Hermès has 120 stores in Europe, 106 in Asia, 53 in the Americas, 11 in the Middle East and eight in Oceania (Guam, Australia and Saipan, duh). But it’s never had a shop dedicated to its scented goods. If the French house were to open one, we’d expect it to land in Paris first — but Hermès had something else in mind.
“An oasis blooms in downtown Manhattan” is the opening introduction for the brand’s new perfumery, which just opened last month in the heart of New York’s Financial District. Situated inside Brookfield Place, otherwise known as World Financial Center, alongside neighbors Bottega Veneta, Gucci and Saks Fifth Avenue (mostly still under construction), Hermès Parfumerie is Hermès’ first standalone venture for its perfumes and grooming goods after six decades of first starting to produce them. While Hermès claims to have chosen the bustling Financial District to “stop time” in one of the busiest regions of the world, we’re willing to bet it was to hone in on the high-spending international corporate clientele in the area.
Concrete makes up the store’s entrance which serves as a physical divide with the street level of the shopping center. An Hermès silk scarf-wearing associate opens the door and cordially invites you in. Visitors are immediately greeted by a pleasantly citrus smell and a batch of succulents that make up an ambient yet comfortable atmosphere. All of the furnishings are Hermès, from the wooden table with leather chairs to the small sofa in the back section, which houses “Le Bain Hermès,” marble test sinks where shoppers can sample the soaps and various washes.
Every detail of the store is carefully thought out. Even its trashcans and pull tabs for drawers are made with the same saddle-stitched leather that makes up the store’s chairs. Not one corner is left plain, with dynamic visual merchandizing that features a stained glass window-like wall of vials and colorful artwork projected on LED screens.
The Hermès Parfumerie stocks everything from the brand’s soaps (the least expensive items, priced at $63 for a set of three), shampoo, gels, toners and candles to of course perfumes. Many of the products can be custom packaged with a variety of boxes to choose from, but the real crème de la crème is the made-to-order perfume service. Customers can create bespoke scents with bespoke packaging, including a crystal bottle with crocodile leather wraps. This service is obviously the most expensive in the store, which can amount to up to $2,685 before tax depending on the customer’s combination.
For the perfumery opening, Hermès also released an exclusive Parfum de la Maison called The Shop Around the Corner. It’s inspired by “flower stands at corner delis all over the city,” but trust us, it smells much better than that. Some other scents that the store staff recommends for the holiday season is the Voyage d’Hermès, Osmanthe Yunnan and Rose Ikebana. If you want to wait for something more special, Hermès will also be launching a new scarf-and-scent gift set come November 1.
225 Liberty Street