by Whitney Feldmann
How to explain it, really? That feeling when an hour and a half after you ‘only ran out to grab one thing,’ you find yourself in the cutest shop holding up a jar of face cream, a candle, or a new perfume that’s definitely going to be your new scent and you can’t even remember how you ended up there. The answer, as many of the world’s best shops know, is design. Here in NYC we’ve got design, but ambiance and amazing product is what landed these beauty and fragrance shops on our list.
1 Christopher Street (entrance at 7 Greenwich Ave.)
Fair warning, Aedes Perfumery is one of those places your phone’s camera will run out of space for. Every nook and cranny is overflowing with beautiful, lavish design and plenty of fresh bouquets. Traditional gilded paneling and crown molding frame the walls, an opulent crystal chandelier centers the space, while deep carved chests with glass up-lit shelving and end tables display some of the hardest to find fragrance brands from all over the world. It will make you feel like you’ve stepped right into Marie Antoinette’s parlor, except here you can purchase plenty to take home to elevate your own space!
31 Prince Street
This place already has the cool, modern vibes you expect in Nolita, but then they had artist James Goldcrown flank one side of the corner location with a mural of his signature multicolored hearts and giant script reading “LOVE.” Inside you’ll find crisp grey walls, light cream corian counters and display islands with polished chrome geometric legs, putting all the best beauty and cosmetic products in the industry front and center. Still trying to determine if being able to grab a favorite Dyptique candle at the same place you can pickup Kat Burki exfoliating sugar scrub, as well as all of Lord and Berry’s latest-must have lip hues is going to be our demise, but definitely feels like a blessing.
94 Greenwich Ave.
A shop that looks as good as it smells is an obvious requirement of this list, however the Editions de Perfumes Frederic Malle Greenwich Village boutique might just blow all other designs out of the water. We’re talking architecture designed by Steven Holl, and rich wood flooring to set off the matching contemporary shaped islands and wall displays that look like they all have seamlessly slid out of the surfaces.
62 Wooster Street
One quick search of the hashtag “byredo” on Instagram will give you over forty thousand reasons why the fragrance and beauty products alone are award-worthy. Note the Italian Terrazzo stone, modern wood wall-display feature, and a monumental glass block structure in the center of the space that pours in natural light. Did we mention this stunning concept store also sells its newly launched line of leather goods, accessories, and eyewear? So you can basically look as cool and smell as good as this boutique all…the time.
341 Bleeker Street
Good luck trying to pick a favorite of these stunning hair, skin, and body care shops. There are seven in manhattan alone and one in Brooklyn; and while they all share a distinct signature aesthetic, each boutique was created by a different architect or firm renowned for their innovation to give them their own completely unique design. Massive slabs of slate and concrete, antique basin sinks and steel are all recurring elements here, but in each case it’s the wall features (and sometimes ceilings!) that will blow you away.
804 Washington Street
“Perfume as an art” is their mantra and they are not kidding, they indeed have the world of scent down to a masterpiece. We’re talking everything from their own coveted best sellers; to a team of designers who will help you curate your own signature bespoke scent; and even scented jewelry. Genius right? And of course the interior is definitely something to write home about. The white painted brick walls, plush oversized tufted furniture, mixed with the steel frame and glass shelving looks like it could be a lounge straight out of the hottest new boutique hotel in lower Manhattan, the ones where everybody who’s anybody has been trying to get a reservation at. But no worries, their doors are open for you everyday with a warm greeting staff waiting to help.
Santa Maria Novella
285 Lafayette Street
This, friends, is what Italian crafted cologne, perfumes, and skin care dreams are made of. They state their rich history in apothecary studies started back in 1221 Florence…1221! So the quaint Nolita store with its deep stained floors, classic matching shelving and furniture, is truly a place designed to let the product bring all the grandeur.
294 Columbus Ave.
Clusters of natural finished tree trunks serve as a base for a glass bowl sink and counters where you can try the lotions, washes and scrubs. Thick clay looking floating shells and rice paper lights hung throughout carry on the amazing “in-the-raw” vibes.
13 Prince Street
Soft lighting against exposed brick and a few perfectly scattered silver birch trees offer an immediate, calming escape from the often controlled chaos that is New York’s beloved SoHo. Their line of in-house goodies filled with blends of essential oils and botanical extracts are displayed on an enviable collection of vintage side tables, dressers, and trays. Less we forget there is also a perfect velveteen booth tucked into a little nook just in case you need a little “you time” while deciding between which scents and potions you can’t leave without.