Captian Blankenship Golden Waves Sea Salt Shimmer Spray, $28 (pretty reasonable in exchange for a few extra weeks of summer)
I am awfully fond of:1. toners2. roses3. French Girl OrganicsErgo, a rosewater toner by French Girl with the added benefits of hyaluronic acids (excellent for plumping the skin, NB I am only interested in plumping my face skin), is a toner for me...for us! Mist all over the face (after cleansing, if ...
I am awfully fond of:
3. French Girl Organics
Ergo, a rosewater toner by French Girl with the added benefits of hyaluronic acids (excellent for plumping the skin, NB I am only interested in plumping my face skin), is a toner for me...for us! Mist all over the face (after cleansing, if you're inclined to double cleanse, sometimes I am, sometimes not), pat dry with a washcloth (or cotton, but a stack of small white washcloths is very nice, even if you, like me, do not have a linen closet, but rather a drawer where such things are folded in a very satisfying and usual way), and follow with your favorite serum or moisturizer (Shiva Rose Glow Balm is the Catbird favorite). A good rule of thumb for slathering stuff on your face is light to heavy, texture wise. I also really like the smaller size (2 oz) because it's nice to try things for long enough that you can tell if you really like it, but not so long that you lose the romance and get bored and neglect your face.
French Girl Floral Toner, $18 at Catbird and catbirdnyc.com
Following an exchange of Tweets with Bumble and bumble. last week, we had an impromptu photo shoot with them at Bb. Salon Downtown, a sun-drenched space in the heart of Meatpacking. The idea behind the shoot was conceptualized by Allen Thomas Wood, one of Bumble's incredibly talented stylists whose ...
If a picture is worth a thousand words, Jacqueline Steele's narrative scents are comparable to the most vivid vignettes. She is a purveyor of stories, moments in place and time that are preserved through her fragrance house, Goest. For instance, Dauphine is a scent inspired by Sofia C ...
If a picture is worth a thousand words, Jacqueline Steele's narrative scents are comparable to the most vivid vignettes. She is a purveyor of stories, moments in place and time that are preserved through her fragrance house, Goest. For instance, Dauphine is a scent inspired by Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette not in that it’s reminiscent of the ill-fated queen herself but because of the layered notes that encapsulate a scene from Coppola's film: rose-water pastries with cream, powder and soap on skin, an abundance of fully bloomed roses.
Catbird caught up with Jacqueline recently to hear more on running a one-woman fragrance house, how she found her start, and the most memorable custom fragrance she’s created.
What inspires your narratives? Does it start with a mental story board or a singular note?
There's two ways I'll come to the concept for a new fragrance. One is a top-down approach, where the concept comes to mind and I create something to fulfill it. This is my usual approach. That's how Silent Films came about. It's meant to capture the smell of a silent film star and their dressing room - not just the perfume they wore, but all of the things surrounding them that contributed to their smell. An additional challenge which was for fun, almost, was to have the smell itself smell like it was in black and white while still retaining an emotional depth and sense of privacy, as opposed to a more luscious technicolor representation of "vintage Hollywood!".
I studied perfume from a more academic perspective through an independent research grant when I was still in college. Through that, I had the opportunity to meet perfumers, visit schools, smell archives, learn the basics of formulation, and read many, many texts and archives from the last few hundred years that don't seem to exist in any other place than a few private academic libraries. There's no replacement for hundreds of hours spent alone learning the materials, however, which I did out of enthusiasm after my more academic pursuits ended. I think this roundabout path to fragrance formulation has actually benefitted me a lot. I learned to think about fragrance from a very private perspective - I'm not influenced by popular commercial perfume structure, which is why the Goest Perfumes fragrances don't smell "perfume-y".
The "team" is essentially just me. I'm taking on some assistance soon though because even though I like the manual, repetitive quality of some of the work (feels kind of yogic and calming), I'd also like to have more time to devote to new scents and special projects. Everything is made by hand, so there's a lot of labor involved in every scent. Hopefully that's reflected in the quality to everyone who experiences it. Everything Goest Perfumes has been made in one pretty small studio - the Goest Perfumes Laboratory - which is just north of Koreatown in Hollywood. Absolutely nothing in the fragrance production or conceptualization is hired out to one of the big chemical companies, which is really rare when it comes to commercial fragrance - hundreds of fragrance "brands" exist but out of all commercially available scents, only a few are not actually formulated and made by a few big companies. Most people don't know that.
A recent project with 69 clothing was really fun. Amber Halford, the designer, came to me saying she liked the smell of chlorinated pools and burgers and fries. I was so down with that approach to conceptualization - I find a lot of ambient scents in the modern world to be great inspiration, although they aren't traditionally thought of as fodder for fragrance inspiration because they're not romantic. But why not? I think even gas stations have their own type of romance. I mean, somebody decided that was where Cindy Crawford was going to crack open an ice-cold, condensation-covered Pepsi.
I like the Brooklyn Navy Yard. I visited a mostly empty (just two employees were there, working) distillery there around midnight and the smell of all the corn and grains and the heat was something fantastical - sort of like being locked in some kind of golden lamp surrounded by the weird dark harbor night.
Weekend plans: coffee, Lula #17, newspaper, The Goldfinch, and a bath or three, with a big, fat, fresh bar of Spuma di Sciampagna, which I prize for it's soft, champagne scent and for transforming my century old Williamsburg tub into a gleaming, marble bathtub in mid-century Milan. Spuma di Sciampag ...
Spuma di Sciampagna soap - $6 in store and online
Keeping it close to the couch this (every) weekend, Alice Coltrane on repeat, a cracked, worn copy of Another Country in my hands, lots of baths, even more coffee, and some internet armchair travelling. Thus far, my wanders have confirmed my yearning for Stila's pale, rose gold Kitten gel liner: Int ...
Courtnay picks our sparkly and special gifts for her Grandma, sister and mom!1. For my lovely gramamma, Yiye, Isa's Restoratives Lilac Rouge, $22.00, some of Catbird's Travel Candles, $12.00, for her porch (especially when the Southern Spring comes back) and finally, the Up in The Air Gold Bottom Di ...
1. For my lovely gramamma, Yiye, Isa's Restoratives Lilac Rouge, $22.00, some of Catbird's Travel Candles, $12.00, for her porch (especially when the Southern Spring comes back) and finally, the Up in The Air Gold Bottom Dish, $42.00, so she can stow her finger's worth of amazing rings.
2. For my ever picky (yet classy as a mofo) younger sister, it's a grab bag of the Gold Sparkler Star Bobby Pin, $18.00, Roberts Florentine Rosewater, $10.00, and Deborah Lippmann's Cleopatra in New York, $16.00, a representation of her ever-evolving commitment to simple beauty.
3. I'd love to give my amazing momma John Derian's Rose With Ant Plate, $48.00 - a lovely reminder for when winter has taken all the flowers away. Add onto that, a dedication to my mom's spirit, the Slip Into The Darkness Gift Set, $132.00 (perfect for the gothic Southern narrative embedded in our veins).