October 11, 2013 |
According to scent stylist Ashley Kessler, the ancient Egyptians believed smell contained the "essence of a soul. " Which makes me wonder: Why are perfumes today mass-produced, commercially marketed and packaged in uniform, glittery bottles? Entrepreneur Nicole Winnaman and celebrity perfumer Sarah Horowitz have answered the question with Original Scent, one of several local businesses that specialize in custom fragrance. I recently visited Original Scent, located at Winnaman's Pasadena lifestyle store Nikki West , to meet with Kessler, a senior scent stylist.
October 6, 2013 |
Although writer John Steinbeck died 45 years ago, we continue to visit Salinas, Calif. - his birthplace - and surrounding Monterey County in search of the characters and settings found in his classics "The Pastures of Heaven," "East of Eden," "Cannery Row" and "Tortilla Flat. " Although we can't find Doc, Junius Maltby or Lee Chong's grocery store, the essence of the Salinas Valley lingers in the blend of cultures, overcast skies, farming communities and locals who combine a passion for their work with a penchant for libations.
May 28, 2013 |
"James Turrell: A Retrospective" is a bit like a dinner party at which the guest of honor is absent. Family members and friends are there, plus lots of conversation about the one who's missing. But the primary impetus for the get-together couldn't make it. The missing guest, of course, is Roden Crater - the much written-about volcano in the Northern Arizona desert that the artist has been converting into an elaborate, celestial observatory since he located the dramatic site more than 40 years ago. The exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art includes extensive documentation of the ongoing project, in the form of models, drawings, plans, photographs and video.
May 13, 2013 |
Opera was born to be mad. The first great opera concerned the demented Roman emperor Nero. In the nearly three centuries since Monteverdi's "The Coronation of Poppea," mad scene has succeeded mad scene on the lyric stage. They still do, as Long Beach Opera demonstrated Saturday night at Bixby Knolls Expo Art Center with a seemingly crazy double bill of two recent American operas - Michael Gordon's "Van Gogh" and Stewart Copeland's "Tell-Tale Heart. " Each opera is, in essence, an excitable - and exciting - extended mad scene.
May 5, 2013 |
In the late 1970s, long before he penned "The Satanic Verses," before he sparked a global uproar between Islamic fundamentalists and free-speech advocates and became a marked man, before he turned into a celebrity man of letters who dates models and starlets, Salman Rushdie was just the failed author of a sci-fi fantasy. An obscure Indian expat living in England, he had only that first novel, "Grimus," under his belt when he turned his attention to his homeland. While studying at Cambridge he had met E.M. Forster, the venerable British author of classics like "A Passage to India" and "A Room With a View," and the elder novelist had encouraged him to write about the subcontinent.
April 14, 2013 |
A bill before Parliament in Uganda would prohibit women from wearing miniskirts in public. The government's ethics minister, Simon Lokodo, has taken the lead in defending it. "Anything above the knee is outlawed," he said. "If a woman wears a miniskirt, we will arrest her. " If the bill were to become law, Uganda would hardly be the first country to institute harsh restrictions on women's dress in public. Saudi Arabia, for instance, famously expects women to be shrouded head to toe in public.