For those of us obsessed with signature scents, our ultimate fragrance should be one that few others possess. While I adore Marc Jacobs (the original), I'd prefer to wear something on a daily basis that's a bit more unique to me.
A long-time contender has been Histoires de Parfums 1969, but after a visit to Avery London's outpost in New York's new Limelight Marketplace--aptly named The Avery Perfumes--I've got a slew of new options.
Avery, which opened in central London in May, is the first retail store from Intertrade Europe, a company that deals in niche perfumes, as well as slightly bigger brands like Miller Harris and Bond No. 9. I'd heard of some of the scents previously--particularly the Nasomatto series, distinguished by its carved wood toppers--but I had smelled only a few.
So last week I popped by Limelight to get an idea of what Avery has on offer. Along with the perfect Nasomatto scents--I fell for Narcotic Venus early on--I also obsessed over Carthusia's Mediterraneo. (What was in the Nasomatto's no one knows--he keeps his formulas secret--but I can tell you that Mediterraneo blends lemon and green tea.)
There was plenty else to see and smell. For instance, Hype Noses candles in such delicious scents as Pain de Vienne (smells like a French bakery, seriously) and Banana Kiss were irresistible.
The London outpost promises to be even more enchanting, with the proprietors playing on the word Avery and creating an aviary theme for the store. You'll find scents hidden under antique cages and bird figurines peppered around the stations. (We've included some images below.)
But beyond the decor and the lovely scents is the authenticity that comes with buying niche. Stepping into a store filled with big-name fragrances can be overwhelming for both your mind and your nose. In contrast, there's nothing synthetic-smelling about Avery's flavors. And with prices just slightly above those of department store brands ($68-$300, with most hitting near the $140 mark), the costs aren't prohibitive. Especially if you're going to actually wear the fragrance, rather than letting it while away on your dresser.