An olfactive Parisian walk
If the precursors of the upper branch were Serge Lutens
and his shop at the Palais Royal, Frédéric Malle and his Éditions de Parfums – the latter has just inaugurated a new space on rue de Passy in the very chic 16th arrondissement – or By Kilian and Maison Francis Kurdjian on rue d’Alger behind the Tuileries garden, new perfumers and multi-brand stores have entered Paris, all claiming excellence. A few steps from the Place Vendôme, Ex-Nihilo opened a shop on Rue Saint-Honoré. It all starts with the meeting of Benoît Verdier, Sylvie Loday and Olivier Royère who wanted to go further by offering fragrances with a strong character like Fleur Narcotique, Vétiver Moloko or Gold Immortals. In this place, ima- giné as a design loft lined with Klein blue, sits the Osmologist, a high-tech machine that serves to compose an almost unique fragrance.
Each of the fragrances in the Initiale and Babylone collections can be customized using ingredients such as Iris Pallida, Vanilla Bourbon or Rose Centifolia de Grasse absolutes to create a custom-made design. The client chooses a bottle in his image thanks to different cabochons in mother-of-pearl, onyx, horn or leather engraved with a guillochage, a name, initials or a date. Under the arcades of Rue Castiglione, you have to push the door of Jovoy, temple of rare scents. French reference of fine perfumery, the 175 m2 of the place is dedicated to artisans committed to the use of noble, natural and sometimes exclusive materials. François Hénin, the founder, hunts down new juices throughout the year. Decorated in a mix of carmine red and black, the furniture is decorated with chiné wood, installed as elegant displays for more than 130 brands and nearly 1,800 references. Back on Rue Saint-Honoré at Byredo. Created in 2006 in Stockholm under the impetus of Ben Gorham, this house designs a wide range of fragrances inspired by emotions, to offer an innovative approach to luxury. Each product is timeless, full of meaning and memories. Ben Gorham has extended his universe to make-up, leather goods and unusual objects, everything is to be discovered in the 200 m2 of his Parisian space combining wood, terrazzo and polished aluminum and whose atmosphere is close to an art gallery.
Further down the same street, the Le Labo boutique with its industrial decor houses the collection of nineteen non-gendered fragrances. Each composition simply bears the name of the central ingredient such as Santal 33, the brand’s great success,or the latest,Matcha Tea 26.Succumb to soy-based wax scented candles, sensory formulas for the body, hair and face. Le Labo was born in Grasse, the perfumery capital of the French Riviera, and grew up in New York, the city where Edouard Roschi and Fabrice Penot opened the first laboratory in February 2006.
Atypical places for singular scents
The olfactory wandering continues around the Royal Palace. In the very select Véro-Dodat passage, fashion designer Marc-Antoine Barrois has installed a box dedicated to his perfumes. The idea is to propose a refinement out of time, an authentic approach combining emotions and sincerity, making the person who carries the perfume travel in imaginary worlds. The first creation, B683, elaborated with the Quentin Bisch nose, was extended with the launch of an interior fragrance the candle N°VI, followed by the Ganymede perfume in 2019 which was a success. Then was born the Extract B683, the rounder version of B683. The collection of fragrances is further enriched with the unpublished Enceladus.
It’s time to head for the Marais. Rei Kawakubo, the creator of Comme des Garçons, and her husband Adrian Joffe, founders of Dover Street Market, a London-based temple of ultra-trendy multi-brand fashion, For the first time, they set their bags in the capital in October 2019 and unveiled their latest and newest concept: Dover Street Parfums Market. Fashion designer Marc-Antoine Barrois created in 2016 his first perfume B683. Today, he has a shop named Passage Véro-Dodat.
This address features a committed selection of perfumes, candles and skincare and makeup products. The olfactory creations of Comme des Garçons rub shoulders, among others, with Courrèges perfumes, Gucci’s The Alchemist’s Garden line or Matière Première fragrances. Rei Kawakubo, who designed the furniture of the shop, imagines a stroll in the middle of a delirious forest of ovoid columns partially hollowed out in which shelves dressed in matt white plaster, a plastered band effect, are lovable, bright white tile or silver glitter.
