Wednesday, May 29, 2013

ArtPadSF: Where You Smile at Art and Art Smiles Back

Matt's 16-foot aluminum sculpture, "Telophase" has a perfect poolside presence.

Weekend before last, The Phoenix Hotel, with its cool LA-in-the-50's vibe, hosted ArtPadSF for the third year. And each year hubby Matt has shown sculptures with the gallery marx & zavaterro. This year was just as fabulous as last year, but with even more art and visitors. Nearly 10,000 attended over the four days, looking hip as they cruised the thirty-five galleries, each in it's own motor lodge room. We went the opening VIP night (it's not often that artists are treated like VIPs; our cocktails were free and in glass, everyone else had to pay and got plastic!) Then we returned on Saturday for more schmoozing and viewing. What follows are some photos from both days featuring some flashes of style.

Looking super duper dapper and sharp as a tack! 

The darling photographer from 7x7 magazine. 

Proud gallerists with great color. 

Me wanty! Elegant lace-ups. The wearer generously shared the fact 
that she found these Ferragamos at Goodwill!

Uber fabulousness. Luke of the gallery Unspeakable Projects.

On Saturday, Luke made me think of Diana Vreeland's "Why Not." Why not tie a white chiffon scarf to create a statement-making bow? And gallery director Mauri Skinfill rocks rompers like nobody else. 

Handsome happy couple. They proudly told me that their son was one of the exhibiting artists. 

It's not often that one gets to lounge poolside in SF.
And one would almost think they were in Palm Springs, except for all the black!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

What's in Your Sniffsonium?

Matt's illustration of the Sniffsonium. I sure do love having an in-house artist.

The "Sniffsonium" is a term coined by hubby Matt and we all have one. It is that internal sanctum where we store our memories and emotions related to certain smells and scents that we've experienced in our lives, proabably from day one. Matt also calls it a Smellatorium, however that sounds like the place where not-so-pleasurable smells go to be cremated and entombed. Although, that could serve a purpose too.

There's nothing like the sense of smell to send our memory reeling back years and years to a specific moment in time. A familiar scent can evoke the person, the place and the feelings associated with that one scent. And it happens in a split-second. With a direct link from our olfactory receptors ("vacuum" as depicted above) to the limbic system, our reactions to smells occur in an instant. And as the limbic system is the part of the brain that deals with emotions, memories are conjured like a genie out of a bottle, literally in the case of perfume.

The sense of smell is so important to me and it's one of my life's great pleasures. It's fun to be taken by surprise by a scent and experience a memory unbidden. But it's also wonderful to know that I can make the memory happen by using a particular perfume or lotion. And it's startling when that doesn't. When I've had a cold and head congestion and I can't smell, I experience a momentary panic. It's like someone suddenly turned the lights out.

As I examine my Sniffsonium, these are the scents that come to mind:

Estee Lauder Youth Dew: This powdery, exotic scent is the smell of dressing up to go out. It was the signature scent of my grandmother and all six of her sisters. They each had the little faceted bottle filled with the brown-as-bourbon elixir on their dressers. With a whiff of Youth Dew, I'm instantly sitting between my grandmother, Bootsie, and Aunt Myrt in the backseat of Aunt Dot's Cadillac going out to a fancy lunch in New Orleans.

Jergen's Original Scent Cherry-Almond Hand Lotion: This is a comforting smell for me. The sweet, slightly candy scent of this brings back similar memories as above. All my aunties used it and a bottle of it was always sitting on the bathroom counter. I can rub a little on my hands today and feel my aunties near me.

Old Spice: The scent of my gravel-voiced but sweet-mannered Uncle Irvin.

4711 Cologne: The dry citrusy scent used by my grandfather. The one and only scent he ever wore.

Hawaiian Tropic Suntan oil: The smell of summer (and sun damage!)

Guerlain's Shalimar: I was eighteen when I smelled Shalimar for the first time and it was a revelation. I learned that scent can open a new sexy and exotic world.

New Orleans French Quarter: There is a damp, old wood, crumbling brick, spilt beer, bourbon splashed root-like musty smell that doesn't exist any other place.

Petrichor: It was such a pleasure when I  learned there was actually a name for the smell of the air right after it begins to rain. I remember playing outside in the hot Louisiana summer afternoons and suddenly it would begin to rain. The dusty asphalt street was so hot, steam would rise sending up a sweet and earthy smell.

And there are so many more...

So, I would love to know, what's in your Sniffsonium?