February 26, 2018
Olfactory NYC is located in the Fragrance District
New York City has a theater, garment, and financial district so why not one for fragrance? There is! The Lower East Side is the unofficial perfume shopping hub (which Michelyn dubbed in 2012) the Fragrance District aka the Lower East Side. Early pioneers such as Bond No.9, Atelier Cologne, Le Labo, LAFCO, Byredo, Diptyque, and Osswald now share real estate with newcomers Cire Trudon, Malin & Goetz, PERFUMARIĒ, and Olfactory NYC. It was shortly after I wrapped up 2nd Annual A-Z Perfume Shopping Guide To NYC in late November, that fragrant friend and man around town Bart Schmidt of Brands With Purpose brought to our attention Olfactory NYC. I included it in the Guide and made a note to visit after the holidays. So late January of 2018, I had the pleasure of visiting Olfactory NYC.
From the outside looking in, Olfactory NYC has a Chelsea art gallery like presence, clean, stark, and modern but without pretension. On entering, Bart Schmidt (partner) introduced me to founder J.J. Vittoria.
J.J. Vittoria of Olfactory NYC
I learned that J.J. had been a financial analyst prior to this venture. What made him switch his career? As an outsider, he was passionate about fragrance but shopping in expensive stores with stratospheric prices was off-putting. The retail establishments were not speaking to him as a consumer in the the way he wished. He saw an opportunity.
While I was taking in the store's ambiance and making my way through the selection of perfumes, J.J. articulated the brand's philosophy:
1) No designer logos, celebrity faces or expensive packaging.
2) The fragrances created by some of the world's top perfumers only use high-quality natural ingredients and be available for a fraction of that cost of the luxury brands. At Olfactory NYC each perfume is $50/50 ml
3) All fragrances would be prepared in the studio.
4) Fragrance shopping is less intimidating and more experiential for the customer
The collection included fragrances by renowned perfumers Harry Fremont (Calvin Klein ckOne, Ralph Lauren Romance), Annie Buzantian (Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio, Marc Jacobs Decadence), Honorine Blanc (Tom Ford Noir Anthracite, Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy), Gabby Chelariu (Harajuku Lovers Sunshine Cuties G, Jennifer Lopez Glow After Dark) and Ilias Ermenidis (Vera Wang Princess, Heavenly Victoria's Secrets). All of the perfumers are well versed in niche and artistic brands as well as mainstream and designer offerings. All scents are considered gender fluid and have a corresponding body wash, lotion, and roller ball.
Bart Schmidt, J.J. Vittoria, Ilias Ermenidis of Firmeich and Karen Dubin of Sniffapalooza
Compared to signing fragrances for large designer brands, Mr. Ermenidis said working with smaller collections like Olfactory NYC allows him more freedom to explore new ideas.
At the start of my visit, J. J. Vittoria then walked me through the nine scent line-up:
Lulu: with notes of orris, musk, and tonka, this is a perfume for the young at heart. (Gaby Chelariu)
Riley: Brains and beauty! Vanilla, sandalwood, and hazelnut lend a warm sensuality and complexity (Honorine Blanc)
Avery: Romantic Rose, Bulgarian grow in a garden of green ivy.(Annie Buzantian)
Hunter: Neo-gourmand. Notes of Madagascar Vanilla, musk and Peruvian ambrette add sweetness without smelling like a vanilla cupcake. (Ilias Ermenidis)
Taylor: Jasmine from Grasse artfully blended with Jasmine from India.(Honorine Blanc)
Ashton: Lemon and Bergamot notes with shimmering White Tea.. Classic and fresh.(Harry Fremont)
Dylan: Fresh apples and juicy Lychee with wood notes. For the wild at heart (Annie Buzantian)
Reed: Faceted Patchouli (Clearwood© from Firmenich) blended with rose and lily (Harry Fremont)
Jayden: Composed with a creamy, natural Sandalwood from Sri Lanka, Jayden is meditative and mystical (Harry Fremont)
At the Customization table, each perfume can be personalized by blending specific accords which will boost or change the scent so that it all your own. This process is for on-premise purchases only.
Michelyn Camen of CaFleureBon with Ilias Ermenidis (R) and Frank Voelkl (L) of Firmenich on the Red Carpet of The Fragrance Foundation Awards (photo Luca Maffei)
Olfactory NYC, 280 Mott Street
Olfactory NYC is a special stop in Manhattan’s fragrance district. If you live in the Tri-State area please stop by…you will be glad you did.
–Hernando Courtright, New York City Event Contributor and Brand Ambassador (with art direction, added information and contributions including perfume descriptions from Michelyn Camen, Editor-in-Chief)
All photos Hernando for Cafleurebon unless otherwise specified
Olfactory NYC, 280 Mott Street, New York, NY 10012 917-261-6333
Hours 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM/Free Shipping on Orders Over $100
Thanks to the generosity of Olfactory NYC we have a very special giveaway for a CON US registered reader, (you must register to be eligible here) for a 50 ml bottle of your choice. Can’t decide which Olfactory NYC perfume you want to try? Opt for the 3 x 10 rollerball set. To be eligible please leave a comment on what you enjoyed about Hernando's visit to Olfactory NYC, and which perfume you would choose should you win. Draw closes 3/1/2018.
We announce the winners only on site and on our Facebook page, so Like ÇaFleureBon and use our Blog feed…or your dream prize will be just spilled perfume.