Mindy Yang is on a mission to reinvent the way we hunt for a scent with her new downtown fragrance shop, Perfumariē.
The concept behind the store is to empower customers to trust their natural senses. Yang did this by introducing blind perfume shopping, presenting notable fragrances with all branding removed.
On the black wall in the back of the bright Soho shop is a line up of 32 different perfumes on tap. The taps can only be identified by number. Below each is a tagine where a white paper swan sits soaking in the mystery scent for shoppers to smell.
To get the full experience customers are encouraged to sniff in order and take notes as the line up progressively gets stronger. After smelling each every visitor leaves with a five-millimeter sample of their choice. The catch? You still can’t know what it is.
The tiny brown dropper vial is labeled with the scents accompanying number. It is not until the end of each month when Ms. Yang hosts a cocktail party where she shares the taps selections. A full list of each is also listed online at that time.
Of the 32 rotating scents, the majority are high-end products. Though, Yang likes to keep it interesting by throwing in the unexpected. If you’re drawn to say notes of honeyed amber, with a touch of bergamot oil complete with an overall spicy finish – you may have found you left with Pitbull for Men. A perfume sold at Walmart. Low and behold, Pitbull for Men – #32, quickly became the most frequently chosen scent in the store throughout its rotation.
The idea ofPerfumariē is to break preconceived notions of defining a fine fragrance. Yang’s vision behind the store is for it to also evolve into having a community feel, she is already hosting weekly events and workshops in the space.
Yang works closely with many of the brands by connecting her customers with the distributor of their chosen scent. Each fragrance is available to purchase in-store by filling up a large apothecary bottle from the taps, so no fear – if you chose Pitbull for Men you don’t need to head to Walmart to get your fix.