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Sue Phillips Opens Custom Fragrance Salon in New York City

“I guess reinvention is my middle name at this point,” said Phillips, whose new venture marks her second brick-and-mortar location to date.

Sue Phillips is opening a scent salon. 

Not a scent boutique, nor a scent store, but a salon, asserted the perfumer, who has created fragrances for brands including Burberry, Tiffany & Co. and Avon and founded her own company, Scenterprises Inc., in 1990. 

“Everything that I’ve done has been serendipitous,” said Phillips as she reflected on her wide-ranging career moves, which include marketing stints at Lancôme and Elizabeth Arden, creating bespoke fragrances for A-listers such as Zendaya and Jamie Foxx, writing a book, launching a Scentbird partnership and developing a ritual to help those with COVID-19-induced anosmia recover their sense of smell. 

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Suffice it to say, Phillips is no stranger to the art of the pivot. 

While Phillips opened a custom fragrance studio, The Scentarium, in TriBeCa in 2014 (where it remains to this day), her new custom scent salon, called Sue Phillips Atelier, will be marketed differently. 

Sue Phillips’ new scent salon. courtesy of sue phillips/Mark Grgurich.

“Scenterprises has become very multifaceted. With my new salon, I’m repositioning it as Sue Phillips Fragrance,” said the entpreneur, who plans to inaugurate the initiative by releasing her first Sue Phillips Fragrance Collection sometime next year. 

Beginning Sept. 7, visitors can book one-on-one appointments with Phillips at the salon, which is roughly 460 square feet and located at 19 East 80th Street. 

For $850, Phillips will walk guests through her scent quiz, which poses questions about one’s aesthetic preferences regarding their style of dress, the weather, food choices and more, in order to develop a custom fragrance for them, the purchase of which is included in the price. 

Consumers can also take the quiz online at the Scenterprises website for free and purchase a 1-oz. bottle of the perfume they are matched with for $195 plus shipping and tax. 

Sue Phillips’ new scent salon courtesy of sue phillips/Mark Grgurich.

“Sometimes having so much information can be overwhelming, so I narrowed things down to four [fragrance] families: fresh, floral, woodsy and spicy, and people understand that better,” Phillips said. “It’s a very fun, interactive and educational experience.”

In addition to selling fragrances, Phillips plans to host events at the space that educate visitors about the rich history of fragrance. “I want to conduct play readings there, do mixology drinks. One of the things I’m working on right now is a timeline of fragrance through the decades to put on the wall, about how political, social and economic trends have really influenced fragrance,” said Phillips. 

With this next step, Phillips seeks to elevate her niche fragrance brand to the next level. 

“Even though I’ve been in the industry so long and I’ve had all this great experience, I feel that I’m just beginning. I really feel that my destiny is just happening now,” Phillips said.