Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Betsey Johnson Too Too has arrived @ Sephora



What can I say? I've been anxiously awaiting the official launch of Betsey Johnson Too Too since Basenotes sent me to cover the New York launch party. Here it is, in time for October @ Sephora!

Related links:

Betsey Johnson Too Too - New York Launch Party by Sali Oguri, NY Correspondent for Basenotes, 2nd September 2011 Basenotes.net

Basenotes: Betsey Johnson Too Too - New York Launch Party - Pink Manhattan, September 02, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

Gymnopédie No.1 (trad.Erik Satie) - Pearson Constantino





Gymnopédie No​.​1 (trad​.​Erik Satie) from September by Pearson Constantino, Pearson Constantino's Music Shop

Reversed reading of Erik Satie's Gymnopedie No. 1. Single live reading, from ending to beginning, with little improvising. From September, track released 23 September 2011, electric guitar only.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cartier XIII La Treizième Heure



Just when I thought Mathilde Laurent couldn't possibly create another masterpiece to compete with XII L'Heure Mysterieuse, I've discovered I equally love XIII La Treizième Heure, winner of the Prix des Parfumeurs (Perfumers' Prize) and the Prix des Spécialistes (panel of bloggers, evaluators & journalists) at the 2010 French FiFi Awards. Artfully composed with notes of bergamot, narcissus, maté, birch, leather, patchouli and vanilla, La Treizieme Heure is at once comforting and strange, a daring juxtapositioning of bitter and sweet notes. A bittersweet ending to the Les Heures de Parfum series, La Treizième Heure, the thirteenth hour, is named for the lucky number 13 in Cartier's Parisian address at 13 Rue de la Paix. The word in perfume blogosphere is that this fragrance is the perfumer's favorite among the extraordinary and exclusive collection she has authored.

At first sniff, I smell a combination of dark tea and rubber tire notes on a scrumptious bed of warm, milky vanilla, reminding me of Bvlgari Black, Serge Lutens Chergui and Cumming by Alan Cumming all wrapped into one, then made minimalist and sublimely elegant as none of the aforementioned could compare. It is as coolly intellectual as it is passionate and raw - it does not develop in stages as traditionally structured compositions do, but instead begins and ends on the same combination of notes in linear fashion. This does not bore me, however, because the combination keeps my interest as it teases the senses with smoky burnt rubber and gourmand elements, as if to torture the physically hungry and psychologically love-starved, to keep true satisfaction at bay. Lucky me, there is enough sweetness here that I don't feel deprived; in fact, what's one person's "too sweet" or "unsweet" is another's "just right". This is a level of discipline I can tolerate - any less sweetened, and I would consider it unfashionably austere.

The overall feel of the shared gender scent is that of leather, but it's not the soft, buttery suede of Serge Lutens Daim Blond nor the aggressive leather of Cabochard or Cumming, but rather like the motor oil and lipstick leather of Molinard Habanita, only extremely downplayed in character (edited to clarify: the oily lipstick leather note and the smoky birch tar note which is similar to Cumming, together make this unique leather accord). This modern leather creation is an Oriental fragrance mostly redolent of soft spices, green notes and all of the urban smells I'm familiar with having grown up in the metropolitan areas, technically bad smells I must have grown to subliminally love, if only for the familiarity, and the comfort such a thing can provide when the nicer comfort scents, along the lines of more easygoing gourmand vanillas, won't make the grade.

Besides, no one needs to know that Cartier XIII La Treizième Heure is really just a sweet, idealistic dreamer of a white floral at heart.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Ten year old emerging singer-songwriter Claudia Kimmel to perform @ WILLiFEST (Williamsburg International Film Festival) Sept 22 - 25, 2011



Join us @ WILLiFEST (Williamsburg International Film Festival): The World's Fair of festivals, the World's biggest block party, an arts festival in the arts capitol of New York - Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

10-year-old emerging singer-songwriter CLAUDIA KIMMEL will perform at WILLiFEST 2011at The Closing Night Awards Ceremony following the last screening on Sunday, September 25 at 6pm - exact time TBA (blog will be updated).

UPDATE (9/20): Claudia Kimmel's band lineup for WILLiFEST 2011 are: Brian Medina (b), Mike Tamborino (d), Luis Cruz (g) and Fred Kimmel (g), founder of Fred Kimmel's ROCK BAND 101.

UPDATE (9/20): Claudia Kimmel has received mention in WILLiFEST's newsletter!

UPDATE (9/19): You won't find Claudia on the WILLiFEST website since the invitation for her to perform came at the last minute; however, her appearance is confirmed, and you can still buy tickets. Here's where Claudia will be singing on 9/25. We hope to see you there!

