Greenpoint sports a lot of green. From McCarren Park to the G train, our slice of north Brooklyn is colorful. In fact, Greenpoint’s natural greenery has inspired Euphorium Brooklyn’s newest fragrance, Butterfly. Ten years ago, when olfactory artist and perfumer Stephen Dirkes moved into a loft on Commercial Street, he noticed that the weeds and wild flora growing on the banks of the Newtown Creek supported something stunning: the annual Monarch Butterfly migration between Canada and Mexico. Each year, the butterflies descend on the northern reaches of Greenpoint, heralding summer and bringing a spectacular natural grace to the industrial waterfront.
Stephen notes that while Newtown Creek’s wild plant life might be “a peculiar starting point to develop a fragrance palette, butterflies have done a remarkable job of curating a wide range of fragrant floral, mint, grass, & herbaceous notes for a perfumer to work with.”
And the fine fragrance world is all aflutter over Butterfly. Reviews call it “bright, clear and sparkling…unearthly and ethereal” and mark it as the go-to scent of the summer. But, Butterfly didn’t begin as a fragrance. Instead, it started as a local conservation effort.
When Greenpoint’s zoning laws changed, new development began to spring up on the water’s edge, where plants once grew undisturbed. Suddenly, the Monarch’s migratory path faced peril, and Stephen began researching butterfly gardens as a way to help sustain the natural habitat. Now, Stephen’s made it possible for anyone to be an armchair conservationist! Continue reading
Imagine sitting under the moonlight surrounded by overflowing vines loaded with nighttime blooms. A soft breeze rustles through leaves and tickles petals from their open blossoms. A minute later a warm rush of honey, rip figs, and anise fills the air. Immediately you want to wrap yourself in this decadent scent of earthly delights and bask in it until the sun rises.
Welcome to the evocative world of Tal Shpantzer, a long time Greenpoint resident whose photo exploration of the dark feminine mystic and fragrance play out in real life.
Some of you might recognize Shpantzer’s photography which has cropped up on HBO’s hit show True Detective, Vogue, and recently on this site. One look at this work and you’ll see there is more than meets the image; Tal has an enviable way of making women look and now smell deliciously sexy. But what started as a photographer’s fascination between women’s relationships to flowers took her to places even she couldn’t imagine.