Best perfume stores
All perfumes in this quaint Brooklyn shop are blended and bottled by hand on the premises. Pick up a bottle of “To See a Flower” ($60 for 15ml) from the store’s popular Experience Series, designed to help create and radiate new noteworthy experiences. Also available are an assortment of travel-size bottles for when you’re on the go ($10–$21 for 2ml).
- 93 Wythe Ave, (at North 10th St)
- Critics choice
You’ll be transported to Paris once you step inside this opulent bath-and-body shop. Rich burgundy carpets, gilded wallpaper, a gloriously huge chandelier and a mahogany desk that serves as the checkout area set the stage for the luxurious fragrances ($50–$300), candles ($20–$400), lotions, and soaps from brands like Diptyque and Annick Goutal. Curiosity cabinets house many of the store’s exclusives—the West Village outpost is the only location in the country to sell several items, including candles by Les Secrets Ladurée Paris.
- 9 Christopher St, (at Sixth Ave)
The men’s fragrances are so appealing in this three-year-old shop that girls are likely to strut out with a bottle themselves. “I’ve noticed that most women don’t like to smell too girly and so they run straight to our men’s line,” manager Maiko Shiratori says. “But, honestly, our scents are for everyone; we just label gender for customers who need that additional assistance.” The best-sellers include Rose 21 ($62 for 15ml) and Verdama 22 ($62 for 15ml).
- 233 Elizabeth St, (between E Houston and Prince Sts)
As much a destination for guys as for girls, Williamsburg’s Miomia (formerly MirrorMirror) draws a crowd with its ultraclean, minimalist decor and chic, gender-neutral skin-care lines such as Brave Soldier and Malin + Goetz. The ample stash of cosmetics, on the other hand, is gloriously girly: The range includes innovative lines like Hakansson, Jelly Pong Pong, Tarte and Julie Hewett, whose red lipsticks work with almost all skin tones.
- 318 Bedford Ave, (between South 1st and 2nd Sts)
Sandwiched between East Village bars, this cozy fragrance shop is one you don’t want to pass by. “A lot of people just stumble in and don’t even realize it exists,” says manager Pamela Portelli. “We’ve been here over 20 years and have really created a family-style company with repeat customers.” That might be thanks to the stash of more than 200 oils lining the shelves and the option to customize your own scent (for an extra $5). If you’d rather revive an old favorite, the staff here can accommodate that, too. “People even come in with their discontinued designer fragrances, and we’ll try to match the scent for them,” Portelli says.
- 21 E 7th St, (between Second and Third Aves)
In addition to a large stock of body lotions, oils, creams and exfoliants, you’ll find three types of organic perfumes here. The most covetable is Guaiac, a mix of fresh herbs, citrus and floral blends; it’s available in a roll-on ($48 for 10ml) and a concentrate bottle ($186 for 15ml). Because the perfumes are organic, the resulting aroma varies from customer to customer, manager Stephanie Dohaney explains. “If you’re using a synthetic perfume, it’s going to smell the same on everybody,” she notes. “With our organic perfumes, the smell alters [depending on] your body chemistry.”
- 13 Prince St, (between Bowery and Elizabeth St)
Perched on NYC’s swanky Madison Avenue, this 900-square-foot fragrance shop (which opened this past fall) features a gamut of scents curated by owner and perfume royalty Frédéric Malle. In addition to home fragrances and body products, 18 perfumesmake up the collection. The coolest feature of this shop is the trio of space-shuttle-like cylindrical chambers—step inside and get a sense of what someone might smell like after a long day wearing a particular fragrance, as opposed to that strong whiff you get from just spraying perfume on a test slip. The bottle of “Une Rose” remains a best-seller ($270 for 100ml), and a box of rubber incense sheets ($105) is the perfect way to add subtle scents to your home’s small spaces.
- 898 Madison Ave, (at 72nd St)
The beauty of Bond No. 9’s collection of citycentric scents is that they actually manage to capture the essence of a neighborhood or street in a 50ml bottle (Bleecker, the High Line and West Broadway to name a few). Although the Madison Avenue location is smaller than the flagship on Bond Street, it’s just as chic and offers the same selection of custom-blended fragrances.
- 897 Madison Ave, (between 72nd and 73rd Sts)