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Pokey Fish, Arty Scents and Fast Design

November 2015

By Wendy Dembo, Los Angeles

Last summer we visited my cousins, who live in the charming surfing town of Haleiwa on the North Shore of Oahu.  The second day that we were there, we went snorkeling at Three Tables.  For lunch, we walked across the street to Foodland.  It turns out that the locals eat Poke, which seems to be a Hawaiian version of Japanese Chirashi.  It is cubed raw fish, usually tuna mixed with soy sauce, or a spicy mayonnaise over rice.  Sometimes, they will add a little sea weed for color.  It is fresh, tasty, healthy and light.  It was my go to meal while I was there.  Imagine my joy and amazement when I saw Sweetfin Poké was opening up in my neighborhood and that Mainland Poke had opened in West Hollywood.  Both places offer customizable bowls where you can pick your base rice, noodles or quinoa (it is LA after all) and then what kind of fish that you would like as well as fruits, veggies and different kinds of sauces.  This is certainly a food trend that I can get behind and it seems like a lot of people feel the same way as there is always a line at both places.

Earlier in the year, while I was at the LA Artist Book Fair, I ran into the artist and now perfumer, Bruno Fazzolari.  After we spoke for a bit, he gave me a sample of Room 237 — named in reference to “The Shining”.  Fazzolari’s work as an artist is about perception and the senses.  He has been a painter for over twenty-five years.  He always had an interest in scents and collected flower absolutes and perfume accessories.  One day his gallerist suggested that he make a scent to go with his show.  He made a scent that matched the mood of his paintings.  It turned out that many people were very interested in his scents.  Fazzolari comes up with the ideas for his fragrances — they all have something to do with art, artists or poetry.  He does all the blending by himself.  The scents are made in small batches and he uses the best raw materials that he can.

One of his most popular scents, Lamp Black is reminiscent of the smell of ink, or a printer’s studio.  It is unisex, but perhaps a wee bit more masculine.  You can wear it any time of day.  Last year it received “four bottles” from Luca Turin, the great perfume critic.  I bought Fazzolari’s discovery set (seven scents), so that I can try out all of his scents before I commit to one for the New Year.  I like that he is an independent perfumer.  While I am willing to go mainstream for some things like housewares (see below), for others, I want them to be more curated and exclusive.

Years ago I went to Stockholm for a 48-hour art field trip.  In addition to going to the Abba Museum I went to H&M I was very excited for the opening of their first stores in NYC.  I loved the “fast fashion” and the super cute children’s clothing that I would buy for my nieces, since it wasn’t in LA.  I moved onto Muji for my housewares.  Then I became more interested in Uniqlo for my fast fashion.  But now I am once again fixated on H&M.  I love H&M Home.  The home products are well designed like their clothing, and strangely the quality is much higher.  I bought new towels and an organic cotton tablecloth.  With choices like these, it is hard to find a reason keep the same towels for years.  I also bought a really cute rug for my daughter’s room.  I am a bit conflicted because everything is so disposable, but H&M has a sustainability program where you can recycle your used clothing and get a discount for your next purchase.

 

A surfer at Three Tables
Fazzolari’s scent discovery set, try before you commit
People waiting in line for Sweet Fin!

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