Sunday, May 26, 2013

Santo Gelato

I’m writing to you from a beautiful and cozy café in São Paulo – Brazil’s most populated and largest city! This café is called Santo Gelato and is located right around the corner from Brazil’s finest marketing school called ESPM. If you couldn’t guess from the name, gelato is the specialty here and you can find flavours such as whisky, passion fruit, mango, pineapple, chocolate mint and açai.  

The coffee portion of the café also had a variety of traditional drinks such as espressos, cappuccinos and mochas. I ordered a creative drink off the scrapbook inspired menus – the affogado. This drink was made by first drizzling chocolate syrup around the inside of the glass. Next the barista poured in a shot of espresso and then added vanilla ice cream on top. She then layered it with whipped cream and topped it off with chocolate flakes.

Needless to say, it was the perfect drink on a warm, fall day in Brazil. While everyone was enjoying gelato, I was enjoying a nice cold espresso-infused ice cream. I had the best of both worlds! I’ve noticed that cafés here do not make drinks to go. This shows that no matter how busy things can get, Brazilians love to relax and enjoy life (and their coffee) without being rushed. I could really get used to the lifestyle here!

Downtown São Paulo

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Olfactive Studio: Flash Back

Hello from Brazil! I’m visiting this gorgeous country for the next few weeks with a group of amazing individuals and professors on a Study Abroad program!!  I wanted to share my experience with all of you and what better way to do this than write about my fragrance of choice for this new adventure!

Before I left Montreal for the summer I made a quick visit to my favourite boutique, Etiket, to pick up a few products for my trip. In the process, I explored another new line of fragrances that was recently brought in, called Olfactive Studio. This is a unique hybrid photo-and-perfume-design project launched by Céline Verleure, a fragrance-industry insider and avid photography lover. The project launched a series of unsex scents that were originally sparked from images.
The creative process is quite unconventional. Verleure, first selected a clever name that was suggested by fans and then searched far and wide for a complementary image. Once she had the two together, she paired a photographer with a perfumer to translate the emotions evoked by the visual into a scent.

The five unique eau de parfums that have been created so far are called Autoportrait, Still Life, Chambre Noire, Lumiére Blanche and my personal favourite – Flash Back. The beautiful image by Laurent Segretier evokes many different emotions and the tangy combination of rhubarb, grapefruit and amber is very fresh and warm.

A flash back is a highly expressive and desirable material. We would like that face unaltered by digital smoothing to be ours; that face inhabited by serene thoughts, free of the stigma of digital cosmetics, enlivened by the joy of the pixels chosen by the artist. It freezes a suspended moment, a memory zone that profoundly imprints itself on the retina and brings back a distant memory, perhaps a déjà vu of a face, a body, or a feeling that becomes a presence.

This photo-fragrance combination shows the past making a sudden appearance in the present. Click here to see the accompanying video. You can also learn about the perfumer and the photographer that were chosen for the Flash Back Fragrance.

Flash Back by Laurent Segretier
During her journey, Verleure has connected with some of the world’s most talented photographers such as: Luc Lapôtre, Clémence René-Bazin, Frédéric Lebain, Massimo Vitali, and Laurent Segretier. For more information on Olfactive Studio visit their website and read Vanity Fair’s article here

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Le Petit Café

Alan and I just happened to stumble across Le Petit Hôtel in the Old Port this weekend. It is Montreal’s newest addition to its collection of boutique hotels and is located in the heart of the historic district, surrounded by picturesque streets, art galleries, cafés and boutiques.

The lobby of the hotel also serves as a café! It’s very chic yet contemporary with a European flair. Its hip hideaway offers a laidback atmosphere with an exclusive feeling. With neither of us feeling adventurous, I ordered a Mocha and Alan ordered a Macchiato. We sipped our delicious drinks and watched people wander into the shops and through the streets in horse drawn carriages through the beautiful streets of Old Montreal.

I couldn’t help but feel a little nostalgic while we were at Le Petit Café. I won’t be in Montreal for the summer months and I will truly miss this energetic and vibrant city, not to mention the people in it.