CLOSING NIGHT AWARDS CEREMONY

Sunday, September 25, 2011
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

FSP (WILLiFEST CENTRAL)
Lower Level
161 South 3rd Street
(Corner of Driggs Avenue)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Email inquiries@willifest.com

Phone 212.744.2845

Website http://www.willifest.com/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/willifest

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WILLiFEST

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Givenchy Dahlia Noir



The description of Givenchy Dahlia Noir reads as follows on Neiman Marcus' website: "A Couture fragrance all in pure lines, a return to supreme luxury. The quintessence of the Givenchy Style." It's a lot to live up to, but since sampling this new fragrance, I know Givenchy Dahlia Noir reigns supreme in the world of couture perfumery. I'm not exaggerating when I say Dahlia Noir is the second coming of Robert Piguet Bandit. If anyone is familiar with the leather note in perfumery, it is most often rendered by the copious use of musk. Take for example Molinard Habanita with its vintage face powder and raspberry lipstick-kissed rocker jacket greased with motor oil, or L'Artisan Dzing! with a drier, more somber, decidedly bolder and more streamlined approach to the leather blindfold accord. The crowning glory of the whips-and-chains "bad woman" Chypre genre, Piguet Bandit, is a notoriously bitter, dark green, murky, smoky and difficult perfume, as enigmatic as swampwater, as breezy as toxic waste hovering over certain parts of New York and our neighboring state of New Jersey, the home of the flavor and fragrance industry in the USA (it is a warm and filthy-sweet odor, nauseating and disturbing, especially pungent driving down the I-95). Back to Bandit: it's a torture of a perfume till you get to the vanilla dry down, which is delicious if you can ignore all the filth surrounding it.

Givenchy Dahlia Noir, a powdery Floral Chypre, its name a double-edged sword between kitschy shock and true horror (I'll take the former if pressed, but I dislike both for a perfume concept), only works as a perfume name because of the quality of the composition (if not raw materials - this is debatable), the 'soul' of its essence being as tactile in sensuality as the presentation suggests. A strictly modern Floral-Powdery perfume on a base of post-Cashmere Mist creamy-woody-powdery musk, this is today's refined jus, a graceful, cleanly structured perfume. The deceivingly light, sugary-sweet baby oil musk scent seems to reference Love's Baby Soft (!), while the iris and mimosa create a delightful juxtaposition with "nature-identical" (as the industry puts it), vegetal, invigorating green notes, giving the overall a violetty (orris root-like) character. Bringing strength, fullness and drama to the scene is the heart of traditional roses with an alluring peaches-and-cream quality. The dry down is increasingly aggressive, an ending more boozy and jewel-toned, much like Guerlain Insolence, but lighter, more ethereal, ghostly, even. Oh, yes, and here, you'll also find that all-important filth.

Dear Givenchy, everything rocks about this new launch, enough to call this the new Chanel, except I'd stay away from any "flesh colored" reference in your ad copy (please scroll down). No, you're not alone in going the "nude" direction this fall, but it wasn't cool when Bill Blass did it back in 1990 with their Aldehydic Floral perfume called Nude that never got off the ground. I don't think I need to explain why in 2011, it's just ignorant of the fragrance industry as a whole.


Givenchy – Dahlia Noir By Rommellyn– July 22, 2011
DAHLIA NOIR
PERPETUATES THE GRAND TRADITION OF
EXCEPTIONAL FRAGRANCES, PRODUCTS OF
THE COUTURIER’S IMAGINATION, HARKING
BACK TO L’INTERDIT, THE VERY FIRST
FRAGRANCE CREATED BY HUBERT DE
GIVENCHY IN 1957.
TODAY, DAHLIA NOIR EVOKES AN ADDICTIVE
SENSUALITY, THE ENIGMA OF FEMININITY.
IN KEEPING WITH THE QUEST FOR QUALITY
AND TANGIBLE STRUCTURE IN THE EXERCISE
OF HAUTE COUTURE, AS PRACTISED BY THE
FOUNDER HUBERT DE GIVENCHY AND
PURSUED WITH SUPREME MASTERY BY
RICCARDO TISCI, DAHLIA NOIR MEETS
THE CRITERIA OF A FRAGRANCE CRAFTED
LIKE A COUTURE GOWN, A PERFUMING
GARMENT THAT SWATHES THE WEARER’S
BODY IN AN OLFACTORY FABRIC. TACTILE,
SENSUOUS AND PRECIOUS, DAHLIA NOIR
CLOAKS AS MUCH AS IT LAYS BARE.
DAHLIA NOIR HERALDS A NEW PHASE IN
THE HISTORY OF GIVENCHY FRAGRANCES,
A RETURN TO THE ROOTS OF EXCEPTIONAL
FRENCH PERFUMERY AND ABSOLUTE LUXURY.

WITH ITS SPARE ARCHITECTURAL
LINES AND PERFECTLY
BALANCED PROPORTIONS,
THE BOTTLE SEEMS TIMELESS. SOLID YET
DELICATE, ELEGANT YET PARED-DOWN, AT ONCE
POWERFUL AND YIELDING, IT IS A SYNTHESIS OF
OPPOSITES, LIKE THE FRAGRANCE IT CONTAINS,
LIKE THE DAHLIA NOIR WOMAN HERSELF.

