Monthly Archives: May 2008

Escentric Molecules 02–A perfume and a chemistry experiment

Just the name Escentric Molecules sounds like a hairbrained idea. Normally perfumes are made from an array of molecules–the scent of a rose alone has many, many different complexes that form that aroma. Additionally, perfumes are broken down into groupings of scent (which also require different molecules): top notes, middle notes and base notes.

Designed by Berlin-based perfumer Geza Schoen and London company ThisCompany and MeCompany, Escentric 02 and Molecule 02 is a set of two perfumes composed primarily of a single molecule called an “Iso E Super.” Of course, they add a few ingrediants to spice things up, but essentially the perfumes are one note-rs.  (For their first version, 01, they added pink pepper, green line and balsamic notes
like benzoin, mastic and incense.) The two bottles are meant to be worn together or layered with other perfumes.

This year they’ve launched their second version, which is centered around the ambroxan molecule. Ambroxan is found in Ambergris secretions by the sperm whale. Whales generate this gummy brown liquid in their intestines to help them digest. Once the gummy brown liquid hits the ocean, it is fried by sunlight, and reacts with a pungent mixture of sea salt and minerals. The nutty scent is harvested when it washes up on shore.

The scent is purported to be quite musky and mineral like. You can buy it at

Two years ago, when 01 launched, Kate Moss reportedly went nuts. She stood in line to get a couple bottles.

Escentric 01


PR Trickle-Down Effect

No longer the realm of bad journalists (hee hee), good journalists, overtly critical types, angry people and those with too much time, we’ve got the PR gals, their clients and and former staffers blogging about their personal experiences on their employer’s website. And why not? It’s the ultimate Russian matryoshka doll–promoters promoting their products on a micro scale.  Smart thinking. I work with tons of PR gals and they’ve got their finger on the pulse of pop culture. They know about upcoming store openings, new lines and possible events even before the deals are finalized. So, it’s the perfect format for publicists to get their information out there.  On your mark. Get set. Spill!

Ode to Philippe Starck

Dearest, loveliest Philippe.
Your chairs are so elegant.
They don’t look very comfy.
But who cares!
They are all sharp clean angles,
Wonderful alloys of aluminum and teak, stainless steel and plastic, resin and beeswax.
Mitterrand and Prada must be so jealous.
You make stuff cheap too.
Hurray for Target!
We love you and your wicked wit.



Philippe: Doesn’t he look like a happy fellow?

Audrey Tautou, ready to pout for Chanel

I used to think that Audrey Tautou’s name was pronounced Audrey Tatoo. Alas, non, it’s "Tutu." Perhaps that’s more appropriate since she does have a rather balletic, otherworldly air about her. I really dig her bangs and the super sweet way she says "Oui" in the film Amelie. She sort of puckers up her lips and whistles as she says the word "Oui," ever so softly.

That kind of reminds me of an Italian girlfriend of mine who had the most incredible way of saying "Ciao." She would kind of sigh as she said it, and the word would start out at a high pitch before falling to a low whisper, sort of a lovely decrescendo, and then at the end of the greeting she would slump her shoulders. The boys would look at her and melt.

These sort of affectations were always so magical to me because when I’m speaking French or Italian (both languages I learned from surrogate mother figures), I’m just trying to get the word out there with some semblance of correct pronunciation and usage. The idea of using a word like a caress, a word that says five thousand things to five thousand different people, still strikes me as utter sophistication. Sometimes my Italian friend seemed vulnerable, other times excited, often bored; it was like this one beautiful note that you had to listen to very hard to figure out the real meaning.

I guess I could try saying "Thank you" or  "Excuse me" in a special mysterious way, but the thing is, it feels almost un-American to me. We just get things out there, say what we mean and be done with it.

Anyway, the reason why I decided to blog about Mademoiselle Audrey Tautou is because she’s been named the face of Chanel for the next "Advertising film," which will be directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet . From the press release, I’m left thinking that "Advertising film" must mean "TV ad," but I’m not entirely certain. The film will be released in


Fashion shows aren’t for the faint of heart, especially when you are a three-year-old.

