Eden is expanding! Our newest shop, Eve in Eden, will be based in a brand new annex space in the back of Eden at 221 NW 11th Ave and feature antique, vintage and locally-designed gowns, jewelry and accessories. Opening day is March 15th and we are throwing a Grand Opening Party on March 23rd, starting at 6 pm! There will be live music, champagne and treats and plenty of opulent and bespoke shopping, bridal and otherwise! Like Eve in Eden on Facebook and RSVP and share the event with friends on Facebook. In the meantime, here’s a preview of Eve in Eden’s bridal magic… a beautiful film starring Annie Montgomery shot by Eric Rose.
In celebration of tonight’s perfume event, we have a close-up with two of our hosts, Josh Meyer of Imaginary Authors and Sarah Stuart of Demiscent. Josh has put together a shopping guide for men and a suggestion of unisex fragrances for guys and gals. Sarah introduces what she does – a world of decanting fragrances – in an interview with Eden staffer Consuelo.
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FRAGRANCE SHOPPING FOR GENTS AND APPLICATIONS OF UNISEX SCENTS: AN INTRODUCTION FROM JOSH MEYERS OF IMAGINARY AUTHORS
As a perfumer, I use the term perfume too often and too loosely where I should instead use the term fragrance. It’s nothing short of devastating when I am asked if I make “colognes for men” too. Dude perfume is a real thing.
Colognes are two things 1) a concentration and 2) a structure of fragrance – just like an IPA is a structure of a beer. Perfume is the term for a stronger concentration, whereas cologne is a predominantly citrus fragrance with a few florals to hold them in place or simply a much weaker concentration of a perfume.
Fragrance as a rule is not strictly masculine or feminine. An analogy for this variance is color: pink may be representative of ladies, but who doesn’t know that a man wearing pink can be the pinnacle of masculine? The color ‘light green’, depending on the exact shade and perhaps your current mood can be seen as unisex, slightly masculine, or incredibly feminine. There are general guidelines for who can wear what: big white florals are generally feminine, while notes like oak, smoke, leather and sandalwood lean more masculine.
With independent (and Portland-based!) fragrance houses like Imaginary Authors and Slumberhouse coming into the light, the boundaries for unisex fragrance is widened or completely absent. My more masculine creations (including Memoirs of a Trespasser, The Cobra & The Canary and Bull’s Blood) are much more popular with the ladies than I could have ever expected. Understandably, many women crave a scent more unique than something marketed towards “every girl” at Sephora. With a little searching, one can find niche brands and small fragrance houses with fragrances that not only smell like no one else you know, but also present a completely new and unique olfactory experience.
Here are a few of my own notes:
• Ladies, give Slumberhouse Norne a spray or two on a cold February evening when you’ve got a fire burning and a book in hand.
• Dudes, give Norne a try when you’re wearing a scarf and are out on the town.
• Ladies, give Imaginary Authors Bull’s Blood a spray when you’re feeling particularly saucy. This is a late night happy hour with a third date type material.
• Dudes, give Bull’s Blood a try on Friday at the office. Pair it with a red shirt and an expensive watch.
• I’d like to see more ladies and more fellas wearing Serge Luten’s Gris Clair – this is contemplative and creative during the day, and alluring and soft during the evening. Fantastically unisex and easily wearable.
• Ladies, The Cobra & The Canary by Imaginary Authors is a leather scent waiting for destruction. Wear this to take over the world.
• Fellas can wear The Cobra & The Canary anytime, it is distinctive and can be worn with a leather jacket or a blue blazer.
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INTO THE REALM OF PERFUME WITH SARAH STUART: DECANTER & PERFUMISTA
I wasn’t sure how to go about introducing Sarah Stuart of DemiScent. I knew that I wanted to let her tell her own story. She seemed she had to have one, to have such a vast collection of fragrances and a knowledge that one would think only a perfumer could have. I asked her to tell me how she developed her interest and what her background in perfume was. She sent me this account, addressed to you.
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From Sarah: My love of perfume has developed over the years to the point where it is not possible for me to have just one favorite scent; too many wonderful options exist in the realm of perfume, and it is increasingly difficult to keep up with the plethora of fragrance launches that flood the market each year.
I believe in the idea of a fragrance wardrobe, a concept that may appeal to the modern consumer of fine fragrance, as there are different styles of fragrance for different moods, occasions, and changing seasons. But how to distinguish what is worth even sampling?
For years, I have scoured department stores, online resources/blogs, read hundreds of perfume reviews, and questioned local and distant perfumistas in order to obtain knowledge about what are, in fact, the most worthwhile fragrances to spend time with. These include fragrances which have earned top five star rating, fragrances both new and old which have withstood the test of time and will remain classics (according to the “experts!”). Some are difficult to come by, either being discontinued or non-export (those which cannot be purchased in the United States).
I offer my customers an excellent selection of the very best in fragrance, from traditional to niche brands, in small quantities so that more than one fragrance may be chosen to embellish a given wardrobe. Each is hand decanted into small spray vials or bottles, to give as a gift, or to add to oneís personal collection. The vials are conveniently sized for carry-on air travel.
I hope you find something that appeals to what is your most intimate of the senses. This particular selection I have chosen as appropriate to the artistic sensibility of Portland’s Eden, scents you might reach for as you would a favorite accessory or piece of clothing.
If there is something in particular you are searching for, please let me know and I would be happy to seek it out for you (It may very well be something I have in my inventory that is not on the event’s fragrance menu).
Thank you and enjoy!
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On reading Stuartís statement, I was struck by several things. First, I still want the backstory! How does one enter the ìrealm of perfumesî? What was the moment when Stuart realized she was attracted to fragrance in such a big way, as to start a business of decanting? How does one gain access to the world of fine fragrances?
Here is just a fragment of my conversation with her.
Eden: Sarah, I’d like to go back to the beginning, how you made your way into the world of perfumes – can you talk about that?
Sarah: Yes, it was the year that I lived in France, in my 20′s. Well, I had received two gifts. The gift, that my mother brought back – a bottle from France, I think she went on a trip with my dad. I was quite young to have such a sophisticated bottle of perfume and I loved it!
Then my very first boyfriend, my first love lived in Germany, and we traveled to Paris together and he bought me a little bottle of Diorissimo, the pure perfume, which is this beautiful Lily of the Valley, not complicated or anything, just that one note. I think that’s where it first started. I lived in France and that’s when I, you know, I would walk by people and everyone just smelled so good, there were so many fragrances there that I had never heard of, or seen, and so I started collecting them. I wore, basically one. I had one favorite one for a year, and then I’d move on to another. Then I started being unable to choose any longer, which one was my favorite one, because my mood – I had maybe 5 or 10 bottles and I would get to decide which fragrance to wear that day.
So anyways, over the years I collected and I started reading and reading and reading blogs. There is this whole sort of culture of perfumistas; perfume lovers, and I just followed what came out. Any time I went by a store that sold perfume, I had to; I felt compelled to go in and smell everything, what was new. So it just kind of got to the point where I realized I wanted to share what I had. I had the idea of just starting to decant, and then of starting a business of decanting. What I love most about it is finding women who love fragrance and who are like you, enthusiastic about it, and curious. Also, I love introducing people to that world.
And, you CAN narrow it down! There’s a moment when someone finds their scent and they’re like, YEAH! (She laughs.)
E: I love the idea of what you’ve called a “fragrance wardrobe,” because it seems to normalize fragrance. Can you talk more about that?
S: Yes, you know you reach for a scarf, or a pair of gloves, or a pair of shoes, or a hat. How can you do all of those things and not have a perfume?