DAHLIA NOIR EAU DE PARFUM COMES IN THREE
SPRAY FORMATS. THE 50ML AND 75ML SIZES
ADOPT THE RECTANGULAR FORMAT WITH ITS
SPARE, SOLID OPULENCE.
THE 30ML BOTTLE RETAINS THE SAME GRAPHIC
SIGNATURE BUT WITH A SLIMMER FORM, TAKING
ON A VERTICAL DYNAMIC. THE BLACK LACQUERED
CAP, HIGHLIGHTED WITH BEVELLED EDGES
IN MIRROR-FINISH SILVER AND THE FLESH-COLOURED
FRAGRANCE ITSELF ARE RECURRENT FEATURES
THAT UNITE ALL THREE VERSIONS.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Autism Talk TV - Ep. 16 - What's the Deal With Women, Fatherhood, and Executive Functioning?



Uploaded by theWrongPlanet on Aug 30, 2011

This is a beautiful and informative MUST SEE video that covers a wide range of autism spectrum. Bravo, Alex Plank, founder of WrongPlanet.net!

"Alex, Kirsten, and Jack are back together in Orlando, Florida for the Autism Society Conference. We had a blast at the conference and filmed a TON of AMAZING videos!"

Latin Jazz Musicians File Suit Against The Grammys

Latin Jazz Musicians File Suit Against The Grammys by Felix Contreras, NPR

C'mon, guys - Latin musicians have had it too easy. I mean, if THEY can win a prestigious Grammy Award so easily, and all these other Jazz musicians have to compete in the field and can't win like they can, it cheapens the image of the brand, guys! Hey, I think we should merge Blues with Rock, because no one's had it easier than those blues players, you know...So rock came from blues - big whoop! Blues musicians should learn to APPRECIATE the immense VALUE of the Grammy Award by working for it like everybody else! Don't bring down our property value!


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sex, Sexism and Violence: When they SOLD!



Sex, Sexism and Violence: When they SOLD!
- Vintage ads from the "legitimate" press that spoke (and speak) for themselves...(In case you thought that "Basic Family Values" were stronger 50 or 60 years ago.) Mary Ann Sorrentino's Two Cents Worth


Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Fred Kimmel's ROCK BAND 101 All Original Show! Starving Artist Cafe and Gallery - Thurs. Sept. 8th



Don't miss the first all originals show with the original Bronx Rock Band!

Monday, September 05, 2011

My End of Summer 2011 Top 10 Fragrances List



Worse than Oscar de la Renta Intrusion is the name of Elizabeth Arden's new perfume for Taylor Swift. I could never buy a Women's perfume with the word "struck" in it. What's next: Lovesick? This is not edgy. It's unwelcome subliminal misogyny!

Lady Gaga: I suppose her "blood and semen" perfume will smell salty, like salicylates (or Thierry Mugler Cologne). If it's all the same, why not call that note "seamen" for her Disney-weaned (or still weaning) fan base? Also, semen has been done by the company that made Secretions Magnifique, which I have not smelled and doubt I ever will. I won't judge you if you must.

Does every new perfume launch have to be attached to booze? I thought coconut water was a novel association.

On a positive note, there are some very special fragrances I've had the chance to smell recently, most notably the original Tiffany perfume (composed by the Chanel in-house perfumer), the new Oscar de la Renta, By Kilian Sweet Redemption and a very nice Guerlain Aqua Allegoria scent, Mandarine Basilic, which is a simple, wholesome gustative pleasure to wrap up the season in - and to newly welcome another.

The season's pièce de résistance for me is Givenchy Dahlia Noir (2011). I will review it in full very soon. Also in the works are reviews of more Cartier Les Heures de Parfum and the new Chloé flanker, which so far is my favorite among the new Chloé series.

Do check out Betsey Johnson Too Too come October if you want to smell the next coming of Gucci Guilty but with strawberry. I'd wear it with the red hot tartan sheath dress I saw in her boutique window the last time I walked by.

Top 10
1. Givenchy Dahlia Noir
2. Cartier L'Heure Mystérieuse
3. Robert Piguet Bandit
4. Rihanna Reb'l Fleur
5. biehl parfumkunstwerke PC02
6. Gucci Guilty
7. Givenchy Very Irresistible Intense
8. Betsey Johnson Too Too
9. Love's Baby Soft
10. Love, Chloe

Friday, September 02, 2011

Basenotes: Betsey Johnson Too Too - New York Launch Party



"When I hear Betsey Johnson's name, I can't help but feel all the nostalgia of being a girl growing up in New York. I remember passing by Betsey Johnson's Upper East Side boutique on those special occasions I met with my friends in Manhattan for a Serendipity frozen hot chocolate. I always loved her funky, legendary rock 'n roll style - my favorite designs are probably the ones worn by Edie Sedgwick in Ciao! Manhattan (1972). Body-conscious and ready for movement, perhaps the love of dance is what inspires her creations. I remembered, too, that once you've danced, you can't help but trace over those steps your body won't forget."

NEW YORK - Photos by Sali Oguri: Ballerinas from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy at MILK Studios for a fragrance launch party for Betsey Johnson TOO TOO (2011). Read the article on Basenotes: Betsey Johnson Too Too - New York Launch Party, 02 September, 2011



Thursday, September 01, 2011