I have two videos coming up spread over both my Youtube channels including the anticipated personal interview with Dita, so be sure to watch out for them! This is only the picture and word portion of the event.
I arrived in the afternoon and took a taxi to the Lux Eleven Design Hotel, where we were staying, and promptly filmed a room tour. I didn't even have any time to relax; I had to start getting ready for the event immediately - hair, makeup, get changed.
I met up with fellow Blogger Nadine (aka Empathy25) and Daniel from Jungmut and we had a moment to chat before we sped off to Soho House, a private members club and hotel in Berlin which is often booked for such engagements. I was thrown amongst journalists from Germany's top beauty and fashion magazines, which was quite an experience in itself - some were very curious about my work, others were downright snobbish and disdainful. (All the more amusing to me since my Youtube, website, Facebook and Twitter sites receive more combined hits than most of their magazine's monthly circulation numbers - hah!)
We were admitted to a lounge that was adorned with beautiful models passing around feathers clouded with Dita's perfume, waiters circulating with bubbly and delicious hors d'oeuvres, and everyone dressed to the nines. It was a surreal atmosphere - we were all excitedly waiting for Dita to make her appearance, and she finally did! There was a moderated introduction where she talked to us about her perfume, before we were asked to step to the side as the doors would now be opened momentarily for the press photographers and TV - the vultures descended, running and elbowing their way to the front to get pictures of Dita, who played her part perfectly, posing as if it were second nature to her.
The photographers were only allowed a few short minutes with her, during which time the room was abuzz with shouting and the constant flashes of the cameras, before they were asked to leave for the next crowd of reporters. Meanwhile we sipped on our champagne, chatted, and took in the scene unfolding before us.
After the cocktail reception, a smaller selection of the invited guests and VIPs we were chauffeured to the stylish and upscale Grill Royal restaurant, where our party had a private room where admittance was by guestlist only. Dita's bodyguards stood grim faced at the door and kept watch.
The decoration was beautiful! The table setting was kept in black and red just as Dita's perfume is packaged, with lustrous deep red roses, votive candles, and each person had a personalized name card for their placement. Tasteful and artistic nudes adorned the walls. We were seated and anxiously waited for Dita to arrive. She sat in the middle - I couldn't believe I was sitting down to have dinner with Dita!!
Now I'm a foodie so you know what's coming - food pics!
For starters we had a choice of salads - one was a fennel-pear concoction with walnuts, the other was mixed baby greens on a bed of grilled vegetables. I had the fennel and it was a little bit bland, and wished I had chosen the greens.
As a main we had a choice between Argentinian sirloin steak, fish, or a vegetarian dish. For me it was a no-brainer: I took the Argentinian sirloin and requested it rare. It was perfection! I can honestly say it has been ages since I have had such a top quality steak between my teeth, perfectly rare inside without leaking blood. Served alongside was a creamy Sauce Bernaise, green beans, and some potato dish that reminded me vaguely of french fries - I barely touched those.
Dessert was again a connoisseur's highlight as waiters placed tiers of mouth watering and beautifully handcrafted goodies before us.
Ok WHAT! No, no, no...we need to see that again, close up!
I think I tried a little bit of everything it was that delicious! The crème brulée was one of my favorites, but then again I don't think I've ever had crème brulée that I didn't enjoy. The chocolate cakes were so rich, and with some of them I didn't even know what I was eating but I knew it was making me want more.
I kept sneaking glances at Dita, who looked like the perfect doll, and who I saw heartily eating a steak the same as everyone else. After dinner, she took out a rhinestone encrusted compact, a tube of red lipstick, and quietly touched up her ruby lips - very elegant.
I got home to the hotel at about 1:30 am and promptly fell into bed as the next day was filled with events again. I met up once more with Nadine and Daniel to tuck into breakfast at the hotel where we discussed a rundown of the scheduled interviews. I'm so honored and proud that I was among the lucky ones, since I was told that hundreds of reporters had requested interviews and only a select few were given the chance - a BIG affirmation not only for myself, but for social and new media in general!
Over breakfast, my tension was definitely starting to build even though I had a list of questions prepared. At 11:00am we drove again to Soho House where the interviews were scheduled back to back in 20 minute intervals in one of the beautiful and retro decorated hotel suites.