Nestled in an alley in the Haut Marais, at the corner of the Hôtel de Sauroy and the rue de Saintonge, Liquides is a unique place, a perfume bar designed by David Frossard and designed by the architect Philippe Di Méo. A convivial and varied setting to discover a carefully selected perfumery. The bottles are placed on gilded brass shelves lit with neon lights, like spirits. Fragrances are selected for their originality, their bias, their desire to renew the art of perfume. They are only here to confuse, attract, surprise and intrigue the wearer. These include Liquides Imaginaires created by Philippe Di Méo and David Frossard, Frapin, BDK Parfums, Arquiste and the collection designed by fashion editor Carine Roitfeld.
For her new brand, Perfumer H, with subtle and complex essences, in harmony with her skin-deep sensibility, Lyn Harris, founder of the English perfume house Miller Harris, was looking for a lively neighborhood reminiscent of Marylebone where she opened her London shops. Naturally, she chose the Haut Marais for her first Parisian address. In the Saint Paul district, La Station brings together in one place exceptional perfumes (Cherigan, Nout, Wide Society…), all products in France, and a selection of cosmetic brands certified Ecocert or Cosmébio. We come to recharge his perfume bottle at the Filling Station or treat ourselves to a consultation with Yoann to be guided to discover his olfactory personality in order to find the perfume of his dreams.
From one bank to the other, it has only one step… perfumed, of course! Direction rue du Bac in Saint-Germain-des-Prés where D’Orsay Paris settled. Acquired in 2015 by Amélie Huynh, founder of the jewelry brand Statement and sister of Mélanie Huynh, the founder of Holidermie holistic care, this brand has a history of nearly two centuries.It began in 1830 when the artist Alfred d’Orsay, who was director of the Beaux-Arts in Paris, created out of love for Marguerite Blessington, a British poet and novelist with whom he lived a forbidden idyll, a perfume. This heritage brand, whose perfumes were sold around the world and which even had two shops in Paris and one in New York at the beginning of the 20th century, has never completely disappeared, but she has become more and more discreet passing through the hands of several owners», explains the young woman. The label offers perfumes made in France created by independent noses like Olivia Giacobetti, Karine Chevalier, Fanny Bal or Vincent Ricord. The latest creation On Your Lips. E.Q., a floral-musky evoking infinite love, is imagined by Dominique Ropion. D’Orsay Paris also offers scented candles and treatments or refined olfactory objects.
Then head to the very select avenue Montaigne to discover Henry Jacques, a high-end perfumery house launched in 1975 with an innovative concept: design only custom-made juices with the rarest raw materials, nestled in precious bottles, for private clients. Thirty-five years later, his daughter Anne-Lise Crémona took over to give the house a more modern look. Today, the range of olfactory creations is available in different collections, each more prestigious than the other: from the Classics of HJ to the Iconiques, including Les Romantiques… Or the Clic-Clac, the most amazing creation by Henry Jacques. This 400 m2 universe houses a huge perfume organ at the entrance. The visitor discovers through the different spaces the Essences, the Mists and the Solids as well as the exclusive creations at the Parisian boutique. This amazing place is also the occasion to admire the works of many artists, at the detour of the cozy corridors and spaces dedicated to exhibitions.
This olfactory journey would not be complete without evoking the Spring Haussmann Scent Room. This exclusive concept, born in 2008, celebrates the know-how, heritage and dreams of the greatest perfume designers. Designed in the shape of a semi-circle, the place is an opportunity to meet French perfumers like Maison Laugier, or international such as the Italian label Jusbox, or the Italian-American Coreterno. At the back of the Scent Room is the incubator where the talents of tomorrow are presented. On the central table, similar to a perfume organ, stand, among others, the perfume waters Nout or the creations Jean-Michel Duriez. These new temples of rare species offer a quality of advice and a special atmosphere that promise a truly unique experience.