Art Books Events FRAGments: Artisan and Indie Perfume Event Report

FRAGments: Artisan and Indie Perfume Event Report

06/24/13 17:33:40 (3 comments)

by: Elena Knezhevich

The FRAGments event was held two days ago in Los Angeles. The organizers chose MorYork Gallery, the studio of eclectic sculptor Clare Graham, who creates peculiar shapes and figures of different materials—buttons are among his favorites. He also recycled cans, bottles and other seemingly useless things into eye-catching pieces of art.

This colorful environment was chosen because it "visually embodies the spirit of this diverse group of perfumers, who create unique, multi-faceted and experimental olfactory art."

Guests of the event walked around the studio to more closely examine Graham's creations. Kids and many adults felt themself in a treasure box. I myself have been insired to look at waste in the house as a potential material for something new.

At FRAGments we met perfumers from North America (USA and Canada)—natural perfumers and perfumers with no fear of synthetic ingredients. Some perfumes we already have had the pleasure to smell, but there were many new creations and even new brands.


The perfume house from California, En Voyage Perfumes, which is run by perfumer Shelley Waddington, has released a perfume in honor of Zelda Fitzgerald, the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Being talented herself, Zelda lived a bright but tragic life, in the shadow of her famous and ambitious husband.

Vortex-like, the 1920s have enjoyed the close attention of modern artists as a short, but bright time of carefree and liberated people, crushing the tight borders of moral and esthetic norms of the past. This short period of time squeezed between two wars was a refreshing wave which changed the world so quickly and so drastically, without violence, and with the euphoria of peace after a devastating war, with artists at the head.

The idea of the perfume was suggested to Shelley by Michelyn Camen, the founder of the CaFleureBon perfume magazine. They worked together on the details of the perfume and its presentation.

"Michelyn sent images of Zelda as well as recommended that I read Nancy Milford's Zelda: A Biography (P.S), Zelda Fitzgerald's only novel, Save Me the Waltz and thought I might  also draw inspiration from her paintings of dancers. I knew right away that this controversial, enigmatic  and historically misunderstood woman was my next  fragrant muse.  As a perfumer, I tell stories with fragrance and I was excited to tell Zelda's story."—Shelley Waddington for

The fragrance is created around a magnolia accord: soft and feminine to fit this beautiful woman, but there is also something rough and rebellious inside it, restless, rooting, I guess, from her character more than from appearance.


Roxana Villa (perfumer) and Greg Spalenka (designer and artist)

Roxana Villa of Roxana Illuminated Perfume introduced the new BLOSSOM, a limited edition perfume based on jasmine, slightly different every year, from Roxana's own flower garden and pollinated by her own bees. Blossom is a delicious fresh floral fragrance, Roxana's tribute to Summer.

Fig 1 Noir is a very different fragrance from carefree Blossom, a dark and appealing combination of earthy, pungent herbal, tart fruity and soft musky notes. I was wearing both of them yesterday, enjoying the combination of their very different characters, offereing different ways to seek pleasure.

botanical perfumes

"Jolie Laide is a botanical perfume line that embraces the intricacies of nature. A French phrase meaning unconventional beauty, our perfume combines natural scents that are both luscious and odd, coming together in a way that allows each individual to explore their complexities within."

Heather Kaufman, Jolie Laide's founder and perfumer, doesn't hesitate to use the word "stinky" to describe her perfumes. Flowers in Heather's creations have a very broad palette of nuances, including disturbing "stinky" zones. They are not limited to producing only sheer beauty; they have character.

natural perfume house

Nikki Sherritt started her aromatic business with scented candles (the company name is Gabriel's Aunt) in 2002. In 2011, Nikki founded Rebel & Mercury natural perfume house. The line consists of pure perfumes and body oils. I smelled five of them.

Jasmine & Mimosa Organic Body Oil is a pure delight: fresh green jasmine in a sunny embrace of mimosa. I can easily imagine it as a part of somebody's pleasurable bath ritual.

Parlour is a powerful spicy earthy fragrance, strong on cloves, with mushroom as one of the key ingredients. Var en Provence would attract fans of traditional French ingredients such as lavender and mimosa, in the shade of olive trees.

created by Yosh

This line of 10 fragrances was created by Yosh to help a non-profit writing and tutoring center in Los Angeles, 826LA. 100% of the earnings will be granted to this organization run by enthusiasts. All fragrances are oil-based in roll-on flacons.

The 10 perfumes represent eight significant periods in the human history from the creator's point of view. As Yosh Han explained about the last two perfumes in the time line: "We couldn't stop and ran out of the Present, formulating fragrances of the future: Utopia and Dystopia." The fragrant history from Yosh starts around 34,000 BCE with the fragrance CAVEMAN (earth, washed suede, galbanum). I must say Caveman had a style—fresh pleasurable fougeres were already known!

After CAVEMAN we get Sheherazade, Silk Road, Aztec, Gold Rush, Victorian Violets, Studio 54, 2012 and two scenarios for the future: Utopia (the softest fruity fresh green vanilla, a beautiful fragrance with my warmest recommendation) and Dystopia (for pessimists: harsh, smoky, nutty galbanum).


Everyone at the event was attracted by the cute small oriental bottles that kept liquid of different shades (including deep purple black). This perfume company was founded by two brothers, Kyle and JK DeLapp (the nose of the brand), in 2011. Their grandfather, Joe DeLapp, Sr. was a big player in the confectionary industry, and their father is a successful businessman who worked behind marketing campagns for such big brands as Johnson & Johnson.

The brothers draw inspiration from JK's culinary and aromatherapy background (Chinese Medicine). At the moment they have five perfumes which represent much-wanted perfume directions: Poisoned Fig (a smell of a ripe fig), Green Velvet (smooth masculinity), More Beauty Than Beast (spicy cozy amber), Preda (gourmand oriental) and Phoenix Fougere (a has-to-be scent in every line).

We found the fig perfume to be very close to the real tree and the fruit we eat and smell during our stays in the Mediterranean region. We smelled the fragrances from jars with sea salt, in which you get a clear picture of the top, heart and base.


At the event, It seemed everyone's favorite fragrance was Lumberjack Man, from perfumer/musician Amanda C. Feeley of Esscentual Alchemy. It's a manly man perfume created by Amanda in 2010, with the right balance between its woody, resinous, smoky and amber notes. 

This was a short report of what we saw and liked at the event. We will continue with more detailed information about the perfume brands introduced in LA in our News!

Photo from FRAGments by Fragrantica

Elena Knezhevich founded Fragrantica together with Zoran Knezevic in 2007. Since then Elena has taken care of its design and content as the Editor-in-Chief.

Elena was born in Russia, studied Slavic languages and literature in Moscow, and lived in Sarajevo and Belgrade, where the idea of Fragrantica was born. Now she resides in California.

"I have had a nomadic life style since I was born, changing homes, cities and countries. I love having this island on the Internet that I built myself, to reach from everywhere and feel at home."




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What a feast for the eyes - to combine scents and art, what a fantastic pair! I'm really intrigued by the perfumers and FRAGments and what they're offering... Jolie Laide REALLY intrigues - very curious to try those scents out. You've captured the event wonderfully, really looking forward to the detailed reports to follow.


Fantastic!! Now we just need an event like this in the Bay Area. I just love hearing the inspiration behind the creations.


Thank you, Jeca !
Your photographic skills always amaze and delight me.

It's wonderful to see old friends and newer perfumers in such an imaginative venue.
Can't wait to hear more thoughts...


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