I can proudly say that I'm a two time Sniffapalooza veteran! I spent a week in Lisbon with the lovely group that joined Karen Adams and Karen Dubin on their Sniffa-dventure in Lisbon.
The trip getting there was an epic misadventure in late planes, missed connections and spending the day in the Madrid airport waiting for the next flight to Lisbon. Don't get me wrong, the Madrid airport is gorgeous, but when you've been awake for ages and ages - you need to keep moving so you don't pass out, not wait around six hours til the next flight to Lisbon departs.
Our plane finally landed about two hours before we were scheduled to have dinner and a Fado show at Cafe Luso. Thank goodness for tour buses. I know I didn't have the energy to walk the mere 1.4 miles from the hotel to the Bairro Alto that night. Cafe Luso was a bit touristy at times, but the Fado performers were talented singers and I enjoyed myself even though I was quite tired from a full day's travel.
Our first full day of Sniffapalooza in Lisbon took us to see the Castelo de Sesimbra before we made the trek to the Jose Maria da Fonseca Winery for a wine tasting of their Periquita 2010 Moscatel. After the drive back to the hotel, we met up with Roja Dove and Andrew Wright for Roja's special presentation of his perfume line for our group.
Roja's presentation was thoroughly entertaining! I recorded the audio of his presentation and uploaded it to Soundcloud. It was interesting to hear the ideas behind all of the perfume creations in his collection. After he described each scent, we were presented with the perfume blotter strip for that scent. My favorite was Unspoken but I resisted the temptation to order a bottle on the spot. I'm sure I'll end up tracking some of it down. It smelled fantastic!
Tuesday was jam packed with trips to Praca Marques de Pombal, the Belém Tower, Padrao dos Descobrimentos, the Jeronimos Monastery, Pasteis de Belém, the Jardim Botanico Tropical and finally, the Museu Aquario Vasco da Gama. I shot some video of our tour guide José Soares giving us the history on the Jeronimos Monastery as well as the jellyfish in the water by Belém Tower, the gigantic rooster from the botanical garden & the creepy about-to-be-born fish in the aquarium.
Wednesday we took a long bus ride up through Cascais, Sintras and stopped at the Castelo dos Mouros. The views were phenomenal, and so was the weather!
Thursday morning Luis Pereira brought us to Lavadouro das Francesinhas (a neighborhood laundry) which has been in operation for over a hundred years. Here he explained to us his ideas behind the laundry cleaning/fragrance product line he's launched called Aldeia da Roupa Branca (Village of White Linen). The history of the Portuguese neighborhood laundry was immortalized in the 1938 film of the same name. It was quite an experience to be immersed in the sights and sounds of a laundry in Lisbon. I shot some video of the light reflecting onto the roof of the structure while the washer people talked in the background.
We also made a trip to Barbearia Campos - reportedly the oldest operating barber shop in Europe. They recently celebrated their 125th anniversary! Several of the men in the group took part in getting an old fashioned straight-razor shave. From there we walked over to Sushifashion where we were treated to a wonderful luncheon! After lunch we trekked down into the basement of Sushifashion to the MOOD boutique for some after lunch shopping. Just a few short blocks away, we stopped in at Skinlife to hear from owners Dennis and Patrick about their new venture as owners of a niche beauty boutique in Chiado. Our final shopping destination was A Vida Portuguesa. This shop was stocked with goods and gifts created entirely in Portugal. It was really exciting to know that everything in the store was made in Portugal (and they ship internationally!)
Luis was kind enough to give everyone in the Sniffapalooza group a gift bag with perfumes, soaps, and a bottle of his own laundry/fabric perfume! It was a wonderful surprise!
For our final full day in Lisbon, we went to the Ajuda Palace, took a ride on historic Trolley #28, did a walking tour of the Alfalma neighborhood and visited the Museu Nacional do Azulejo.
I had a fantastic time in Lisbon! Thanks to the Karens for putting together such a great trip! A little birdie tells me the next Sniffapalooza will be in Zurich. 'm totally looking forward to THAT!