There’s a lot out there that is really wonderful. I am really glad to be affiliated with Eden in any capacity because I love what you’ve chosen. There are so many fragrances that are coming out, new houses, and you have some of the really good ones. I think you’ve made good choices! It’s important for people to be able have access and exposure to stuff thatís not in department stores, that are in a store like yours. I am glad to have the opportunity to share what I’ve collected and what I think is worth it.
To me it is such a great part of life. Every day at some point in the day I really breathe something in, and it gives me so much pleasure. It is an exquisite sense that we have as human beings. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to go through life, without a sense of smell!
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The 50 perfumes Stuart will be bringing to EDEN are just a small fraction of what she she has collected over the past 20 years. (That is not to say that they are vintage, that is itself an entirely different subject.) Stuart says, “One day down the road I’d like to make perfumes.” I hope we see her fulfill that. If not, her gift to us has already been in sharing what she has gathered, curated, and found to be some of the most wonderful scents.
I want people to experience it, to know about it, and to be able to have little vials, and keep it going.
Thank you Sarah and Josh! We look forward to tonight’s event!
Spring is creeping up… the daphnes are beginning to bloom, the cherry blossoms, crocuses, come! We invite you to a night of perfuming in the garden of Eden! Please join us for a sniffing and decanting party at Eden on Saturday, February 16th. Eden staff will be joined by Portland perfumer Josh Meyers of Imaginary Authors and Sara Stuart of Demiscent as they talk fragrance and help you explore a wide range of scents, including our beloved Serge Lutens, D.S. & Durga, Annick Goutal, Imaginary Authors, Slumberhouse, Tocca, L’Aromarine / Outremerlines and many more! Stuart will be bringing 50 perfumes, from houses Eden does not carry, but which fall into the realm of what we see to be Eden’s palate. These will be available for ordering in small, travel size vials, from $12 and up – a steal without committing to an entire bottle! We’ll have cocktails from Jinx for you to sip, treats to nibble and two expert “noses” to consult with your perfume queries and to help you find the perfect scent for spring, for a special occasion, or for every day.
We’re tremendously excited to announce an upcoming trunk show featuring three very talented local designers!
On October 4th, to coincide with First Thursday, we’ll be offering first dibs on three incredible and really unique accessory, clothing and jewelry collections: Reif by Lindsey Reif, Ann-Ya by Anja Verdugo and Jesseca Anne by Jesseca McCloskey. Add to that fortune telling courtesy of Psychic Siamese Terror, cocktails and snacks, dance tunes, and of course, a fashion show… it’s going to be so much fun!
You’re invited – please join us to preview these designers incredible fall collections, have your fortune read and welcome the change of season and advent of fall!
Previously, we interviewed Jess about her jewelry design and the launch of line Jesseca Anne (which you can read here.) Anja’s photography has appeared on our blog before: she took some phenomenal behind-the-scenes photos for the Eden Look Book we shot last fall; she also designs and sews clothing and accessories for a (semi-) eponymous line, Ann-Ya. Lindsey Reif is a clothing and accessories designer whose designs channel a vintage influence with urban appeal, balanced with a regard to natural landscapes.
We asked each of these talented ladies a handful of questions about inspirations, trends and what they’re looking forward to as we turn the corner into fall:
Eden: In regards to your newest / most recent collection, from where have you drawn inspiration?
Lindsey Reif: My most recent collection was inspired by 60s French Ye-Ye singers, in particular Francoise Hardy. The thing I love the most about these ladies is they appear to be sweet but are really no-nonsense, cool chicks, which is the type of woman I design for. The song that I used for my video lookbook, “Laisse tomber les Filles” by France Gall, is all about a girl who is tired of getting played and she’s telling the guy that he’d better stop breaking girl’s hearts or he’s going to find his broken one day.
Anja Verdugo: The pieces that I am creating for Eden will be unique to the shop, and I am definitely being influenced by the aura of dark beauty that inspires the space. The vision powering this collection is that of an old rose found within a charred, post-apocalyptic environment, preserved but imperfect. A memory of beauty in a harsh environment.
