Best NYC fragrance stores: Where to find perfume in New York City

Discover a signature scent at these NYC perfume stores that offer niche fragrances you likely won’t find elsewhere.

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It seems like a new perfume comes out every week, but if you’re looking for a signature scent you won’t smell on everyone else, these NYC fragrance shops offer lesser-known options. Find European imports at Osswald and Aedes des Venustas, travel-inspired scents from Diptyque and lighter renditions at Jo Malone.


  • Photograph: Jenny Evans

    Aedes de Venustas

  • Photograph: Jenny Evans

    Thirdman Eau Nomade eau de cologne, 3.4oz $105, at Aedes de Venustas

  • Photograph: Jenny Evans

    L’Artisan Aedes de Venustas eau de parfum, 3.4oz $245, at Aedes de Venustas

  • Photograph: Alvina Lai

    Atelier Cologne

  • Photograph: Alvina Lai

    Atelier Cologne leather travel pouches, $40 each

  • Photograph: Alvina Lai

    Atelier Cologne Trèfle Pur soap, $18

  • Photograph: Jenny Evans

    Caron

  • Photograph: Jenny Evans

    Caron Délire de Roses parfum, 30ml $100, 50ml $165

  • Photograph: Jenny Evans

    Caron Tabac Blond, 7.5ml $115, 15ml $180, 25ml $250, 50ml $330, 100ml $520

  • Photograph: Evaan Kheraj

    CB I Hate Perfume

  • CB I Hate Perfume In the Library absolute 2ml $13, 15ml $95; water perfume 150ml $80

  • Photograph: Jenny Evans

    Diptyque

  • Photograph: Jenny Evans

    Diptyque L’Autre, 100ml $120

  • Photograph: Jenny Evans

    Diptyque Do Son solid perfume, $48

  • Photograph: Jenny Evans

    Éditions de Parfums Frédéric Malle

  • Photograph: Jenny Evans

    Maurice Roucel Musc Ravageur, 50ml $170, at Éditions de Parfums Frédéric Malle

  • Photograph: Jenny Evans

    Dominique Ropion Carnal Flower, 50ml $240, at Éditions de Parfums Frédéric Malle

  • Jo Malone

  • Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin bath oil, 200ml $100

  • Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede home candle, $65

  • Photograph: Jenny Evans

    Le Labo

  • Photograph: Jenny Evans

    Le Labo Patchouli 24 perfume oil, 30ml $130

  • Photograph: Jenny Evans

    Le Labo Santal 33 perfume, 100ml $240

  • Photograph: Jenny Evans

    MiN New York

  • Photograph: Jenny Evans

    Majda Bekkali Fusion Sacrée, 120ml $225, at MiN New York

  • Photograph: Jenny Evans

    Kerosene Whips and Roses eau de parfum, 100ml $140, at MiN New York

  • Photograph: Jenny Evans

    Osswald

  • Photograph: Jenny Evans

    Amouage Epic for Man, 50ml $245, at Osswald

  • Photograph: Jenny Evans

    Maître Parfumeur et Gantier Bahiana eau de toilette, 100ml $120, at Osswald

  • Photograph: Jenny Evans

    MDCI Invasion Barbare, 60ml $263, at Osswald

Photograph: Jenny Evans

Aedes de Venustas

Aedes de Venustas

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Like the boudoir of a prerevolutionary French courtesan with a bit of a perfume-hoarding habit, Aedes de Venustas is bedecked with a profusion of fresh flowers, scented candles ($35–$275) and mirrored armoires, along with a white stuffed peacock that sits in the front window against wine-colored curtains. Fragrance lovers Karl Bradl and Robert Gerstner opened the shop—whose name means “temple of beauty” in Latin—in 1995 as a way of bringing high-end European scents not available in the U.S. stateside. They continue to stock more than 50 niche and haute lines, including Maître Parfumeur et Gantier and Thirdman. Among the highlights are Comme des Garçons’ dark and spicy Incense Avignon (50ml $80) and Serge Lutens’s La Fille de Berlin (1.69oz $130), a joyous, peppery rose scent that’s the color of crushed rose petals. Don’t forget to check out L’Artisan’s Aedes de Venustas eau de parfum (3.4oz $245), a green chypre with rhubarb and tomato leaf notes, created especially for the boutique by Bertrand Duchaufour. 212-206-8674, aedes.com

