Perfumarie wants to disrupt the fragrance shopping experience.
Founded by Mindy Yang, Perfumarie’s goal is to create an immersive fragrance experience by showcasing niche perfume brands and allowing consumers to test out a rotating assortment of scents.
“Especially in the U.S., we’re very intimidated by fragrance and the fragrance shopping experience is not amazing,” Yang said, who comes from a background in brand experience and has worked with niche fragrance brands for roughly eight years. “We wanted to change that and create a new kind of way for people to discover fragrances and give them different ways to have a better relationship with fragrance.”
One of the main features in the retail store is Perfumarie’s monthly assortment of 32 fragrances on tap. These fragrances are displayed in the taps with no branding, so consumers have no indication of what brand’s fragrance they’re smelling. Consumers are then taken through a blind smelling of all fragrances and are given a free 5-ml. bottle of their favorite scent. Yang plans to host a “reveal night” once a month for consumers to find out what brand and perfume corresponds to the taps. With the help of Darryl Do, partner and perfumer at Perfumarie, Yang finds fragrances from around the world to showcase in these taps.
“It almost becomes like an incubator that allows new brands a shot at meeting press, retailers and distributors, but also to get first hand exposure to consumers for feedback,” Yang continued, stating that most of the fragrances on tap will be from small or niche brands that haven’t gotten traction in the New York market.
At the center of the store, Perfumarie will have a large “gathering table” that will be open for use by brands to host pop-up shops, workshops or networking events. The table, which can be rented for $85 an hour by brands that offer a sensory product or experience, is meant to give small brands the opportunity to show their products in a brick-and-mortar space and develop a consumer base outside of a digital environment.
Perfumarie will also have an exhibition style retail assortment that switches out monthly. Starting at $700 per shelf, brands can showcase three to five products for consumers to purchase. All of the products found in-store are also available on Perfumarie’s website.
Yang also has plans to host immersive workshops, like a smell test of rose oils found across the world, so consumers and people in the fragrance and flavors industry can learn more about the intricacies of fragrance.
“Instead of having us always tell people what to buy, we know that’s not what’s happening anymore because consumers are so much more savvy,” Yang said on how she thinks the space can improve the fragrance shopping experience. “We’re not buying because we’re Gen X or Millennials. We’re buying because we care about stories and we want to understand who is behind a brand, so Perfumarie goes beyond storytelling.”
Perfumarie is located at 155 Lafayette Street and opens Nov. 1.
For more from WWD on fragrances, see: