By  on July 29, 2010

A men’s apothecary in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood called MiN New York has been scoring distribution agreements with European artisanal fragrance brands on a seemingly regular basis since opening earlier this year.

Owner and chief executive officer Chad Murawczyk, whose initial foray into beauty was the 2001 launch of a salon hair color line for graying men called MiN Men’s Color Match, founded MiN New York. (The name MiN was inspired by the word “minutes” — a nod to the three- to five-minute time frame in which the hair color was designed to set.) He followed up MiN Men’s Color Match two years later with the launch of a MiN hair care line designed to combat hair loss.

Murawczyk has parlayed his upstart men’s hair care and color brand into the retail venture — or fragrance and men’s grooming atelier, as he calls it — which is located at 117 Crosby Street.

Lettering on the shop’s windows says it all: “MiN New York Apothecary & Atelier Men’s Grooming, Fragrances & Curiosities.”

“We made a decision to set up a flagship,” said Murawczyk. “What pushed us in this direction is that our customer is an educated, discerning consumer. They are very selective about what brands speak to them. Sowe imported boutique brands that met that criteria — anything that is curated and not easy to come by.”

The firm said earlier this month it landed the exclusive distribution rights for France’s Frapin and Parfum de Empire fragrance brands, which it plans to distribute to selected boutiques in North America.

In April, MiN New York inked a deal to distribute British fragrance brand Miller Harris. Prior to that, in December, the firm secured a distribution deal with Germany’s Linari fragrance brand.

The plan, according to Murawczyk, is to “build long-term equity” of these brands. “We look at it as a partnership. The store is a showroom.”

Of Miller Harris, which had been in about 50 doors in the U.S., Murawczyk said, “Our goal is to have it in 100 doors.” Regarding Linari, “not more than 100 doors.”

In addition to the MiN brand, the 1,200-square-foot store carries 20-plus other brands, including upscale shaving lines like Taylor of Old Bond Street, Merkur and Geo. F. Trumper. Santa Maria Novella, L’Artisan Parfumeur, Aromatherapy Associates, D’Orsay and CB I Hate Perfume fragrances are available, as are the Nickel, Found and La Roche-Posay skin care brands.

The open, dark-wood space features high ceilings; hardwood floors; a curved bar with stools where fragrance consultations take place; dark, hardwood cabinetry; dentil molding atop display cases, and tufted leather furniture. Events touting the brands carried there are also held at the store.

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