The Fragrance Shop New York

The Fragrance Shop New York

Photo: The Fragrance Shop

Neighborhood: East Village
Type of Place: Perfume

Spring brides are waiting in the wings, as are moms with high hopes for
Mother's Day. The Class of 2007 is heading into final exams. Meanwhile,
it's still cold, and it actually snowed this past week--a slightly
belated April Fools joke at which not many are laughing. I found a shop
that handily addresses all these concerns.

The Fragrance Shop New York feels like a toy store for adults. No, not
*that* kind of toy--sure, your mom might be as happy as anyone else to
receive one of those, but she doesn't want to receive it from you.
This place is stocked full of soaps, scents, balms, bath beads, etc.; at
every turn, you find something that appeals.

The shop has been in this location for an impressive 17 years and is
going strong. It started by selling fragrant oils and house-blended
colognes, then branched into other fragrance and bath products. Its in-house
products are still major sellers; the wonderful RaneƩ, a house-blended
floral scent with a hint of musk, has achieved fragrance-icon status.
The shop also sells its own intriguing fragrance blends designed around
the Zodiac signs. Oils start at a cheerfully affordable $8.

A very abbreviated list of what caught my eye (and, of course, my nose)
at this shop: the Fragrance Shop's own Aloe Papaya skin toner, $7.50;
Kitchen by Upper Canada Mandarin and Olive Hand Repair Lotion (I didn't
especially want to smell like olives and so was a little dubious at
first, but they go heavy on the mandarin here for a great blend), $14;
prettily prewrapped gift sets of 2 glycerin soaps, in fragrances like
China Rain and Blush Peony, tied with a bath-bead-threaded ribbon--a
favorite, I learned, of rushed gift-seeking boyfriends and husbands far and
wide, and a great deal at $9; a full line of Burt's Bees products, which
I like for their fresh scents and natural ingredients; Trillium
Organics "Aromarolla" natural roll-on fragrance (I especially liked Sweet
Clementine), a wonderfully affordable $3; Blossoms Natural Bliss soap, made
with essential oils, in fragrances like vanilla, lavender, and blue
gardenia, $8.75; lotions and soaps from Dionis, especially in the
fragrance they call "Love" (like many products in the shop, these use no animal
testing in their production), $14; Lucky Duck and Smiley Hippo
Sensitive Skin body lotions, in duck- and hippo-shaped containers (these are
designed for kids, but what adult wouldn't be cheered by theme?), $9.75;
and Aroma Salts Red Apple Body Scrub, so delicious-smelling that I
forgot to write down the price.

I was continually surprised and delighted by new discoveries, such as
Tibetan "Monkey Balm" (related to Tiger Balm, apparently), used to treat
headaches and stuffed sinuses, $3--sold in a small cardboard box
printed with Tibetan characters and a picture of a monkey; and what was, I
believe, the biggest rubber duck I've ever seen, $19. And I haven't even
started on the candles here.

But you'll see them for yourself--this store requires a visit. Take
your time, take a gift list, and breathe it all in.
  - Pamela Grossman; March 8, 2007

The Fragrance Shop New York
21 E 7th Street
(Bet. 2nd & 3rd Ave)
New York, NY 10003
(212) 254-8950