Monday, May 30, 2011

Days of Wine and Fragrances

I've conducted plenty of wine and food pairings in my life, but a recent event I participated in at Saks Fifth Avenue was quite unusual, even according to my quirky standards of taste. Just how does one match up wines with perfumes?
The concept actually makes perfect sense. If we're tasting vino properly, we're sniffing, swirling, and inhaling the aromas, or bouquet, of that particular wine. Same goes for perfume: when we sniff and inhale the notes it offers, we quickly decide whether we like it or not.
I took five wines and one port, pairing them with quality scents from the Saks collection that I felt matched well. First up was Bond #9's Madison Square Park, a perfume that has notes of huckleberries, grape hyacinth, grass, teakwood, and vetiver root, among others. The wine I chose was a non-vintage Champagne from Michel Olivier, slightly dry and full of fruit.
Next was Jo Malone's Sakura Cherry Blossom, which has a delicate aroma of rose and bergamont. naturally, I thought an exotic, flowery Rose would pair well, so I selected the off dry 2009 Las Mulas from Chile.
A creamy Napa Chardonnay like the 2008 offering from Leese-Fitch seemed to go well with Aventus from Creed, arguably my favorite scent of the group. With top notes of black current and royal pine apple; heart notes of birch and patchouli, and base notes of oak moss, ambergris, and vanilla, it was a terrific pairing that went over well with Saks customers.

In what was my favorite matchup of the afternoon, I paired Maison Martin Margiela, a perfume based on green floral notes that also has some incense, musk, and an earthy quality. It seems that the 2010 Cupcake Sauvignon Blanc was made for this particular scent, as this varietal is extremely grassy and green-like when it comes from New Zealand.

Lastly, I needed something with warmth and a bit of heft for the Jimmy Choo Eau de Parfum. This scent is nothing short of intoxicating in its own right, with rich, woody depths that evoke glamour, confidence and refined sensuality. This perfume has toffee and Indonesian patchouli too, so I picked an R.L. Buller non-vintage Fine Tawny Port from Australia. The melt-in-your-mouth vanilla, amber, and molassas flavors were truly to die for.
This isn't rocket science, folks...its about smell and taste and the marriage of the two...can't wait for my next nuptuals.
Follow me on Twitter @vinochick75.

Special thanks to PS Wine & Specialty Foods in Palm Springs who supplied the wines for this event:
188 South Indian Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, CA 92262-6604
(760) 322-4411

Saks Fifth Avenue Palm Desert:
73555 El Paseo
Palm Desert, CA 92260
(760) 837-2900


  1. Thanks Nicky! Readers can learn about future events at Saks Fifth Avenue by going to

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