“I’m encouraging people to get drunk,” Eric Buterbaugh confided Thursday night. He paused. “Though, I’m going to be a good boy tonight.”
The florist to the stars is adding perfumer to his résumé — the evening marked the launch of his first fragrance collection, aptly titled “Florals.” Naturally, all his celebrity clients — or as he termed them, “besties,” aka Nicole Richie, Gwen Stefani, Demi Moore, Naomi Campbell and Tobey Maguire — showed up to sniff the flowery notes, spritzed all over his Los Angeles flagship for the occasion.
“We wanted to create a space that was like an oasis,” Buterbaugh said, providing a grand tour of the Beverly Boulevard store, which includes a perfumery, a flower-themed art gallery, and outdoor patio. The event also served as a housewarming party of sorts. “Two weeks ago this was a pile of dirt,” he laughed.
No so, said Moore. “It was all there,” clarified the early arrival, as she explored the space with daughter Tallulah Willis. “Words can’t convey the joy I feel in seeing his dream come alive,” she said. “This is something he’s been working on for quite a few years. The time and focus and detail that he’s put into it? I’m witnessing an evening of an expression of pure love.” Much like Buterbaugh’s dream, he and Moore’s friendship goes back many years. “When we first met, I was carrying around a hideous green cooler full of my favorite beverage — Red Bull. We both smoked in those days. He saw me sitting at a valet on my little cooler after leaving a party. He said, ‘You know, I like you because…you’re just not right.’ We’ve been friends ever since. We spend every Christmas together. Eric is my family.”
“I’m really happy for him,” echoed Stefani, joking she hoped her connection might pay off. “I just hope I get free perfume. That’s the reason why I came. I’m really disappointed because I think I’m not getting it,” she said, after previewing the seven fragrances on display — each in elaborate crystal bottles and available exclusively through the boutique and ebflorals.com. They price at $500 for 250 ml. and $300 for 100 ml. “He has one called Apollo [Hyacinth] and I’m wondering if that has anything to do with my son. I’ll have to ask him,” Stefani said.
The party was equally familial for Buterbaugh’s neighbor, Courteney Cox, who brought along her 10-year-old daughter Coco Arquette. “Eric has known Coco for a long time, so I thought she’d come as well. Then [I saw] there are guys here without shirts on serving drinks and I thought, ‘Well, this is kid friendly,’” she deadpanned, eyeing the shirtless models proffering trays of Champagne.
Maria Shriver brought a more age-appropriate date. “Eric has been a friend of mine since the day he moved to L.A.,” she said, her 25-year-old daughter Katherine Schwarzenegger at her side. “He was making flowers in a garage.”
Buterbaugh’s business partner Fabrice Croise said the launch was only just the beginning. Three more fragrances are on the way for Christmas, spring and summer. They’re also developing another fragrance collection for department stores. Said Buterbaugh grandly, “We decided we’re going to own florals and we’re going to be the best floral fragrance company that’s ever lived.”