Fragrance Friday: The World’s Most Elaborate Perfume Boutiques
— 2 December 2022

Fragrance Friday: The World’s Most Elaborate Perfume Boutiques

— 2 December 2022
Chris Singh
Chris Singh

Welcome to Fragrance Friday, where each week we’ll be keeping you abreast of the newest and most iconic releases in the dynamic world of men’s fragrances. Born out of the desire to showcase one of the most overlooked, yet versatile, elements of any discerning man’s style this weekly column will help you finesse your own signature scent. This week we focus on some of the most elaborate, important and exciting perfume boutiques in the world.

As mentioned a few weeks ago when I wrote about the best perfume brands in Italy, I have recently returned from a month in Europe, and while it wasn’t my aim to visit any perfume boutiques while over there, I couldn’t stay away from at least one or two.

Walking into some of the most historic perfume boutiques in Europe is much like walking into any other museum. This isn’t something as typically high-end as stumbling into the fragrance section of Myer, but these bases for some of the world’s greatest perfume houses are afforded the sense of occasion that elevates the art of perfumery appropriately.

These perfume boutiques lovingly crafted to the exacting vision of these labels, are masterful exercises at world-building. There’s a distinct edge of elevated luxury one gets from shopping around these boutiques and really soaking up the particularities of each brand. Given your sense of smell is as much about what happens in the memory part of your brain as well, not just the sensory part, then I daresay walking away from these boutiques will make these perfumes smell better to you in the long-run.

That’s why I feel it’s important to highlight some of the world’s best perfume shops and boutiques so you can pop in for a visit next time you’re in town.

Santa Maria Novella, Florence

World’s Greatest Perfume Boutiques

Santa Maria Novella, Florence

Let’s start with the big one first. This is the boutique I visited in Florence that made me think about writing this piece. It’s where it all started for one of the oldest perfume brands in the world, just a short walk from its eponymous church, the first great basilica in all of Florence.

The boutique is actually just down the street from the Santa Maria Novella church, with an entrance adorned with colourful overgrowths of flowers creeping down from the ceiling. You’ll spot it from the crowd outside taking turns to quickly rush in and get a group photo.

The boutique is actually a pharmacy established by Florentine monks in the 13th century, stretched into a massive shop of numerous spaces decorated with rows of room sprays, candles, potpourri and of course Santa Maria Novella’s most prized perfumes.

Don’t forget to look up when you’re there. The Renaissance paintings were amongst the best I saw in Florence outside of actual churches.

Address: Via della Scala, 16, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy

Guerlain, Paris

While nowhere near as unique as Santa Maria Novella in Florence, Guerlain’s original boutique on Avenue des Champs-Élysées is easily the most impressive. The brand itself was founded back in 1828, making it one of the world’s first beauty brands and possibly the most famous.

The Paris flagship was opened at this location in 1914, fashioned as one of the pioneers of Paris’ most prestigious shopping row. Everything beauty is stocked here, and there’s particular attention given to Guerlain’s oldest and most historic products which are best experienced at the attached L’Institut Guerlain spa.

Just to dial up the luxury a bit more, there’s even a restaurant at the boutique that serves high-end French classics. But the most premium experience would be the $20,000 euro custom service, where you can get a fully personalised Guerlain scent made to your preferences.

Address: 68 Avenue des Champs-Élysées, Paris 75008 France

Creed, London

While Creed is a French brand – one of the world’s most acclaimed – it’s actually the flagship in London that gets most of the attention. The luxury perfume house has boutiques all over the world, even having opened one in Sydney as recently as this past weekend at The Strand Arcade. But this London one, first opened in 1760 was set up by James Henry Creed himself and is a sight to behold inside, with history aching from every corner.

The brand, which started as a tailoring house, tells its story well at its London store, which can be found in the heart of Mayfair on Mount Street, surrounded by plenty of Queen Anne revivalist architecture.

Like many high-end perfume boutiques, it’s best to book a consultation here and work with the staff to find a scent made according to your preferences. It’s expensive, but if you’re into your fragrances, it’s worth the investment.

Address: 99 Mount Street, Mayfair, London W1K 2TF

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Chris Singh
Chris is a freelance Travel, Food, and Technology writer. He has had work published by The AU Review, Junkee Media and Australian Traveller Media and holds tertiary qualifications in Psychology and Sociology.


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