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Fragrant Italian Garden Sets Scene for Bulgari's Intimate Scent Launch

By Anna Sekula March 14, 2011, 1:11 PM EDT

Photo: Francine Daveta Photography

Bulgari's Mon Jasmin Noir Launch
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Amid sounds of chirping birds, smells of lemon, jasmine, and lily of the valley, within a cocoonlike grove of greenery, luxury Italian brand Bulgari introduced 80  guests to its newest women's fragrance, Mon Jasmin Noir. The intimate dinner, hosted by Veronica Bulgari on Wednesday, took over the second-floor event space of the Bowery Hotel and sought to cultivate a Mediterranean Garden of Eden, with potted magnolia trees, hedge walls, vine-wrapped candelabra, and lush arrangements of white and green flowers.

Behind the production of the foliage-laden event was Rory Hermelee, Bulgari's head of communications for North America and Latin America, who brought on board event designer Lewis Miller of LMD New York to realize the concept. The small guest list included top beauty editors, as well as actors Matthew Settle and Tika Sumpter, cosmetics executive Olivia Chantecaille, and Vogue's Meredith Melling Burke.

Before dinner, Bulgari used the reception to introduce guests to the notes of the fragrance. The company dedicated a significant portion of the cocktail space to three stations set with bowls and jars of ingredients, such as sambac and “angel wing” jasmine, Meyer lemons, lily of the valley, and musky nougatine. The brand's master perfumer, Olivier Polge, manned an additional table, providing further explanation of the top, middle, and base notes for guests. As a backdrop, Bulgari projected an image of Mon Jasmin Noir from its spring 2011 campaign.

The setting for dinner was even more immersive, designed to resemble an overgrown private Italian garden enclosed by walls of hedges and teeming with greenery. The table—a long communal structure made up of 10 black croc tables placed end to end—was set in the center and topped with gold candelabra wrapped in vines, lush arrangements of white and green flowers in Italian terra-cotta compotes, sprigs of jasmine, and Meyer lemons on the branch. The producers also incorporated the fragrance itself into the centerpieces by placing bottles atop gold pillars.

The final act of the evening was dessert, in the same spot where cocktails took place. Audrey Dettmar, whose blog, Home Run Ballerina, focuses on fashion and food, was tapped by Bulgari to create a decadent spread of petits fours and bite-size treats inspired by the Mediterranean and integrating elements of the scent. The sweets included Meyer lemon tarts with bergamot-infused meringue, jasmine cakes with a honey jasmine glaze, and smoked almond nougatine dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with fleur de sel.

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