Chandler Burr will be holding a Scent Dinner at the Four Seasons restaurant in New York City on Wednesday, December 2 at 7 pm:
An olfactory expert and connoisseur, Chandler is a sensory genius who has created the most unusual dining experience we've ever heard of: A celebration of the world's great gourmet gourmand scents, crafted by Chandler and paired with our favorite seasonal delicacies.
The cost is $250 per person, call 212.759.9008 to reserve a spot.
I shudder to think about the want list I’d walk away with after a dinner like this one. But I love this idea, or any event where I can just totally get lost in my remaining heightened senses. It would be fantastic, but I’m not exactly in the neighborhood. Too bad.
From what I’ve read about these dinners, they don’t sniff perfumes that perfumistas wouldn’t know about already (in other words, I don’t think they’re smelling obscure scents)…I think the idea is more the pairing with the food, maybe “seeing” something new about the perfume.
Ah. Good. Then I can just stick with my Panera and Macy’s.
I love Chandler Burr, but I’ll stick to his books and blog. I’ll save that $250 for perfume.
I think you get some freebie perfumes…but yeah, for my $250 I’d rather pick them myself. If you’ve got $ to burn though, this would be fun.
I’ll keep that in mind when I have $ to burn… or I’ll pass this announcement to all my friends who do.
I like Chandler Burr–I really do–but “sensory genius”?
I was thinking the same thing.
then it’s just one more step to “Sensory Super Hero” at which point he gets to wear tights and a cape….
Hopefully that came from someone other than Chandler Burr.
I love Chandler Burr’s columns but haven’t seen one in the NY Times in a good while. Is he still writing for them? Am I just having trouble finding his columns? Is he on hiatus to focus on a different project (like a new book)?
I really don’t know. There have been huge cutbacks at the NYT, but he is still describing himself as the scent critic for the NYT, so perhaps he’s just on a break.
On temporary hiatus – he responded to me (via email) when I asked him a few weeks ago.
Oh, thanks for letting us know – I was feeling a little sad that the Times appeared to have binned Scent Notes. Now all I have to do is be patient. **Drums fingers, counts ceiling tiles, kicks dirt.**
More time to spend on NST!!!!
What is a gourmet scent?
Beats the dickens out of me.
Major oops: what it is is a typo. Fixed now. Gourmand. Thanks for noticing! Checked all the rest of it though, so any other weirdness is not my fault.
Gotcha. I get it now.
I would think it would be having to do with food notes in a fragrance. Anyhow, I love the concept of a scent dinner, but for 250.00, my nose just lost it’s appetite.
It’s obviously not geared towards those of us on a budget.
I attended one of Chandler’s scent dinners. I thought the taste of the food overpowered the scents, which were niche fragrances familiar to all of us. Mostly, though, it smacked of a promotional effort to highlight and market a handful of fragrance lines. Chandler may have received samples from grateful vendors, but participants did not.
Thanks Truthiness! I thought the attendees got gift bags, too bad.
Thanks for sharing the truthiness. Hee hee. Ok, I’m going to bed now…
How about I just spritz myself with one of my own Amouages and go spend $125 on dinner for myself? I think I’d enjoy that just about as much.
Works for me!