At a club on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, just off the Sunset Strip, Baby Celebration held their Infant and Toddler Fashion Show featuring merchandise from Innovative Baby, Hopscotch Designs and many more. When I walked into Social Hollywood, the first thing I wondered was, "Who are these people that come to toddler fashion shows?" I didn’t see or recognize any other journalists in the audience.

I sat next to a rosy-cheeked pregnant woman who immediately said hello, shook my hand and asked me what I did. I answered that I was a journalist and she told me that she "worked" for Next Models. "Oh, cool," I said and then I asked her if she worked in bookings or as an agent.
"No, I’m repped by them, in the maternity division."
How odd, I thought, I’ve never had a model tell me that she worked for an agency. Models are repped by them, not employees of one. Regardless, she also told me about her husband who was an actor and I’ve already forgotten what stuff he was in, so that shows you how fascinating she was.

I looked around. While peppy music played in the background–you know the kind of music that is on the Disney channel, neither rock, nor pop, nor folk, basically crap–an adult woman dressed as a fairy godmother walked onto the runway. I found her traumatizing. Imagine a large sparkly pink gown with a wasp waist, a lacy bolero jacket, many coats of purple eyeshadow, cheap-looking fairy wings and a blond up-do with curls (crunchy curls, the kind that look shellacked with hairspray). Baby_fashion_4808_403_2

"Hello children," she said (although there were very few children in the audience). "I’m your Fairy Godmother."
You could see kids peaking out from behind the screen, clinging to good-looking adult helpers dressed all in white.

As the fairy godmother read out the first name of each toddler and described what they were wearing, a little kid would emerge, sometimes after great delay, either being dragged or carried by the people dressed in white T-shirts and jeans, or marching down the runway by themselves. Some chewed candy or sucked lollipops (no healthy snacks here) as the photographers waved at them frantically, trying to get the kids to face the right direction. Some looked cute, others like this one little boy, who had a classically Dutch face and page boy haircut, looked like he was ready to step onto a psychiatrist’s couch. I hope he won’t have to pay millions in analyst’s bills in his future. This kid wore black feathered wings–yes wings!–striped skintight jeans with silver pinstripes, a mini waiter-style tuxedo jacket with a gold and black checkered lapel, a black fedora, and GOLD cowboy boots. He also carried a walking stick. The poor thing looked like a creature out of Anne Rice’s imagination, or a deified Bavarian hiker. My heart kind of clenched up when I saw him walk out there.Baby_fashion_4808_554_2

The other interesting thing I enjoyed was trying to pinpoint each child’s personality. With some of them you could already see their character emerging. One little girl, a less attractive version of Mary Jo Bennet, pranced up and down the runway with a sinister smile. I’m serious, this little girl was creepy. And she clearly loved the fashion show more than any of the other kids. I was dying to see what her mother was like.

Others were darling; I mean they’re all cute little kids. They’re babies. But I found it disturbing that many of them looked like they had no idea what was going on, but had an inkling that they didn’t like whatever it was. Especially when they when this one little girl looked up dubiously at the well-endowed fairy godmother before she tentatively held out her little paw. Then they walked up and down the aisle, the little girl ignoring the fairy godmother the entire time.  Those kids…they knew that something was wrong.

Anyway, as soon as it was over, I had get out of there. As I waited for my car at the valet, I scanned the mothers. Most seemed harried, others were low-key. I mean who knows why they make their toddlers model? Then I saw the mother and the sinister little girl. The mom was blond and Stepford-like. She was also emaciated. She stood there utterly bored, ignoring her child and the other mothers. Then she daintily waddled into the street and stepped into her beamer. Weirdness! All I know is that if I ever have a kid, I don’t think I want to put them through that stress. 
No more toddler fashion shows for me.

One more wacky outfit–do any of these kids look happy?