  1. 9 Christopher St, (at Sixth Ave)
More info
Atelier Cologne

Atelier Cologne

Before you cross the threshold of this specialty brand’s azure doorway, a small table with select fragrances and blotters greet you outside, inviting you to sample Atelier Cologne’s fragrances in the open air. The exposed-brick walls, brushed-metal tables and overhead lamps that constitute the interior make the space feel like an art studio. Creators Sylvie Ganter and Christophe Cervasel wanted to combine the freshness of perfume’s lightest scent, the eau de cologne, with the tenacity of an eau de parfum, and together developed a happy medium that they call the “cologne absolue.” Scents such as Grand Néroli (30ml $65, 100ml $105, 200ml $165), a fresh take on orange-flower extract; earthy Trèfle Pur (30ml $70, 100ml $115, 200ml $175), featuring notes of fresh-cut grass and violet leaves; and the tea-like Oolang Infini (30ml $65, 100ml $110, 200ml $170), with bergamot and jasmine, demonstrate that fresh and interesting are not mutually exclusive. If you purchase a leather travel pouch ($40) that fits a 30-milliliter bottle, an artisan on-site will engrave it with your name, initials or a special message for free. 212-256-0909, ateliercologne.com

  1. 247 Elizabeth St between E Houston and Prince Sts
Caron

Caron Paris

Since perfumer Ernest Daltroff founded the brand in Paris in 1904, Caron has been heralded for its bold, femme-fatale scents. At this Art Deco–style boutique, each of its perfumes can be purchased in pre-packaged bottles ($115–$700) as an eau de toilette or eau de parfum, or as a so-called fountain fragrance (.25oz $115, 100ml $520) in pure perfume form. With the latter option, your selection will be dispensed from one of the giant Baccarat crystal decanters into a bottle with a ground-glass stopper, which is then tied with a gold braid and wrapped in polka-dot packaging that has remained unchanged since the 1920s. Popular choices include the leather-, iris- and cedar-inflected Tabac Blond, created in 1919 as a tribute to scandalous flappers who smoked; Narcisse Noir, whose accords of orange flower and sandalwood were referenced in Michael Powell's 1947 film Black Narcissus; and the spicy, peppery and clovey Poivre, which added heat to Caron’s famous floral heart. 212-308-0270, parfumscaron.com

  1. Phyto Universe, 715 Lexington Ave at 58th St, third floor

CB I Hate Perfume

  • Price band: 2/4

Owner Christopher Brosius (whose initials form the titular “CB”) loathes mainstream fragrances with their excess synthetic musks and lack of creativity. But as one can tell from even a cursory stop at his Brooklyn scent gallery, where assistants hand-decant perfumes in the back, only someone who loves scent could make ones this creative. Brosius was once the perfumer for the groundbreaking line Demeter, which specializes in representational aromas, and he expands upon what he started there with more complex fragrances that somehow manage to evoke emotions, memories and moods. To wit, In the Library (absolute 2ml $13, 15ml $95; water perfume 150ml $80) smells vanillic and dusty, like aged paper, transporting you to a time when your head was buried in an old paperback. Channel a crisp autumn day with Burning Leaves (absolute 15ml $95, water perfume 100ml $80), or the languid feel of a summer afternoon near the ocean with At the Beach 1966 (absolute 2ml $15, 15ml $100; water perfume 100ml $85), featuring an uncanny Coppertone-suntan-lotion accord combined with salt spray. 718-384-6890, cbihateperfume.com

  1. 93 Wythe Ave, (at North 10th St)
More info

Diptyque

Founded in 1961 by interior designer Christiane Gautrot, painter Desmond Knox-Leet, and theater director and set designer Yves Coueslant, Diptyque produces wearable yet edgy scents created in the tradition of fine French perfume making. All are inspired by far-flung travels, including the cult-favorite L’Autre (100ml $120), which evokes Moroccan spice markets, and Olène (100ml $120), which captures the narcissus, wisteria, jasmine and honeysuckle of Venice. Certain scents, such as the popular Philosykos (eau de toilette 1.7oz $88, 3.4oz $120; eau de parfum 2.5oz $140)—redolent of Greece’s wild fig trees and based on the fruit’s leaves that Knox-Leet brought back from his trips—are also available in roll-on ($55), body lotion ($56) and solid-perfume ($48) form. 377 Bleecker St between Charles and Perry Sts (212-242-2333) • 971 Madison Ave between 75th and 76th Sts (212-879-3330) • 242 Mott St between Prince and Houston Sts (646-861-2961) • diptyqueparis.com

  1. Various locations

Éditions de Parfums Frédéric Malle

  • Price band: 4/4

Frédéric Malle started his fragrance company in 2000 with a unique proposition: to find the best perfumers in the world and give them financial and creative license to do whatever they want. Malle also offered something unheard of—he put the composers’ authorial signatures on the bottle. (Most noses have been anonymous except to aficionados, and even then, they’re often subsumed to the brand.) Stepping into the U.S. flagship feels like arriving for a private appointment with a couturier. A solicitous but low-key specialist greets you, and a quick survey of the room reveals a desk, two walls devoted to house-label candles ($85–$145) and Perfume Gun home-fragrance sprays (500 ml $150), and a trio of red space-age–looking scent chambers. The principle behind the vessels is that without additional smells to contaminate your experience—a fan is turned on to remove olfactory impurities—you can have an unadulterated whiff of the top, heart and base notes of each fragrance that’s sprayed for you by a salesperson. Test out Dominique Ropion’s intoxicating tuberose-centered Carnal Flower (50ml $240), Maurice Roucel’s clovey-musk lothario Musc Ravageur (50ml $170), Jean-Claude Ellena’s bracing bitter-orange Bigarade Concentrée (50ml $170) and Parfum de Thérèse (50 ml $190), a mix of fruits, rose and woodsy leather based on a resurrected formula by Dior’s now-departed Edmond Roudnitska. 212-249-7941, fredericmalle.com

  1. 898 Madison Ave, (at 72nd St)
More info

Jo Malone

  • Price band: 3/4

No brand has tapped into Americans’ love for clean, transparent scents better than English perfume label Jo Malone, named after its creator, who started out nearly 20 years ago as a skin-care specialist (the company was acquired by Estée Lauder in 1999). Although the label famous for fragrances such as Lime Basil & Mandarin (30ml $60, 100ml $115) and Earl Grey and Cucumber (30ml $60, 100ml $115) has branched out a bit with its Cologne Intense collection, which includes darker scents such as Velvet Rose & Oud (100 ml $145) and Amber & Patchouli (100 ml $145), even those manage to stay true to a signature lightness. The on-staff specialists may encourage you to layer the scents—a signature of the brand and a practice most other perfumers frown upon—but it’s not really necessary, since each one is interesting enough on its own. Instead, pick up body lotion ($30–$65), bath oil ($65), shampoo ($25) and conditioner ($30) in your favorite scent for added longevity. Locations throughout the city; visit jomalone.com

  1. Various locations
More info

Le Labo

  • Price band: 2/4

Founded in 2007 by former chemical engineer Eddie Roschi and perfumer Fabrice Penot, who developed the Armani Privé and Acqua di Gio lines, Le Labo creates scents that are built around a primary ingredient using a blend of essential oils. Calling the New York store—its sole location—its “lab,” the brand boasts hand-mixed rather than factory-made perfumes: Each time a sale is made, a staffer takes the ingredients from an industrial-size refrigerator on the premises and decants and mixes the fragrance on the spot. The bottle is then stamped with the date for freshness (which remains optimal for a year) and the customer’s name. Some favorites include the smoky, dark wood Oud 27 (50ml $160); Rose 31, a woodsy, spiced unisex take on the flower (50ml $160); and Lys 41 (50ml $160), a heady blend of jasmine, tuberose and lily that smolders with musk. Most scents are available as massage oils ($65), shower gels ($50), body lotions ($65) and candles ($60–$70). Le Labo also offers city-specific scents that can only be purchased in that metropolis—for NYC, it’s Tuberose 40 (50ml $290), a sumptuous rendition of the perennial. 212-219-2230, lelabofragrances.com

  1. 233 Elizabeth St, (between E Houston and Prince Sts)
More info

MiN New York

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

With its dark wood counters, leather sofas and distressed vanities that offset a glimmering assortment of niche perfumes, this luxury grooming shop feels like a mash-up between an old-world library and a vintage apothecary. Although MiN largely features men’s beauty products ($10–$800), its seasonal rotation of rare fragrance brands such as Kerosene, Majda Bekkali, Frapin and Nobile 1942—all East Coast exclusives to the store—are what keep New Yorkers coming back for more. Top picks include Naomi Goodsir’s incensey, tobacco-leather Cuir Velours (50ml $150) and London perfumer Heeley’s Bubblegum Chic (50ml $210), a fun tuberose-scented perfume that pushes the note’s candy facets while remaining elegant. If you have cash to burn, splurge on an appointment-only Bespoke Fragrance Flight ($250), an individualized service modeled after a wine tasting that gets the uninterrupted attention of a consultant, plus beverages and perfume sampling galore. The value of your service can then be applied toward a fragrance purchase. 212-206-6366, min.com

  1. 117 Crosby St, (between W Houston and Prince Sts)
More info

Osswald

  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

Inspired by her great-grandfather Boris Dreiding, who founded Zurich’s Osswald Parfumerie in 1921, owner Tanja Dreiding Wallace decided to open a stateside location of the family-run business in August 2012. The massive all-white space looks like the inside of a luxury spaceship, with recessed-wood shelves and brushed-copper tables displaying Swiss skin-care products from Valmont ($76–$510) and Alpeor ($45–$245), as well as vanguard scents from luxury perfume brands such as Huitième Art and MDCI—many exclusive to the NYC boutique. The friendly and knowledgeable staff gives you wide berth to wander the spacious store, allowing you to spritz to your heart’s content. But when you’re ready, they’re happy to walk you through distinct fragrances such Parfumerie Générale’s swoonworthy Tubéreuse Couture scent (100ml $179), featuring a rich white floral base, and Carner Barcelona’s Tardes (50ml $130), a serene blend of Egyptian geranium, Bulgarian rose and cedarwood. 212-625-3111, osswaldnyc.com

  1. 311 West Broadway, (between Canal and Grand Sts)
More info


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