Neighborhood: East Village
Type of Place: Perfume Jewelry Gift Shops
The East Village boutique Musu scores high points for its vast selection of jewelry, beauty products, and amazingly scented candles, but that’s not all you’ll find there. You can also expect a selection of popular but-hard-to-find imported perfumes, such as those by the French company Fragonard, gift-worthy home décor items like pillows and picture frames, and personal accessories like glittery cosmetic bags, wallets, sunglasses, and hats. (Musu opened in 2008 as a complimentary women’s accessories boutique to its sister store, M Sonii, a clothing retailer located next door.) Since then its selection has evolved along with its customers’ needs and interests, which clearly demand the sweetest scented dwellings in New York.- Joann Jovinelly
It’s hard to get past the rich aromas throughout the store, which at the time of my visit included hints of bergamot, patchouli, and sandalwood. Home fragrances in every variety from reed diffusers and hand-poured soy candles to essential oils, sprays, and hand-rolled incense are all on display and within easy reach for testing. Musu also carries a wide variety of popular Voluspa candles in memorable scents like spicy, earthy Pomegranate Patchouli, woodsy Golden Cypress, and clean-smelling White Currant Quince. For those who want the warmth of candlelight but dislike complex aromas, Musu also carries unscented varieties, many attractive enough to become the center of attention at your next dinner party.
Some of Musu’s most fascinating items can be found amid its unusual selection of costume jewelry. Bold, chunky bracelets and cuffs and colorful rings and chandelier earrings, many made by local designers, are in stock and priced affordably enough to buy more than one should you have trouble deciding. Our favorite was the comics-inspired bracelet (pictured, $32), though we saw cuff bracelets starting at $25 and earrings priced from $23. While a couple designs seemed slightly dated for downtown, Musu’s overall selection is vast enough to adorn women of all ages and tastes with funky, original pieces.
Those seeking a quick stop for gifts will marvel at Musu’s selection of oversized French bar soaps ($8), gorgeous crystal perfume bottles (pictured, $23), and travel candles ($10). Eco-smart shopping bags can be found alongside fun greeting cards and journals, yoga accessories, and toiletries like organic shea butter hand creams and travel-sized shampoos. Musu even has a rather nice collection of affordably priced gifts that are perfect for co-workers, hostesses, and associates, such as beautiful glass butterfly paperweights (pictured) and monogrammed bottle stoppers. Come by and be lulled by Musu’s amazing aromas—you’ll be pleased to experience both exceptional customer service and prices moderate enough to keep you shopping.