Perfumers, jewelry designers, creators of bath and body products, candle makers and one lone chocolatier were among the 100 hand-picked vendors at Elements, held August 19-20, a highly edited and thoughtfully curated fragrance and design show.
“The theme this go round was fun,” said Frederick Bouchardy, a manufacturer and designer, who along with Ulrich Lang and Jeffrey Lawson formed Elements in 2011. The show, which happens twice a year in Manhattan, has become a hub for industry leaders and buyers from big department stores to smaller venues such as museum shops, design and lifestyle stores and fashion boutiques.
“But we’re also appealing to a new marketplace, which has changed,” added Frederick. “So has the consumer’s buying habits and tastes. We wanted to offer highly selective and hard to find treasured gems. The brands represented here are art objects. They’re tiny and beautiful, hard to produce, and where packaging is critical.”
Vendors included Laboratory Perfumes, which wafted in straight from the UK, where the brand’s products are made. Taking inspiration from the countryside, the small company offers only three perfumes – Samphire, Gorse, and Amber, each of which can be paired with a candle housed in a glass beaker, created specifically to reflect the look of a perfumer’s laboratory.
Bringing in the California sunshine, not to mention representing the remote coastal town of Arcata, was Tulip, established in Humboldt County. Created by Victoria England, the hand-crafted line of five fragrances, such as Lemon Sugar: “The Trendy Vixen”, and Mandarin Peony: “The Refined Romantic”, along with her bath and body products, represent a holistic approach to thinking and living. A one-woman operation, the aromas are a blend of both essential and fragrance oils.
One of most well known vendors was Bond No. 9, who had the biggest news to share. September marks a decade since the company began and to commemorate the auspicious occasion, founder Laurice Rahmé created Perfumista, a 10th anniversary fragrance. Scent of Peace for Him – a male version of the number one women’s fragrance – along with I Love New York for Holiday, were the other perfumes that took Bond’s center stage.
After one’s nose was filled to the gills with unique and rapturous scents, guests were happy to nibble on samples from Antedote, which Red R. Thalhammer, company founder and creator, refers to as the “chocolate cure.” The health treat comes straight from Ecuador’s Arriba Nacional cacao beans to form bean-to-bar chocolate. The organic cacao content is half-raw, half-roasted and contains fruits, nuts, spices and salts, like mango + juniper, lavender flower + red salt, and coffee + cardamom.
And let’s not forget nails…. RGB was literally “on hand” to give mini manicures.The nail company, which was launched in 2009 by founder Gina Carney, started with a only a handful of colors in their line, which is intent on creating products that are healthy for the nails, both in color and care. Today, RGB offers more than 35 chip-resistant, high shine shades that sell for $18 and boast being free of formaldehyde, toluene, dibutylphthalate, formaldehyde resin and camphor.
With each Elements comes a greater turnout. The most recent show, located at Skylight West’s Hudson Yards’ showroom, attracted close to 5,000 eager attendees, compared with January’s exhibition, which drew 3,000.