That mysterious, effortless French elegance—it’s a confident sway of the hips, red lips, savoring a sip, a casual flip of the hair, nonchalant, coy, and fiercely self-assured. It’s in the peculiar ease with which a scarf is worn, or the way a shirt is untucked; it is, simply, style. And if I had to distill its essence into one singular thing, it would be a fragrance, naturally. The secret is not only discovering your signature scent, but also wearing it like a Parisian. When shopping for fragrances in Paris, look no further than these elegant establishments.
“A good perfume adapts—to the person and the personality. It must neither precede nor follow the wearer too intensely; it shouldn’t emanate imperiously. Thus, it never inconveniences but delights. It can be breathed on the wrist, or in the air disturbed by the motion when someone’s hair is shaken loose. Modest as well as faithful, it imposes nothing. It lingers but never clings—it is politely perceptible.” –Buly 1803
Founded centuries ago using the techniques and recipes from master craftsmen of the Ancien Régime, Buly 1803 creates perfumes and alchemic cosmetics that exclude the use of ingredients interfering with the purity of its natural components.
Entering their shop on Rue Bonaparte is akin to walking into the chapter of a French-themed Alice in Wonderland. Considering the elaborately curved wood shelving that holds glass bottles of herbs and curious concoctions, faucets shaped like duck heads, and rows of pure perfumes under delicate glass domes, I would hardly be surprised if a talking animal in clothing appeared to ask me which scent I preferred.
This tiny boutique beside the luxurious Hotel Côstes is every bit as glamorous as its clientele. Sultry, sexy, minimal, and rich describes both Iunx’s space and its seven fragrances, each diffused from papery blossoms extended from glass stems, activated once your face is just near enough to capture the bouquet.
Their signature scent, L’Ether, is powdery, smoky, and floral with overtones of wood, incense, and resin, and sandalwood. Having equally masculine and feminine qualities, I couldn’t help but take this as one of my own fragrances in cooler winter weather.
In case you’re craving the next challenge in the art of French living, try selecting a signature scent for your home. If in the mood to over-indulge, choose an aroma for each room in your home, coordinated with attitudes and times of day in which you tend to use each one. In order to demonstrate this idyllic olfactory way of life, Quintessence created a fragrant journey through their Parisian Hotel Particulier, where each room holds a different perfume: bergamot and fougère in the library at day and burnt wood in the evening, spicy cypress in the living room in daylight and amber at the end.
Quintessence also collaborates with artists, designers, personalities, and notable perfumers to create limited-edition collections of scents held within objet d’art so that everything with which you surround yourself is equally inspiring.
Photos by Jackie Kai Ellis.
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