The night before we had been informed we probably would not be allowed to film for Youtube, as Dita and her team are very particular about what is allowed to be published. I was very disappointed and really tried my best to convince her people that indeed it was so important for us to be allowed to film, the same as the TV reporters, as our audiences are equally as large, in some cases even bigger! I knew how disappointed my fans and subscribers would be if I came back "empty handed" and had no video footage to show them.
I really went to bat, and low and behold, we were informed on the day of the interview we would be allowed to film! I was elated. I entered the suite with my camera, tripod and questions in hand and was personally greeted by Dita. I was flustered at first but then realized, she's just a person like the rest of us, I should just do what I do best and get my job done professionally, and have fun doing it.
We began the interview and I was happy to see that Dita was very open and talkative about everything I asked her, never did she ask to skip over questions or gave one-word answers. Things went very smoothly, we had a laugh together chatting about beauty, makeup and her life, and time flew by! Suddenly my time was up, I thanked Dita profusely for agreeing to the interview and we had just enough time to snap a picture.
I sure felt like an Amazonian compared to this petite and almost fragile looking woman. Afterwards she gave me a copy of her book, autographed in my name! What a nice gesture - thank you Dita.
Now since this whole event was about the launch of her first perfume, let's talk about that. I received full sized gratis samples of the entire line, including the perfume with the atomizer pump, the cute purse sized version for on-the-go, the shower gel and the body lotion. The purse sized version is an excellent idea and I wish more perfumes offered this. The nozzle has a special stopper function, so no fear of it spraying in your purse.
On the evening of the cocktail reception, Dita herself said she wanted a perfume that represents her fully - timeless elegance, a master of seduction, and nothing to do with foodie, girly, or baby smells. From the press release:
Dita Von Teese created a timeless scent which opens with a head note composed of fresh peonies, fizzy bergamot, and slightly spicy Bourbon pepper. The heart of the perfume beguiles the senses with a full and at the same time pure bouquet of Bulgarian rose, Tahitian Tiaré petals, and fresh jasmine. And in the base note, the mystical and warm scents of patchouli, musk, and smoky Gaiac wood and sandalwood captivate all who smell it.
Like an homage to the 1930s, the black glass bottles express Dita Von Teese’s glamour and allure along with her love for all things vintage. With their elaborate details, the flacons represent the type of luxurious accessories found in the boudoir of any true Femme Totale.I feel the perfume really captures Dita's personality - and this coming from someone who owns no other celebrity perfumes. It is a heady, opulent and dramatic scent without being old-fashioned or headache inducing. It is both musky and floral, without being cloyingly sweet or overpowering. This probably isn't the typical perfume that young women or teen girls would reach for because it doesn't have the popular gourmand (vanilla, apple or strawberry) notes, nor is it light, fresh and citrusy. For me personally, this isn't the type of perfume that I would wear during the daytime, it's a bit much for that setting. I can see myself reaching for this perfume if I want to feel extra sexy, womanly and grown-up for a special evening out somewhere, maybe wearing a beautiful dress and high heels. If you like womanly perfumes that lean on the stronger side, I would definitely check this one out.
Dita Von Teese perfume will be in stores late October 2011, and the suggested retail prices are as follows:
Eau de Parfum, 20 ml, MSRP: € 16.50
Eau de Parfum, 40 ml, MSRP: € 28.00
Deodorant Spray, 150 ml, MSRP: € 11.50
Shower Gel, 200 ml, MSRP: € 11.50
Body Lotion, 200 ml, MSRP: € 11.50
Gift Set incl. Eau de Parfum, 20 ml, and Shower Gel, 75 ml, MSRP: € 16.50
For more information on Dita's perfume:
I then had a few more hours in Berlin so I took a Taxi over to the Kryolan store - this is quickly becoming one of my favorite make-up brands! Honestly, many of their products blow department store brands clear out of the water and at an affordable price point. Why must you play so hard to get, Kryolan, I want to make sweet love to you!!! I shall film a haul on that sometime later.
Then it was back to the airport and a long journey home, but it was a memorable experience - understatement of the year.
Thanks so much to Daniel and Jungmut - your kindness and organizational talent was much appreciated!