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Village 'Scent Sommelier' Makes Perfumes to Pair with Wines

By Andrea Swalec | August 5, 2013 8:55am
 The West Village-based perfume company Kelly & Jones sells fragrances that pick up the same notes as specific wines. Wine and perfume are both sensual experiences, company founder Kelly Jones said Aug. 2, 2013.
Wine and Perfume Pairing Event by Kelly & Jones
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MANHATTAN — It's a wine pairing — with perfume.

West Village resident Kelly Jones, president and "scent sommelier" of the company Kelly & Jones, makes perfumes inspired by some of New Yorkers' favorite libations, like Notes of Cabernet, which smells of black cherry, vintage leather and pink peppercorn.

The five unisex fragrances don't smell boozy — rather, they pick up the same notes as wine varieties, Jones said.

"I created fragrances that, when you taste wine, enhance the whole experience," she said.

Kelly & Jones will host a perfume and wine pairing event at the restaurant Sel et Gras next week, where wine connoisseurs and fragrance fans can test their skills at detecting similar aromas and tastes.

The idea for the company Jones launched from her Perry Street home last year came to her in 2009. She was happily sipping a glass of chardonnay at a Napa Valley vineyard when the winemaker's mood suddenly darkened.

"Who is wearing perfume in the tasting room?" he demanded.

Jones confessed she was responsible for the vanilla scent wafting through the room, breaking the cardinal wine-tasting rule that prohibits fragrances.

She was then working in Los Angeles in the auto industry and dabbling in perfume-making in her spare time, and she started experimenting with identifying the notes she tasted in wines and replicating them in perfumes.

"I'm going to break the rule, make them match and make it all a sensory experience," Jones said of her thought at the time.

With the help of an experienced perfumer, the Michigan native created the "sommelier sprays," which include Notes of Sauvignon Blanc, which is described as refreshing and crisp, with hints of green apple and starfruit.

Each 50-milliliter eau de parfum spray costs $50.

The free perfume and wine pairing event will take place Aug. 13 from 6 to 9 p.m. Happy hour glasses of wine will cost about $6 each, and will be specially selected by Jones and the bartender at Sel et Gras, located at 131 Seventh Ave. South.

"You'll be able to have a glass of wine and we'll have the perfumes out, so you can smell them and talk about the different notes," she said.

Participants are advised to RSVP on Kelly & Jones' Facebook page.