Instead of firing up the Weber and enjoying some brats and brewsky at First Nerve Manor, I decided to take up Mindy Yang’s invitation to meet Italian niche perfumer Sergio Momo at MiN New York this afternoon.
I’m glad I did.
The MiN New York atelier on Crosby Street in SoHo is a club-like shop cum lounge presided over by Mindy and her partner Chad. They select and showcase fragrances by niche perfumers, and their monthly events are quite the gathering spot for perfumistas and the bloggers who encourage them.
Today’s event featured Sergio Momo, from Turin, who introduced new additions to his Xerjoff brand. Brand is perhaps not the right word to describe his array of 31 fragrances, arranged into five collections. Momo himself thinks of each collection as an art project, and Xerjoff as a design portfolio. He supplies the creative concept and works with French essential oil houses, Italian craftsmen (his bottles include Murano blown glass, carved stones flacons, etc.) and perfumers from Spain, Italy and the Middle East, to bring the concepts to life. Here, for once, the title “creative director” is merited.
The aesthetics and finish level of the Xerjoff collections—Shooting Stars, Oud Stars, Casamorati, etc.—are refined and elegant in the best tradition of Italian design. And there’s some showmanship as well: each bottle of the Shooting Star series comes with a certified fragment of an actual meteorite.
Separated at birth?
The MiN New York event—complete with custom champagne-based cocktails inspired by one of the Sergio Momo fragrances—began on the dot when a crowd of perfumistas materialized in the club house. And what a crowd it was. I met Barbara Herman, a.k.a. Perfumaniac, who writes at Yesterday’s Perfume; she’s currently at work on a book with the awesome title of Scent and Subversion.
Making her way in from Brooklyn was Lucy Raubertas of Indieperfumes, who seems to have recovered from the trauma of having her blog content illegally appropriated. Her newly reconstituted site is beautifully designed and worth a visit.
Also on hand were fellow Garden Stater Gaia, the non-blonde of TheNonBlonde blog, who guided me through the Andy Tauer fragrances that were on display, and Ida Meister of Chayaruchama who also writes at Fragrantica.
Hats off to Mindy and Chad for creating a retail space and social venue that perfectly capture the niche perfume phenomenon.