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words/images Judith Ecochard

August 2012
We followed our nose to the aromatic bi-annual ELEMENTS Showcase of luxury fragrances and lifestyle products this past week...even the sidewalk smelled spicy/woodsy...quite the feat on a busy Manhattan avenue.


The Portland General Store---is a men's grooming/fragrance collection with eye-catching, old-school packaging inspired by vintage Czech blue glass bottles.

packages resemble cigar boxes
Striving for authenticity-meaning skin, haircare-and colognes made without chemical additives...PGS goodies are composed of organic and natural ingredients.

Racer $35-a moisturizing, non-foaming shave cream with aloe vera, shea butter, cocoa butter and fruit extracts...nice spicy hints


BondNo.9 NYC serve up scents that are inspired by the Big Apple. Eau de parfums for men, women and uni-sex are available and for the edition scents, pictured below. We love the different takes on their signature, star shaped bottle.

Healing aromatherapy inspires the natural blends of Essence of Vali- a wonderful collection of balms. mists, eau de parfum, massage, bath and body oils...with a DNA of plant essences that are literally transporting.

Made in the USA...from ingredients locally sourced...Essence of Vali has targeted collections of products aimed at providing helpful antidotes to modern life's ailments...including the best selling "Sleep" in a gift assortment- (Massage Oil and Bedtime Balm, Sleep Soothing Mist and Bedtime Balm, Sleep Massage Oil and Mini Concentrate)...made with lavender flowers, marjoram leaves, cedar wood and ylang/ylang petals. Calming-yes...there are also blends for pain relief, passion, detox, fortify, and for perking one's self up without the caffeine drip.

Talika Paris is a plant based, family owned French brand of skincare/personal products...that we've reviewed before-when their lash lengthening Lipocils Expert was introduced on this side of the Pond.
What's new- is the cleverly packaged Skin Retouch Eye Contour...that comes individually packaged in a  tube with soothing gel on one end, and a swab on the other...insuring potency of the ingredients. (Six to a packaging to use 2x week- for lifting/tightening).

The single dose treatment contains Siberian ginseng extract coupled with marine collagen and wheat proteins that's cooling and non-irritating too...we tried!

SKIN RETOUCH FACE-A multi-tasking PRIMER -right...sinks right in for a non-greasy feel...smooths away and reduces redness-immediately-we tried this too-on the back of our hand and it sunk in immediately...with an easy to use silicone brush applicator.

WORTH USA also distributes the classic Jean Patou perfumes- and new to us but apparently not new ...Etienne Aigner Cologne for men- introduced in 1999...

Packaging inspired by the lotus flower, Legart Forschungs Atelier is a very high-end "think tank lab company"-skincare company from Germany that debuted in the USA- the AMBUJA Couture/Atelier collections- at this showcase.

FYI Ambuja means lotus in Sanskrit.

"Bespoke, sustainable beauty products..." we were very impressed with eight product collection (five for women "Couture", three for men "Atelier")...all designed for easy functionality...including a cleansing Nude foam (79.6% EcoCert certified organic, 100% natural bioactive ingredients), the anti-aging/preventative Elixir, and Capsule cream for normal, dry, mature skin.

Impressive-the science behind it all---including using the healing, nutrient blessed lotus or/and green coconut waters instead of plain ole'----plus anti-aging, rejuvenating peptides and extracts of super fruits like Indian gooseberry and pomegranate-naturally blessed with anti-oxidants. Priced at the high-end...AMBUJA is currently available in Europe.

We met the team behind the patented Cell Protection Protein based skincare collection LIFTLAB-last summer at the Elements showcase...and remember being impressed with the science behind the ingredients. On display- a daily cleanser/detox mask, Lift & Fix™ Solution (anti-redness, skin protection),  Lift& Repair™serum,, Lift & Moisturize™ and Lift & Firm™ eye cream.

Beautiful collectibles-Lalique's limited edition parfums flacons
Lalique-the French luxury brand of collectible glass---also has a fragrance collection bottled in-of course, exquisite glass bottles.

We loved the Amethyst fragrance---that is also lends itself in a lovely packaged hand/body scented cream---a complex formula inspired by the gem---with top notes of nutmeg, blackberry and currant, heart notes of spicy rose, peony, lily and ylang/ylang, and base notes of bourbon vanilla, and sensual musk.

