Do you want to travel to a 19th century Parisian boudoir? Then make a trip to Aedes de Venustas at 9 Christoper Street in the West Village. This parfumerie is the brain child of Karl Bradl and Robert Gerstner, two Germans previously in the international freight business. Perfume was just a hobby for them - the business was an outgrowth of that - you can read the story here.
I will not mince words - this is one of the most beautifully appointed shops I have been to in New York - violet walls, gilded furniture, huge arrangements of fresh flowers, velvet chairs and birds fabricated from feathers. Everything works together. To step inside is to be transported in time and space and leave the city behind. The atmosphere is incredibly calming.
But let us not forget that first and foremost this is a specialty fragrance boutique. The owners have introduced various lines and have some of the finest perfumes in the city. The world of fragrance covers of wide spectrum, from the large commercial lines and household names to the smaller - there are a large number of independent perfume makers now and many of the finer ones are represented at this shop. There are blogs that specialize in the field - see here.
I had been to Aedes a couple times before, but Sunday I went with a friend to Sniffapalooza, a NYC event with perfume passionatas from around the world. The event spans several days at a number of locations with manufacturers as well as others in the industry attending. Although I have no real connections with the fragrance world and was a privileged guest, it was just nice to be in an environment where quality and doing things well defined everything ...