five senses

Dick jokes and opera

Soho-House-Los-Angeles-Five-Senses-Tastings

Yes, you read right.

This is the title of the show I saw on Wednesday thanks to my dear friend, Diane, yoga teacher extraordinaire and also the Founder of Love Infinity for All, a jewelry company that raises awareness and funds for mental illness. 

We really didn't know what I was getting into when we rolled up to the Soho House in West Hollywood. For those of you who don't know, Soho House (which actually began in London in 1995 and has houses all over Europe and North America, oh, and Istanbul) is where you go when you need to convince the rich and famous how rich and famous you currently are OR how rich and famous you think you are OR how rich and famous you will or most definitely should be.

"High art meets low art" is how the show was presented to the packed room. Opera arias, performed by LA-based opera singer and entrepreneur Nicole Levitt, were interspersed with stand up comedians named... yeah, I'm sorry, I have absolutely no recollection of who they were but they were great, especially the irreverent Illinois-Irish guy in the middle.

What I loved most about the event was the complete unexpectedness of it. Stand up comedy and opera? Maybe someone has thought of it before but, no surprise here, I absolutely loved the concept of putting together two things that you'd think on the surface have nothing in common with one another. But it worked because the purposefulness behind each story was there, whether high art or low art.People in the audience may never have heard opera before, and they were inclined to appreciate it not only because they knew the woman singing but because her voice stood in clear, melodious, and purposeful juxtaposition to the dick jokes and other insults hurled by the comedians. 

There are most certainly still some kinks to be ironed out in terms of the flow and presentation, but I am thrilled to bits to hear that this will not be the last installment and that the future of the show is moving towards a more meaningful connection between the two art forms.

The power of experience over stuff

Carefully selected wines, food, and music have the power to create unique experiences. These sparkling wines – one white and one rosé – are from the Boisset Collection.

I am consistently unamazed at how much more people talk about experiences than things. According to David Adler, CEO of BizBash, the market leader in event news, ideas, and resources, research shows that "today's buyers believe that experiences are the new bling," and I have found this to be exceptionally true, across generations and across the country and even the world. 

People are always looking for that "new" twist to their special events and in Los Angeles, which is an events town through and through, I find this to be even more pronounced. From real estate agents to financial planners, health coaches to those in the hospitality industry, people crave something memorable... something more than just a party with a Costco cheese plate (don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of Costco cheese plates) and some cheap wine from Trader Joe's (those who know me know what a complete and utter devotee I am of TJ's!).

A guest at Héritage Fine Wines in Beverly Hills listens carefully to the musical selections, each one hand-picked to pair with the wine, cheese, and chocolate served.

Most people – me included – do not consciously consider their senses on a daily basis, except perhaps to notice if they have a stuffy nose or their ears are popping after a long flight. We accept what the world throws at our senses without question and without much consideration of the fact that we do actually have the power to customize what we sense, at least to some degree.

As Julian Treasure often remarks in his speeches on conscious listening, we do not have earlids, and so entirely turning off the sounds of the world just isn't possible (even the best earplugs can't filter out the jackhammer noise from next door's rebuilding project completely – trust me, I know!). However, we do have the option of focusing on our senses and purposefully triggering and engaging them. 

Guests listen intently at a recent Five Senses Tastings event in Essex Fells, New Jersey. 

At Five Senses Tastings, we take this idea very seriously. We have all come to accept sound – or perhaps more appropriately, noise – as something that by its very nature is unspecific (and sometimes even annoying) in our lives. We have become inured to the idea that our senses, when carefully addressed one by one or in concerted unity, can center us in the moment and help to create and solidify memories.

Specifically triggering all our five senses – sound, smell, taste, touch, and sight – is our primary goal in our music tastings. We have shared it with hundreds already, and we can't wait to continue sharing this unique experience with our friends in Los Angeles. Whether you're planning an anniversary or birthday party, product launch, or client appreciation event, we can help create a special experience that your guests will not only enjoy but remember with all their senses.