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Perfume adventures: global scent shopping

Have you already jetted-off to a long yearned-for holiday, or are you planning a quick city trip to tide you over? Perfume shopping is always one of the best bits of our holidays, and so we have scoured some of our favourite fragrant destinations to bring you top tips of where to shop and what to look out for…

On our Perfume Adventures section of the website, you can find our guides to havens of heavenly scents to explore – like Le Bon Marché in Paris: Department store perfume shopping doesn’t get much sexier than this, since LVMH supremo Bernard Arnault gave Paris’s oldest department store (it opened in 1838) the most glamorous of makeovers: three floors of designer gorgeousness – and on the ground floor, a stunning perfumery showcasing many different (and not necessarily mainstream) brands.

Or why not hop to Florence and visit the veritable temple of scent, Farmacia Santa Maria Novella? Wander through the three high-ceilinged, fresco-ed rooms and drink it all in. Either explore the fragrances (there are now over 30) at your own pace at the glass cabinets, or tap into the experience of knowledgeable assistants, first checking out the upliftingly citrusy Santa Maria Novella perfume – the first the monks created – for none other than local noblewoman Catherine de Medici, who became Queen of France. It’s based on the famous Queen of Hungary’s Water (an early eau de Cologne).

In New York, those in the know (nose?) head to MiN – it’s quirkily designed:  dark wood floors, slightly scuffed antiques and custom library shelving create a clubby vibe, but the selection itself is worth a pilgrimage – from Cire Trudon candles and Culti home fragrance, Laboratorio Olfactivo, Keiko Macheri, Patricia de Nicolaï, Amouage, Etat Libre d’Orange, Jovoy and more, more, more – including a particularly quirky collection by Kerosene – seen above. (The creator is a mechanic, the labels hand-embossed from brass, the bottles sprayed with car paint.  Yes, really.)

Shopping lists and city maps at the ready? Get even more ideas for your fragrant fixes when flying away…

Written by Suzy Nightingale

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