By Michelyn Camen
New York is a City of Scent. Not just the ubiquitous designer and celebrity scents you find at the suburban malls, but a city that has some of the best fragrance retailers in the country. They find the exotic, the niche, the classic, the artisnal and the up-and-coming cult scents that set the fragrance world abuzz. Each month BN will focus on one retailer based in the City, who offers a wonderful selection of the fragrances you love …and the undiscovered scents you are going to absolutely adore.
December is a month for celebration. What better way to salute fragrance than to also celebrate the 100th anniversary of Henri Bendel’s signature brown striped ribbon, a signature motif recognized all over the world.
According to Claudia Lucas, SVP and GMM of Cosmetics for Henri Bendel,” The fragrance shop at Henri Bendel celebrates the artistry and craftsmanship within the perfume industry. The brands we carry either have a rich heritage such as L’Artisan Parfumeur or come from authentic creative sources such as Etat Libre D’Orange.”
Henri Bendel also carries some of BN’s favorite indie brands, including Mandy Aftel’s Atelier, and Robin Coe-Hutshing’s extraordinary fragrance shop- within- a- shop Memoire Liquide Bespoke Perfumery. Lucas explains, “Quality is very important to us and we can promise a world of discovery within the department including Memoire Liquide, which allows customers to create their own unique fragrance blends. In the Memoire Liquide Shop, located on the atrium just outside the main fragrance area, we have a central tester and mixing bar which showcases the over 150 different scents available to the customer.”
Some other fabulous fragrance offerings include Juliette Has a Gun, Molinard, Child, Nelly Rodi, Annick Goutal, Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier, and Caron. Fragrance is located on the second floor of the store, in a refreshingly open space without the traditional counters that occupy most stores’ fragrance departments. Instead, customers have full access to an extensive tester bars complete with the full range of Bendel’s wonderful scent assortment. So visit the second floor fragrance boutique at Henri Bendel and be prepared to sniff happily for hours.
712 5th Ave
New York, NY 10019
On a personal note, the very first ‘indie’ fragrance I ever purchased was at Henri Bendel, when it was located on 57th Street. The scent was from master perfumer, Jean le Porte for L’Artisan Parfumeur and was named Pamplemousse. R.I.P. it is no longer available, but I still have the bottle and a trace of the scent remains.