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We Were There: Blackbird Apothecary Celebration

A scent event in Ballard celebrates the work of David Falsberg with a fragrance that smacks of the emergency room. In a good way. Mostly.

By Mia Harrison February 15, 2013

A few distinct smells trademark this town: roasted coffee, damp foliage, and a hint of patchouli among them, but Blackbird's newish Apothecary might well be changing all that.

On February 9, the Ballard men's shop hosted the Northwest Indie Perfumes Circuit featuring Phoencia, local perfumer David Falsberg’s latest line. Blackbird owner Nicole Miller sees fragrance as the next level of fashion; it molds to the wearer and smells different on each person. For Miller, "It’s something that makes you stand out."

Seattle's perfume super group (Falsberg and Miller included) created a club that stresses the importance of community, testing the limits, and sharing ideas and sources in order to redefine the fragrance industry. The recent event was all about Falsberg’s new perfume Skin Graft, a sterile yet citrusy scent that's reminiscent of an emergency room. It pays homage to both the pain its creator suffered and the obstacles he overcame during his recovery from the excruciating Stevens Johnson Syndrome.

One of the adverse effects of Falsberg's illness was temporary blindness, but as a result his sense of smell was greatly heightened. "I turned into an alpha dog. They say a dog can smell a cat a block away, and so could I," says the mixologist, thus spiraling him into the world of fragrance.

Falsberg at Blackbird's Apothecary.

Turns out making perfume in a smaller city has its perks. Falsberg says “I have more room to play here than when I lived in New York. You look around and everything is about the packaging and the connections [out there]. People here will actually say, 'Show me what you got.'" Which is exactly what he did. Along with Skin Graft he debuted Ultra Flora, a fragrance with lavender and sandalwood undertones based on his love of flowers, and Real Oud, a stronger earthy scent that is not for the faint of heart.

Buy Falsberg’s Skin Graft via his website and contribute to raising awareness for Stevens Johnson Syndrome, or dab a little on at the Apothecary and see if it's right for you.

Mia Harrison is a guest blogger.

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