Jesseca McCloskey: My biggest inspiration this season came from watching the 1927 film, Metropolis. I have always been drawn to style of the 1920′s and l instantly fell in love with this 1920′s version of the future! I’m also forever inspired by art deco and art nouveau jewelry and strive to reinterpret those classic styles in new, modern ways.
Design by Reif.
Eden: Can you talk a little bit about the creative process of conceiving and executing this collection?
Lindsey: I usually go through and collect images that I like from the internet and magazines, and then I organize them into categories, like era or mood. Then I just let things develop organically – I’ll usually design one key inspiration piece for a collection, and then the rest just seem to flow around that. Right now I sew everything myself, so it’s a very hands on process – I spend a lot of time with each garment.
Anja: I’ve been inspired by dark textures and shapes, and the way that they can be infinitely combined, working together to create a subtle but powerful aesthetic. I’ve been searching extensively for the right materials, and have allowed them to dictate my design choices.
Jess: This one actually surprised me since I wasn’t trying to design a new collection when the inspiration struck… I was just trying to be lazy and watch a movie! But as soon as I started watching Metropolis I was flooded with ideas (I kept having to pause it to sketch!). The sketches that I made while watching the film are the foundation pieces of the collection and I’ve built upon them as I’ve sourced materials. I chose to use some semi-precious stones this time like labradorite, pyrite and green adventurine and I’m so excited to share it with you!
Eden: What type of style might the person who wears / carries your designs possess?
Lindsey: The woman that wears my pieces isn’t a slave to trends, yet still likes to look modern and relevant. She has a solid idea of her own personal style and isn’t afraid to take a risk and wear something edgy like studded shoes with a vintage dress or bold accessories. Overall her style is classic and effortless, and she buys pieces that she knows will be versatile in her wardrobe and look good for seasons to come.
Anja: They are a person who selects clothing and accessories thoughtfully, but decisively, understanding their own personal talismans and what makes them feel powerful. It’s less about the exact styles and more focused on the idea that aesthetically-driven people can pinpoint certain things that they want to channel and the way they dress can help to draw these things up from within. I want people to wear or carry my pieces when they feel that it belongs with them, working in unison with their existing selves and adding to their personal magic.
Jess: I love the range I’ve seen in the type of women who wear my designs. I think my jewelry appeals to women who possess their own unique sense of style. My ladies pay attention to the current trends but don’t often care to follow them. They like to set themselves apart from the crowd and know that the secret to a great outfit is all about the jewelry!
Design by Ann-Ya.
Eden: What styles are you excited to wear or see as the weather cools down and people start dressing for fall?
Lindsey: I’ve been seeing a ton of galaxy prints and I love them. I am excited to see people rocking that print on leggings and bodycon dresses. Also, VELVET EVERYTHING.
Anja: In the winter I love dressing in shades of black and gray, multi-layers and different textures that work together to make me feel ultimately comfortable and in my zone. In Portland I think it is a lifelong project to create your ultimate winter look, since protection from the rain is so crucial. I’m still working on my perfect suit of armor.
Jess: Fall has long been my favorite time of year and I can’t wait to start layering again! I’m always a fan of over-sized tops and cozy sweaters, wedges and lots of jewels! Anja recently described her style inspiration as “Futuristic Flapper” (a concept that definitely relates to my new collection!)… I would absolutely love to see more people interpret that style!
Mark your calendars for October 4th… see you there!
Eden opened doors last May in Portland’s Pearl District, and we’re pleased to announce we’ve just had a first birthday! We’ll be throwing a party in celebration this week to coincide with First Thursday.
We’re also really excited that our next door neighbor Porch Light will be joining the fun and throwing their one-year anniversary party the same night! Two stores, two parties, plus drinks, music, sweets and plenty of shopping. We hope to see you there!