Manhattan’s Upper West Side has never been known for its luxury shopping. It has long been famous for the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, for the Museum of Natural History, for its blocks of historic brownstones, and for Zabar’s, that peerless emporium of all things edible; but definitely not for boutiques that sell cosmetics and perfume. There have been some changes over the past year or two, however, and Blue Mercury is the latest beauty-oriented newcomer to the neighborhood.
Blue Mercury is a mini-chain of beauty boutiques with a primary emphasis on skincare; accordingly, you’ll see plenty of luxury skin and hair products stocking the shelves of the Manhattan shop, as well as familiar upscale cosmetics brands such as NARS and T. Leclerc. The sales associates are skincare consultants and makeup artists rather than fragrance experts, but the scent-related merchandise is accessible enough to encourage independent browsing and spritzing. If you’ve ever visited Blue Mercury stores in other cities, you may feel that this chain creates a much stronger impression in locations where it has less long-standing competition. (The brands offered at the Manhattan boutique are already available at either Barneys or Bergdorf Goodman, for example.) However, what Blue Mercury might lack in innovation or atmosphere, it makes up for by filling a specific neighborhood niche: there is surely nowhere else on the Upper West Side where you can pick up a bottle of Serge Lutens A la Nuit.
Fragrance Brands: Acqua di Parma, Bobbi Brown, Creed, Darphin, Fresh, L’Artisan Parfumeur, Laura Mercier, Molton Brown, Red Flower, Ren, Serge Lutens, Trish McEvoy.
Not to be Missed: The in-house spa, which offers facials using some of the store’s skincare lines (Darphin, Remède, Skinceuticals).
Details: 2305 Broadway between 83rd and 84th Streets, New York NY, 10024; 212-799-0500; website.
Nearby: L’Occitane (2303 Broadway, next door to Blue Mercury); Origins (2327 Broadway, between 84th and 85th Sts.); Lush (2163 Broadway between 76th and 77th Sts.); L’Artisan Parfumeur (222 Columbus Ave. at 70th St., see review for the Madison Ave. store); Space NK (217 Columbus Ave. at 70th St., see review for the SoHo store).
— report and image filed by Jessica M.
See also: Perfume Stores in New York City