Stella's Sweet Shoppe made bite-sized cupcakes-totally addictive/ delicious- inspired by the five Alice & Peter scents

Ensconced in unique cupcake capped, glassed bottles-the whimsical Alice&Peter scents-five in all...are cute...but in a light hearted way and actually smell nice---not twiner icky sweet...

We were told the collection is set to debut at Henri Bendel's this Fall.

$45/per Eau de Parfums--- Fancy Choco, Showy Toffee, Cheery Cherry, Wicked Berry, and Bloody Orange

a view of the 6th floor showcase
A panel discussion on major trends in fragrance---- subjects discussed included the very high cost ($500,00-$1 million, seriously) of introducing a completely new (not grandfathered in) new ingredient in fragrance...natural and synthetic ingredients that are new to the market (including 'naturals' of a yummy pink grapefruit oil and vanilla insensee while the Valerian Root oil got a major two thumbs down from just about everyone)...and the revolutionary means of extracting a scent (CO2)...AND--- very interesting, how a large fragrance house like the German based, DROM----and a small fragrance company of one nose, YOSH---are similarly inspired (we thought-it's a personal process)--- to conjure up fragrances...the former with a target consumer in mind-and we assume that includes the eventual price...and the latter, really inspired by herself (Yosh Han), her thoughts/moods, the locale etc...with no restrictions when it comes to ingredients...other than availability.

Premium collection- ACTION-available in Barney's

Anthony Logistics is a major men's skincare line...with accessible, multi products, focused collections-including core and sport- for many types of guys.

NEW---The Cool Fix-a targeted Gel Lotion that treats ingrown hairs, razor bumps and burns and redness...cute packaging...for gals.

New to us....MATRISKIN-created in 2006 by French dermatologist Dr. Pierre Huet...intro'ed a soap-free Instant Foaming Cleanser-with coconut oil, Oat protein and Vitamine B3, Collagen MP Serum (a patented formula that's anti-aging and combats acne-with Matrixyl...a water based, non-greasy skin smoother), High Performance Cream (anti-aging firming/moisturizer/re-generating with hyaluronic acid, Matrixyl, Biosaccharide gm-4 and sesame proteins) and Eye Liss Contour-a firming gel with peptides, ceramides and moisturizing hyaluronic acid.

We tried the glass bottled, Collagen MP Serum-that's a clearish, rapidly absorbed serum that is practically scentless. It takes a few weeks to see real difference, really-imo...but we can vouch how easy our sunscreen/makeup went on. Dr. Pierre Huet btw---is the leading light of Laboratoires ESPA-the company that produced brands such as Dr. Sebaugh, Meaningful Beauty (Cindy Crawford's line), and Biotec. Impressive.

soon to be available in the USA at

Crafting Beauty- also showed the New York founded, Jacomo fragrances... parfum entity...with its cleverly packaged, refreshing-"It's Me" inspired by a smartphone---a light oriental/musky/fruity-lemon, grapefruit, licorice, patchouli, jasmine, violet, amber, vanilla, rosewood, and musk (men) and pineapple, mandarin, dry pear, freesia, lilly of the valley, jasmine, iris powder, patchouli, sandalwood and musk...eau de parfum- scents- that's FUN. A great day fragrance.

DAVID PIRROTTA  from Los Angelos...showed several collections including cult fav RODIN olio lusso...who has major fans (including beauty editors who sample, everything) -devotees of its hair, body and facial oils and a pinky sheer lip balm.

RGB nail polish

YOSH---LOVE!!!! Sombre Negra our new fragrance want! Vetiver is one of our fav scents-also with patchouli, cedar and pink pepper berry, black peppercorn, clove, juniper, citrus, nutmeg, tonka and orris root. Intoxicating...

Skin & Bones unisex skincare collection with organic jojoba oil

Hefty in weight---the KJAER WEIS refillable make-up collection---is made of certified organic ingredients (by the CCPB- an Italian Organic Certifying Authority)------includes terrific cream blushes, eye shadows, and lip tints. Major bonus-no parabens, synthetic dyes or fragrances, silicone, petrochemical emulsifiers...

Founded by Danish born, NYC based make-up artist Kjaer Weis...with packaging by Marc Atlan---the compacts are stunning. Throw one of these at will be charged with first class felony assault.

refills snap out.