At first glance, the Glass Lounge & Garden of the Inter-continental Century City housing the 2018 Oscar edition of the Secret Room Events lounge appeared to be the entry into the ultimate game room for the children of nominees. Every inch of the check-in table was covered with a splashy array of games and puzzles, as well as Spindrift’s fruity sparkling waters. This “moat” surrounded a lake of giant parting-gift Mondrian-esque Body Glove duffle bags stuffed with exclusive stuff for the grown-ups: luxury travel stay certificates covering Bali and the Bahamas, Japanese wellness jewellery, Anastasia’s ultra premium cosmetics, and other baubles.
Adventuretown Toy Emporium was back with a global assortment of hand-crafted and old-school playthings from Europe, southeast Asia, and the US. New celebrity parents also welcomed the arrival of Lil’O’Blossom Baby Skincare, a sweet-smelling and beautifully packaged collection.
Beyond those family-friendly offerings, however, the event was tailor-made for tastemakers, with “taste” being an operative word. VIP guests sampled beautiful pinot noir, Zinfandel, and various white wines crafted by Shauna Rosenbloom of Rock Wall Wines from Alameda, Calif., and received a stylish case with two bottles and an invitation for a visit to the winery.
Beso del Sol Sangria, imported from Alicante, Spain, offered three varieties of ready to chill-and-drink sangria in white, rose, and red in sensible and cheerful eco-packaging. Representatives from Waerator Wine Aerators were on hand to demonstrate their innovative devices which aerate wine and keep it fresh for up to three days in its bottle.
Wine Veils, invented by Denver-based Kelly Egan, completed the collection that Secret Room planner Amy Boatwright created for the Oscar 2018 event. Egan’s brightly coloured organza squares adorn wine glasses with weighted silver charms. They not only help individual guests identify whose glass is whose, but also keep bugs, dirt, insect repellant, and leaves away from the precious liquid inside when dining outside.
There were plenty of options for coffee and tea drinkers as well. Whole Harmony Teas from Connecticut sampled its beautifully packaged herbal blends and health elixirs and, while a select group of guests received an intuitive Behmor coffee brewer and all guests received a mug and top-grade Ethiopian coffee beans. Lilou & Loïc Candles in exotic scents such as oud, ginger, and grapefruit–basil served as an ideal finishing touch for any table.
Of course, representatives and entrepreneurs from newly or recently launched grooming lines held court as oils, liquids and lotions were eagerly snapped up by beauty and grooming aficionados. Hot finds included firming and cleaning solutions for women from BeautyBiologist by Ruberto Raffaele; soothing lotions and oils from Kailo Wellness; daily essentials from Ageless Shaving and purifying masks from Senovie; and nourishing oils for body and therapeutic oils for rosacea from Folium Medica.
There’s always something at Secret Room that is practical and even life-saving, and this time, Sabre Red Personal Safety Products fit the bill with essential accessories such as pepper spray sets with practice devices, personal alarms, and drink test kits (to snuff out roofies and other hazardous additives).—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor