One of my favorite initiatives for Holiday shopping was begun in 2010. The brainchild of the American Express company it was meant to turn the day after Black Friday into something local; Small Business Saturday. It is meant to encourage shoppers’ attention to the small shops in their local area and to spend the day shopping there.
For perfume lovers these are the stores which give shelf space to the most creative independent brands. Almost always owned by people who also adore perfume. These are the ambassadors who show people there is more to perfume than the mainstream. For this year’s buyer’s guide I am going to focus on some stores which produced their own perfumes. Along with some other independent brands which have produced notable new releases this year.
The Creative Director as Store Owner
For a column like this I am going to start locally with Arielle Shoshana Sunday. Owner of the shop Arielle Shoshana in Arlington, VA Arielle Weinberg oversees her second collaboration with perfumer Cecile Hua. This time they make a one-of-a-kind gourmand around a pairing of matcha tea and the Mexican drink horchata.
Dave Kern has been releasing limited editions under the name of his perfumery American Perfumer in Louisville, KY. He won an Art & Olfaction Award for last year’s collaboration with perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz; Colorado. These are limited editions which have generally sold out. This year’s version with perfumer Hans Hendley, Bloodline, was gone in a day. Mr. Hendley has other perfume which is more available. Hans Hendley Bourbon captures the sweetness of whiskey encased in woods. It is an ideal Holiday season style of fragrance.
I only recently tried the perfumes overseen by owner Nir Guy of the store Perfumology in King of Prussia, PA. This year’s release Perfumology L’Ima continues his work with perfumer Justin Frederico. A fantastic mixture of the smell of the summer garden. Tomato leaf, citrus, florals, and warm amber capture the milieu.
Other Great Indie Perfume of 2019
You should be able to find these perfumes at smaller boutiques all of which usually have online sales.
Bogue Douleur! takes you from metallic rose to strawberry cotton candy.
Dasein Winter Green is a Holiday mixture of mint and Christmas tree.
Hiram Green Lustre is an all-natural rose soliflore of uncommon quality.
Maison Violet Un Air d’Apogee is a tobaccoed floral which captures the retro nouveau aesthetic.
Marc-Antoine Barrois Ganymede is an amazing lightweight leather.
Masque Milano Kintsugi reconstructs the broken chypre into a new modern form.
Monsillage Route du Quai is a unique take on the aquatic which captures the flow of a large freshwater river.
Providence Perfume Co. Drunk on the Moon is a slightly boozy tuberose from one of the best indie perfumers.
Roberto Greco Oeilleres is a throwback style of perfume which uses an overdose of chamomile to make an artistic thesis.
Rogue Perfumery Chypre-Siam is an old-school chypre as filtered through a Thai restaurant.
Rubini Tambour Sacre captures the rhythms of the Horn of Africa in golden tones.
Ryan Richmond Rich Mess is anything but a mess; it is a mesmerizing kinetic blend.
Get out and shop this Saturday and every other shopping day. It is the support of local perfume lovers which keep these stores going.
Disclosure: All the perfumes mentioned provided samples from the brand.