reader whom I refer to as "my Creed angel". If you're as much a Creed fan as I am, I think you'll flip over this list of Olivier Creed's fragrance layering blends. It's more fun to share, so, once again, Happy Holidays with Love from Pink Manhattan. See you soon, when I finally unveil the 2010 Countdown of my December Top 10 plus Top Favorite Perfumes of the Decade.

Anonymous: "These blends come from Oliver himself and were decanted at the Creed store in Paris. Enjoy."

Royal Blend = RW+MI (or SMW)
Enigmatic Blend = New Tab+MI (or RW)
The Smart Blend = Fluerissimo+GIT
Crystal Blend = RW+ Bois de Cedrat (or MI)
Oceanic Breeze = Erolfa + Neroli Sauvage
Elixer of Youth = Orange Spice+RW+MI
Sensual Water = Chevrefeuille+MI
Blend of Seduction = Acier Aluminum+Neroli Sauvage+ZMP
Majestical Water = MI+BdP
Sunshine Blend = Spring Flower + SMW
Divine Blend= Fantasia de Fleurs + Fleurissimo
Blend of Love = SF +MI
Innocent Blend= SF+MI+SMW
Noble Blend = Vintage Tab + Citrus Bigarade
Scent of Style = RW+SF (or MI)
Magical Scent = GIT+SMW+ZMP
Cocktail of Passion = Erolfa+BdP
Capture by Desire = New Tab+MI+Green Valley
The Love Affair Blend =FdF+Tuberose Indiana+MI
Secret of Immortality = BdP+Selection Verte
The Blend of Success = GV+GIT+Vintage Tab
Blend of Magnetic Forces = ZMP+NS+RW
The Royal Iberian = BdP+REL+GIT
and an unnamed blend that is just amazingly deep and rich = Fleur de the Rose Bulgarie +Vintage Tabarome.

(Image: Rockefeller Center Angel,

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Paramore - Playing God

Official video uploaded by Fueledbyramen on You Tube

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fragrance of the Moment

Well, this is an interesting scent, unique and hard to describe; at first sniff, Tom Ford Grey Vetiver reminded me of Creed Love in White, because of the combination of a cool, milky consistency with a glue-like modern synthetic aroma (this is not a sweet fragrance, in case you were worried). It is a soft fragrance (that doesn't mean you need to spritz this on 5 times before you walk out of a Sephora, gentlemen - once will do), definitely not one of those Men's fragrances that flex its muscles in the mirror and scream manly Fougère (the other Tom Ford for Men is a stronger fragrance, closer to that classic "Polo" smell - although it, too, is a well-composed fragrance). Well-mannered and tailored to luxurious senses, vetiver has never smelled so soft-spoken and genteel. I'd wear this one, and plan to test it again soon.

John Coltrane Quartet - Greensleeves (1961)

Greensleeves Africa/Brass The John Coltrane Quartet
analogueLP 30cm33rpm IMPULSE May 23,1961

Uploaded by efacsen81 on You Tube

Related link: Greensleeves - Wikipedia

Friday, December 10, 2010

Pantone 2011 Color of the Year

Image: Momotaro (peach boy) and Daruma, Naito Museum of Pharmaceutical Science and History

Courageous. Confident. Vital. A brave new color, for a brave new world. See the color swatch here: Pantone 2011 Color of the Year -

I know many people have an aversion to the color pink for girls, which is understandable because of our Barbie culture, but if we're to combat gender codification in society, how about we also address gendered languages such as Latin languages which anthropomorphize objects, and even Japanese for that matter, a language which separates genders in hierarchical form? Would we be better off returning to a time (1940s) when the more "delicate" blue was the designated feminine color (and pink, a gentler shade of red, was for boys)? It's something to ponder as we ring in the new year. I sincerely hope this vibrant shade of pink will be incorporated into men's fashion more.

I happen to love the color pink, although I have my personal favorite hues, and tend to be picky about it. Come 2011, I may add a little more pink to my wardrobe which currently consists of black, white, brown and grey. I'm looking forward to a Pink Manhattan kind of year!

Related link:

Top 10 PANTONE Colors for women’s fashion chosen by New York designers for spring 2011

"The tones of gray, pale turquoise and pink will prevail."
- Christian Dior

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Coulda Sworn...

When I saw this new Gwen Stefani Harajuku Lovers Wicked Style set at Sephora, I swore the fragrances smelled different from what I'd smelled before; it turns out these are in fact reformulated (or newly composed) scents, a complete flanker set, if you will. I can't remember off the cuff which one I smelled, but I liked it. It reminded me of the Guess? fragrance from 2005. I think the fragrances in this new set are of better quality than the first, but YMMV. Pictured here is Wicked Style Music, which I believe is an apple-based Woody Floral. I'd like to resniff this one and Love, an orange flower-woody Floral according to the website. I might buy these for someone I love, but I haven't gotten a patchouli-based scent for myself since Vera Wang Rock Princess, and I'm in no hurry for yet another woody fruitchouli.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Galaxy Express 999

Watch the original TV series with English subtitles from the first episode: King of Mobius - MammothMogul's Channel

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Fred Kimmel ROCK BAND 101 @ Starving Artist Cafe & Gallery, Thu Dec. 2, 2010

No cover, all ages show featuring Fred Kimmel and his ROCK BAND 101 entourage (special guest: Fabio Recine on drums):

The Starving Artist Cafe and Gallery
249 City Island Ave
City Island, Bronx, NY 10464
8:30 PM
For more info:

Related link: Fred Kimmel "Spiral" No.1 on Broadjam's Indie Progressive Rock Chart

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Happy Hanukkah!

(Modern Bauhaus Menorah,

Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, began tonight, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010 at sundown. We wish you and yours peace and joy this holiday season!

Top 10 Fragrances of the Moment

Let me present to you my current Top 10 list, kicking it off with a most unsalubrious mankill potion, Christian Dior Hypnotic Poison (1998) which made a decisive comeback onto mainstream perfume shelves in the recent past. (Image: Dior Hypnotic Poison ad, 2009) Like Panthère de Cartier with which it shares a luxurious, ambery warmth, Hypnotic Poison is tough on the outside (caraway seed) and soft on the inside (frangipani (plumeria), vanilla).

I'm still on a Dior Poison roll, happy to have discovered I won't need the EDT after all. The Esprit de Parfum is a bonafide parfum fourrure chockful of honey, labdanum and indoles, keeping my nose well-entertained. Intoxicating for the mind, the innocent sugar plum notes will contradict and disturb.

1. Christian Dior Hypnotic Poison
2. Jean Paul Gaultier Ma Dame
3. Creed Jasmin Impératrice Eugénie
4. Creed Spring Flower
5. Christian Dior Poison Esprit de Parfum
6. DR Harris Arlington
7. Vera Wang Princess
8. Frédéric Malle Une Fleur de Cassie
9. Comptoir Sud Pacifique Tiare
10. Caitlin O'Heaney Caitlin

What's on your wish list this year?