The best independent apothecaries in NYC
- 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)
Enjoy a glass of wine in this sleek, gallery-like store-salon-apothecary hybrid while you get your hair cut, or browse the boutique for hair-care and beauty products from brands such as Sachajuan, Ritual and Korres. To bring the calm home with you, pick up Sada France Asian-lychee candles ($32 each), Mama Mio’s Deluxe Pampering kit ($65) or a Apothia fragrance diffuser ($48-$78).
- 490 Driggs Ave, (between North 9th and 10th Sts)
- Critics choice
Pass through the ornate iron doors for a sanctuary of chichi shampoos, perfumes and candles from the centuries-old Italian beauty company Santa Maria Novella. The boutique—bedecked with dark-wood tables and iron pillars—feels like a reliquary for such coveted luxuries as pomegranate bath soaps, soothing bath kits by Eau D'Italie and vetiver-scented cologne—all wrapped in beautiful paper and lovely retro boxes.
- 285 Lafayette St, (between E Houston and Prince Sts)
The line lauded for its green-leaning simplicity runs a streamlined store full of apothecary delights. Shelves are lined with simple skin-care solutions in the same no-frills design as the stark, futuristic store. You'll find products and treatments from its eponymous line, including its signature detox facial and body products, along with home fragrances and perfumes in unusual notes such as rum tonic, synthesized lotus root and mojito. Best-sellers include the lip moisturizer ($12), peppermint hair shampoo ($20) and vitamin B5 body moisturizer ($38).
- 177 Seventh Ave, (between 20th and 21st Sts)
You could practically eat your way through this place. Saipua sells hand-cut, olive-oil-based soaps made from food-grade vegetable oils, butters, herbs and extracts. It also specializes in seasonal flowers for weddings and other special events. Specialty soaps include avocado oil soap ($8), coffee mint soap ($8) and jasmine tea soap ($6).
- 147 Van Dyke St, (between Conover and Van Brunt Sts)
Though Kiehl’s products are now available at department stores internationally, its original East Village location has been in place since 1851, and has been refurbished to better replicate the original apothecary’s atmosphere. The flagship space offers a variety of products made from unusual ingredients, such as French rosewater, rice and wheat (for its volumizing shampoo, $18), as well as herbal shampoos and conditioners for both canines and equines.
- 109 Third Ave, (at 13th St)
This drugstore-like venue combines traditional medical services, homeopathy and natural remedies. Go for exclusive brands such as Becca, Organic Glam and Pepperface, as well as an assortment of vitamin supplements. There’s nowhere else in the city to get Batiste Dry Shampoo ($12), Becca Mascara ($24) and Inneov Anti-Aging Firming tablets ($70).
- 246 Eighth Ave , (between 22nd and 23rd Sts)
Each of the 42 perfumes at Bond No. 9 represents a specific NYC street or site—and they’re all far from the nauseating aromas of subway funk, crowds and street food you’re used to. Test out the options (some crafted for men, some for women and some for both), including the Little Italy spray reminiscent of citrus-flavored gelato ($210 for 100ml) or the Riverside Drive fragrance with hints of the (once) crisp and clear Hudson River ($205 for 100ml). And if you’re itching to get out of the city but don’t have the time, splash on the Fire Island beach-and-suntan scent for traces of summertime ($210 for 100ml).
- 9 Bond St, (between Broadway and Lafayette St)
Can’t make it to Paris? This compact beauty-supply store is arranged like a department store dedicated to beauty products, and has a surprisingly comprehensive selection of high-end cosmetics, European products and everyday drugstore staples.
- 926 Madison Ave, (between 73rd and 74th Sts)
Boyd’s is a NYC–based megastore stocked with endless aisles of goodies guaranteed to delight any beauty junkie. Highlights: Innoxa Blue Eye Drops ($20), which instantly brighten eyes; a Helen of Troy Thermal Hot Air Brush ($33) for quicker styling; and the Nutra Luxe Pen ($14), which erases wrinkles without the use of parabens, preservatives and other gunk you don’t want on your face. It also carries imported and old-school toothpastes like Euthymol ($10), which make great hostess gifts thanks to their funny names and lovely vintage-inspired labels.
- 385 Fifth Ave, Room 808, (at 36th St)
Unlike your loo, this place carries upscale goop and an impressive collection of designer bath linens and accessories. Featured brands: Molton Brown, Yves Delorme and the all-natural Dr. Hauschka line, whose Cleansing Cream ($27) works wonders for all skin types.
- 94 Charles St, (at Bleecker St)