Hi, guys. Absolute Scentualist: “I shudder to think about the want list I’d walk away with after a dinner like this one. But I love this idea, or any event where I can just totally get lost in my remaining heightened senses.” That’s my hope—that people get totally lost in the scents. I think what Robin says is correct; for the most part I don’t use perfumes that perfumistas wouldn’t know. (I used Eau de Protection in my last dinner: I showed them Laotian benzoin for sensuality, rose abs for beauty, diphenyl oxide for an iron knife—the chef and I had fun with that one—but you guys all know the Etat Libre line already. With all due respect you guys usually know more perfumes than *I do; The Times keeps me from wandering too far from perfumes that a lay audience can actually comprehend and purchase, which I think is good guidance.) The one thing that even you would find interesting is smelling the raw materials, naturals and synthetics: Isobutavan, CO2 pink peppercorn, cis-3-hexanol, etc are not readily available, and the dinners take guests inside the construction of perfume by showing some fascinating raw materials (usually gourmand raw mats), then showing the role they play in structuring and powering the perfume. The point is not simply smelling perfumes but rather smelling their structural components. And—the second point—on Dec 2 for example having The Four Seasons Restaurant’s Fabio Trabocchi, one of the best chefs I’ve ever collaborated with, translate each scent and its raw mats scents into tastes. He did the most astounding job turning Yann Vasnier’s “Fig Splash” into a starter at our Nov 2 dinner (fundraiser for the NYC G/L Community Center). As for this “GalileosDaughter: I like Chandler Burr–I really do–but “sensory genius”?” I winced (very, very hard) the instant I read that in the draft invite copy and immediately wrote TFSR’s PR person—I suggested that we simply use my title; “NYT scent critic” isn’t bad, no?—but we’d been rushing, and the thing had gone out already. So: ouch. Miss Kitty, the dinners are def not geared toward budgets; I wish we could do less expensive versions, but they’re extremely expensive to produce, food, alcohol, labor etc.—we often feel like we’re producing a full-cast Broadway show, the result being similarly high ticket prices. There is no scent gift bag because though the brands politely offered, The Times decreed (correctly) that that’s not ethical journalism. Truthiness, I am very specifically *not promoting anything; for each dinner I choose (the fun part) the most interesting “parfums gourmands” I’ve found recently—for ex I’ve used James Heeley’s “Menthe Fraiche” and “Verveine” in the last two dinners; I think they’re extraordinary. And last, Abirae, it’s not you. As Robin noted, there have been huge cutbacks at the Times, and indeed I was on hiatus doing a big, unrelated writing project. We are now in the process of getting Scent Notes back up and running, and my editors are dutifully working on it, but given what they’re going through it’s taking a bit more time than we thought. Fingers crossed we should be back in action in a few weeks.
Thanks for the clarifications, Chandler.
Well, I heartily agree that you are an expert and connoisseur, but I have no idea what a “sensory genius” is! If the PR copy brings in a few more participants to the dinner, however, I think that’s wonderful–the world can always use a few more fragrance enthusiasts. I’m hoping that the dinners are a huge success.
I’m so glad to see that your columns will be back in the NYT soon.
Chandler, thank you for your reply… you earned big kudos in my book for explicating Kenzo Flower and I am very glad to hear you will be back soon – I look forward to your reviews!
The dinner… yes I understand the costs but I’ll have to pass this year. Ironically, I’ll be working on Christopher St that day and eating at Babbo that night – will definitely enjoy a glass in your direction though! And a confession: If you had a swag bag, I’d definitely be persuaded to switch dinners (it’s a sickness)!
Chandler, we can be a cynical bunch of jerks. (Well, maybe I should only speak for myself…) I am sure your attendees will be a nicer bunch.
Chandler doesn’t update his blog on themoment anymore, does he?
See his answer above…
just saw it after i posted my comment
I would love to go to this! Perfume and exciting food are definitely my weaknesses. And shoes. . . . If there were a gallery of fabulous shoes thrown in, I’d contemplate the 30+ hours of travel to get from Central Asia to NYC!
Along the same lines, I actually *will* be in London during the College of Fashion’s perfume primer. Have any of you attended anything like this? I’m trying to decide if I should sign up . . . .
I have not, but it sounds fun! Denyse is very knowledgeable, & I’m sure you’ll smell some great stuff.
I’d like to do this, were I anywhere near NY and had some cash to throw around – sometimes an event is well worth an expense for the memories, you know?
I’m annoyed that SF is so scent-event poor. Chandler – we’ve got some of the best chefs on earth here, too!!!
Maybe he’ll come there yet