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quinta-feira, 18 de fevereiro de 2016

Euphorium Brooklyn Voluptuary Event at Twisted Lily and GIVEAWAY

Not even bone-chilling cold will keep fragrance fans away when there's a perfume party! Dozens of us braved the frigid temps to make our way to Twisted Lily for the launch of Euphorium Brooklyn's new Voluptuary Set on Friday, February 12, and we steamed up the shop's windows with our passion for perfumes!
The event began with a tour of the Euphorium Bile Works.
It was through these hallowed pipes that the mystical elixirs which comprise the Euphorium Brooklyn fragrance collection had their humble beginning, so to speak...
Is it clear yet that you're looking at miniature set pieces created for the stop-motion film Euphorium Bile Works by artist and Euphorium Brooklyn perfumer Stephen Dirkes? The test strips and bottles add a bit of scale, but the miniatures are remarkably detailed, down to the individual bricks and even the cobwebs and dust on the pipes. Originally crafted for use in the film, often from surprising sources (the black box with "brass" fittings was built from Maybelline cosmetics cases—Stephen turned one over and showed me the indentation where the cake of pressed powder once sat), they made a perfect showcase for this fragrance collection inspired by Victorian-era culture, philosophy and aesthetics.
Seeing all of the fragrances in person, in their original packaging (glass apothecary bottles for the oil-based scents, old-fashioned bulb atomizers for the alcohol-based fragrances) adorned with the Victorian-inspired logo and labels and hand-numbered by batch, artfully displayed amongst the set pieces from the film, I realized how complete the house's distinct aesthetic is, both visual and fragrant. Having all seven of the house's fragrances available to sniff also provides a unique opportunity to understand the brand and the intent of the perfumer. Better still, Stephen Dirkes himself was on hand to discuss his work with us and walk us through the line! (Attending an event such as the Voluptuary launch is well worth your time if an opportunity presents itself.)
Stephen and I compared favorite notes and discovered a common love of vetiver. All scents in the Euphorium Brooklyn collection are a pleasure to wear, but Usar is my particular favorite and it holds a special place in Stephen's heart, too. I learned at the event that its name is the word for "vetiver" in the region of Indonesia from which Stephen sourced the vetiver used in this fragrance.
We've discussed the concept of terroir here on Fragrantica, most notably in relation to oud, but it's applicable to vetiver as well and of huge importance for any perfumer who uses natural ingredients. After working so hard to establish a vetiver source that could ensure consistency and reliability for future production, as luck would have it, the 2015 vetiver crop from this particular region of Indonesia failed. Stephen has been on a lengthy journey to find a suitable replacement for future batches of Usar. After sampling many vetivers from around the globe, Stephen finally found what he needed in a batch of Java vetiver aged 15 years.
Which is a good thing, because Usar as well as Wald, both originally released as oil-based eaux de parfum, will be re-released in alcohol-based formats later this year, just as Cilice has been, starting with the Voluptuary Set. Both Stephen and I agree that oil-based scents have their own merits—low sillage, excellent longevity, but I admit, I love the convenience of a spray. Options are always wonderful!
The use of oil as a base is an extension of the house's Victorian-era aesthetic and also a reflection of Stephen's introduction to fragrances. A friend who made incense first introduced him to scents in oil format. Stephen uses some potent animalic aromas in his scents (castoreum, civet, ambergris—all made from animal-friendly accords) and found their performance varied greatly between oil and alchol. "Some of the musks and the larger molecules really BOOM in the alcohol," he noted. Subtle tweaks were necessary for the alcohol-based formulation of Cilice and are underway for Usar and Wald.
Stephen's partner, Tal Shpantzer, is a professional photographer and she created some of the striking photos that accompany Euphorium Brooklyn's fragrances. Tal also snapped some great photos at the party, which she kindly shared with me (look at the adorable photo of the little girl in the pink dress, holding a cookie and a bottle of choclaty Chocolatl perfume!). A long-term photo project that Tal has been working on,Petals Series, which features images of women with flowers in their mouths, actually inspired Euphorium Brooklyn's Pétales fragrance. Stephen and Tal are now working on a multi-media project that incorporates photography, perfume and dance and Fragrantica will share details of the upcoming event in the near future.
One of my favorite things about Brooklyn is how its creative and entrepreneurial communities support each other's efforts. Perfumers Dana El Masri of Jazmin Saraï(and now Joya!) and Hans Hendley of Hendley Perfumes were in attendance. A woman who owns a spa down the street from Twisted Lily stopped by to talk to Eric about some of the skin care lines they have in the store and was still there an hour later, chatting and sniffing perfumes. Goodsmella and Brooklyn Fragrance Lover Carlos Powell was there, sporting handsome new whiskers, along with CaFleureBon's Hernando Courtright, who is the embodiment of elegance and taste at any event.
Wine and soft drinks were served, there were hors d'oeuvres to nosh on and I have a new favorite snack, thanks to a barktTHINS® chocolate tasting that was offered during the party. The mood was festive, which I hope these photos show. Perfume lovers mixed and mingled with each others, recommending favorite scents and exploring new ones together. I think my wish list grew by about a dozen fragrances, including Mr. NLS's contribution of Suédois.
2015 was the creative year for Euphorium Brooklyn, with the launch of all seven fragrances, each accompanied by a detailed backstory and often, a film. Stephen indicates 2016 will bring more focus on the business side of things, of which the newVoluptuary Set, featuring 8 ml sprays of Cilice, Pétales and Chocolatl, is the first part. For a more detailed background on Stephen and Euphorium Brooklyn, please read A Story in Scent, which Stephen wrote for us back in January.

Euphorium Brooklyn scents are available in two sizes (15 ml and 30 ml for the oils, 30 ml and 50 ml for the alcohol-based scents), in the Voluptuary Set (8 ml atomizers of Cilice, Pétales and Chocolatl), Discovery Set #1 (8 ml atomizers of Pétales, Suédois,100 Tweeds and Chocolatl). Individual samples are also available for purchase. The fragrances are sold exclusively at Twisted Lily and international shipping to most countries is available.
Thanks to Euphorium Brooklyn and Twisted Lily for a wonderful fragrance event full of fragrance, food and fun! Special thanks to Tal Shpantzer for sharing her photos and snapping a few with my camera, too. 
For those who couldn't be there in person, we have some surprises in store...
One lucky winner will receive a goodie bag from the event featuring a spray sample of Pétales, a bag of barkTHINS chocolates and a beautiful photo greeting card featuring one of Tal's photos from the Petals Series. Two other lucky winners will receive a box of assorted samples courtesy of Twisted Lily. Have you tried Euphorium Brooklyn? Have a favorite scent from the line or one you're interested in sniffing? Please leave a comment on this article to enter the giveaway.
Photos by Tal Shpantzer as credited; all other photos by Jodi Battershell

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