"Sip, Sniff & Savor,™" Recap

March 14, 2023
Scent sniffers

On Tuesday February 14, 2023 Perfume Passage Foundation held its first Midwinter Night's Fragrance Soiree, a multi-scentsory scent dinner, at the Sanfilippo estate in Barrington Hills.

Dinner set up.
The event was celebrated in the passageway. This is a guest table in front of the "Caron Boutique" window.

The elegant evening featured international fragrance expert Sue Phillips, of Sue Phillips Fragrance. She took our sense of scents to new heights as guests discovered the magic and mystery of exquisite ingredients used in fragrances, food and wines, indulging in these pairings, as the senses were celebrated at Perfume Passage!

This immersive and unique multi-scentsory "Sip, Sniff & Savor, ™ " sold out event began with mouth-watering hors d'oeuvres and sparkling champagne, as guests toured the galleries.

A four-course meal followed, along with a "scent journey" by Sue. Paired with fabulous wines, this scentsory dinner was educational, creative, interactive and scentertaining!

Start of the presentation.
One of the screens from the presentation.

According to Sue, "our sense of smell is the most powerful of all the senses (after sight), yet the most ignored and forgotten. Smell and taste are totally intertwined and without our olfactory sense, we lose our sense of taste and one of life's extraordinary pleasures."

The presentation
Completely immersed in the experience, while Sue Phillips describes how the senses are interconnected.

Established in 2018, Perfume Passage Foundation is a not-for-profit 501c3 that preserves the history, artistry and beauty of perfume bottles, ephemera, and related vanity items. Through education and outreach efforts, the Perfume Passage collections and library inspire collectors, art lovers and archivists to keep this rich history alive.

Scent dinner in the Passage,
The Passage is the first gallery visitors experience as they travel back in time to the mid 1800s and experience the Passages and Arcades of Europe. The immersive scent dinner was presented in this gallery making it intimate and unique.

The Perfume Passage galleries allow visitors to tour the world through an international collection of perfume bottles, ladies compacts and vanity items, dating as far back as 2500 BC.

  • The Passageway elaborately themed window displays of well-known US and French perfume houses allowed us to travel back in time to the Golden Age of perfume.
  • A fully restored interior of a 19th century American drugstore and soda fountain provided an opportunity to explore the science of scent and making of perfumes through engaging interactive experiences.
  • In the Deco gallery, reliving the 1925 Paris International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts, is inspired by the Expo's iconic Rene Lalique fountains. With a spotlight on perfume bottle design in the 20th century, the room exuded the spirit of the Art Deco movement.
  • The Vault gallery highlighted the treasures of the Perfume Passage collection and items included a cologne bottle from Napoleon, rare vinaigrette, unique chatelaines and Lalique glass.

Sue Phillips is originally from South Africa and is based in New York City where her global atelier for fragrance creation is located in the Upper East Side – Sue Phillips House of Fragrance.

International Perfume Expert, Sue Phillips of Sue Phillips Fragrances.
Sue Phillips, of Sue Phillips Fragrances, in her boutique.

She created the “Tiffany” perfume for Tiffany & Co., Society by Burberry, Burberry for Men, & many others. After years as an executive team member at Tiffany & Co., Elizabeth Arden, Lancôme, Lancaster, and Avon, she is now recognized as the industry's official trailblazer who also assists Covid victims in the recovery of their lost sense of smell.

Sue Phillips holding a copy of her recently published The Power of Perfume during book signing.
Sue Phillips holding a copy of her recently published The Power of Perfumes at the book signing.

Throughout her career Sue’s passion, ability and ingenuity have resulted in her being at the forefront of innovation and delivering quality products and experiences to her clients.

From Sue Phillips website
Sue Phillips enjoying the magic of the olfactory senses.

Sue believes that when combined with the sense of smell, a scent has the power to evoke fond memories and a range of feelings that can uplift people’s spirits, deepen romance, elevate moods, and create a general sense of happiness. “Fragrances help make life complete as they emphasize the value of scent, a frequently undervalued human sense that, along with sight and sound, gives a priceless vibrancy to the tapestry of life.”

"We hope to bring you more immersive and interactive experiences at Perfume Passage Foundation," said cofounder Jeffrey Sanfilippo.  "As well as making this event an annual experience in support of of dementia." The cofounders, both whom have personal experiences with it and the toll it takes on the families and caregivers.  To learn of upcoming events, sign up for the PassageWAY newsletter.  

A portion of the dinner's proceeds benefited the Alzheimer's Association.