Support Your Local Parfumerie


Joni Mitchell sang the lyrics “Don’t it always seem to go/That you don’t know what you’ve got/ ‘Till it’s gone” in her song “Big Yellow Taxi”. I am constantly reminded of that when things change and I realize the thing which I’ve taken for granted is no longer there. One of those instances happened when I moved down to the Washington DC metro area four years ago. Having lived in Boston I had many small perfume shops which I frequented and supported with my purchases. When I got to DC I was dismayed to find there was only one shop and it promptly went out of business within a year of my arrival.

When I would speak to the owner of that store he was sure the reason he was failing was because of online perfume sales. I am not sure if I believe that was as big a factor as he thought it was. The rise of the online niche perfume shopping options has only gotten bigger over the last five years. When you live somewhere that going to a store and actually trying a new niche fragrance is not an option these online retailers are the only game in town. When I was in Boston I felt it was important to support those who were giving me the opportunity to reach out and try new things.

arielle shoshana logo

Which is why I am very excited that there will be a new niche perfume store opening in the DC area next weekend September 5, 2015. Arielle Weinberg who wrote the blog Scents of Self has taken a leap of faith in opening a small perfume store in The Mosaic district in Fairfax, VA. She is calling it Arielle Shoshana and I am very excited that she has brought back the small store perfume experience to my part of the world. I realized I am unusually excited about this because besides the products these stores carry they are also a place for other fragrance enthusiasts to meet for a day. There were many days in Boston where I would meet up with others to try a few new things. There are as many fragrance lovers in DC as there were in Boston and now we will have a place where we can meet.

This is also a plea for those of you who have a great local store to please remember to support them. Places like Indigo Perfumery in Cleveland, OH or Parfumerie Nasreen in Seattle, WA are often the only game in town for many niche brands. Otherwise you’ll be humming Joni Mitchell too.

I am planning on being there next Saturday to welcome my new local niche parfumerie with the hope that many more days will be spent inside communing with perfume and perfume lovers.

Mark Behnke

2 thoughts on “Support Your Local Parfumerie

  1. I was in the Mosaic District earlier this week and I noticed a sign that said "perfume shop" near the under-construction storefronts. The Mosaic District is interesting, with good restaurants and somewhat out-of-the-ordinary retail. It gets a lot of foot traffic on nice days. I hope that she does well. I'll be sure to pay a visit very soon. 

  2. Dear Mark,

    Wonderful  to read your article. When you next come to Europe we would love to invite you to Perigord to visit my little perfumery.  The set is an "old fashion French boudoir" where 80% of my clients are Parisian. They thoroughly enjoy the experience of entering a truly old fashion perfumery, choosing their new perfume and leaving knowing that  they have are totally satisfied.

    I refuse to have "online" on my website but do offer the  service to any of my clients who email – to send perfume worldwide – as the other 20% of my clients are international.

    Have a magical week.

    Perfumed thoughts




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