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Penhaligon's K11 Musea
Photograph: Courtesy Penhaligon's

The best niche perfume stores in Hong Kong

Whether you are looking for a special gift or want to stand out from the crowd, these are the fragrance stores that should be on your radar

Tatum Ancheta
Written by
Tatum Ancheta
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Fragrance adds to a person's character and usually leaves a long-lasting impression. If you're looking for something unique and much different from what everyone else is wearing, shift your attention from designer scents and start venturing into niche fragrances. What are 'niche perfumes'? They're not your run-of-the-mill bottled perfumes you can easily pick up from a department store; these fragrances usually come from boutique artisanal perfume studios whose production is on a much smaller scale, is much better quality, costs a little bit more, and offers scents that you might not get anywhere else.

Elevate your scents from day to night and stand out from the crowd with the help of these niche perfume shops in Hong Kong.

RECOMMENDED: Looking for Mother's Day gift ideas? Here's a roundup of great gifts to buy for mum

The best niche perfume stores in Hong Kong

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  • Central

Stepping into Officine Universelle Buly's Wyndham Street store is like walking into 19th century Paris. The apothecary's vintage aesthetic features a high ceiling, tiled floors, and lines of cabinets displaying aromatic creams, clays, oils, combs, and perfumes. Here you can choose from an array of beauty and body care products – created and bottled in France – and at the same time sniff the world's first water-based fragrance-Eau Triple, a style of perfume invented by the brand. The shop offers twelve intoxicating scents for you to collect (price starts at $1,450). Take a whiff of the sultry citrus-patchouli scents of Ingres' The Valpinçon Bather ($1,650) or the refreshing mint and bergamot notes of Gainsborough's Conversation in a Park ($1,650). The store packages each perfume with handwritten calligraphy labels, making it an ideal gift if you're buying it for someone special.

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  • Central

Le Labo perfume is a cult favourite. It's woody aromatic fragrance, Santal 33 ($1590 for 50 ml; $2290 100ml), attracts both sexes, with celebrities like Ryan Reynolds, Alexa Chung, and Justin Bieber as its regular patrons. Born in Grasse and established in New York, Le Labo opened their first store in Hong Kong in 2014 and now has several branches in the city. In 2019 they launched Hong Kong's very own city exclusive scent called Bigarade 18 ($2590 for 50ml; $3975 for 100ml) – inspired by the fragrant lily and citrus tree found in the hallways of Repulse Bay Hotel in the 80s, where the brand's founder, Eddie Roschi, lived as a child. Drop by the store, choose from any unisex scents, and watch their store specialists create the perfume in front of you. Each bottle of perfume you buy from their store carries their signature minimal typewriter-font label, which you can personalise to add your name or any message if you are purchasing the perfume as a gift. Our personal favourite is their Rose 31 ($1590 for 50 ml; $2290 100ml), a floral, woody, and musky scent that lasts all day and lingers even after you shower.

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  • Sheung Wan

Inspired by 1950s girl's powder rooms in Paris, Parfumerie Trésor's shop in Sheung Wan is definitely a standout. The store brings artisanal brands of perfumes from around the world under one roof, so you will be spoilt for choice if you have a lot of money to spend. With brands like Xerjoff, Ormonde Jayne, Les Parfums de Rosine, and Laurent Mazzone Parfums – you’re unlikely to find any of these fragrances anywhere else in the city. If you are into the art of fragrance, catch the shop's occasional perfume workshops, where they usually invite the founders of these elusive brands.

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  • Tsim Sha Tsui

Penhaligon's is a brand established in the UK in the 1800s and holds two long-standing Royal Warrants from The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Edinburgh. Get a whiff of their perfumes in any of their stores in IFC MallGateway Arcade, and its largest and latest branch at K11 Musea. The brand houses a wide variety of products and caters to both men and women, and each bottle of perfume comes with individual stories. Try The Favourite ($830 for 30ml; $1700 for 100ml), inspired by Sarah Churchill (Duchess of Marlborough), the 'favourite' confidante of Queen Anne, the last of the Stuart monarchs of Great Britain who ruled from 1702-14. The scent is evocative and carries an air of luxury; it is floral, powdery, and musky, with prominent notes of mimosa. If you're looking for gifts, check out Penhaligon’s new Portraits Maison Discovery Collection which features eight ($1,790) of the Portraits’ most-loved scents. The collection comes in a beautiful box resembling the historic Penhaligon’s fragrance Maison.  

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If you like citrus notes, then Atelier Cologne is the answer because this niche perfume brand is known for its many iterations of citrusy fragrances. Their perfumes attract both men and women with products extending to shower gels, soaps, and body lotions, including candles for the home. Most of  Atelier Cologne's scents are refreshing, making it a great summer staple for both men and women. Bottles start at $685 for 30ml and go above $1000 depending on the size and scent. Try the Atelier Cologne Pomelo Paradis for a bright aroma of pomelo and grapefruit or the Oolang Infini for cooler notes of tea and bergamot. 

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  • Sheung Wan

Scented Niche is a boutique perfume shop on Gough Street showcasing a great selection of niche perfume brands like The Different Company, Nicolaï: Parfumeur-Créateur, Carrière Frères, Neela Vermeire Creations, and Papillon Artisan Perfumes, among others. Founded by Patrick Hui, the shop focuses on bringing unique scents from independent houses that are not available through mass-produced channels like department stores. Try Papillon's Tobacco Rose for a contrasting masculine and feminine scent ($1600 for 50ml) with floral notes of Bulgarian rose, geranium, Rose de Mai, oakmoss, beeswax, hay, and ambergris.

In the mood to shop?

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