Perfumistas are aware of Les Néréides as the house that gives us Imperial Opoponax and Patchouli Antique, among other niche favourites.
In fact, Les Néréides is actually a jewellery company, specialising in cute and unusual costume pieces. It’s quirky stuff — for example, most of their earrings are paired rather than identical — a parrot in one ear and a gilded cage in the other, for example. I doubt if any woman could walk past the window of the Covent Garden shop and not stop and squeal with delight.
The shop is tucked away round the corner from the famous market, very close to the tube station and almost directly across from The Garden Pharmacy. The shop is L-shaped inside, and to find the perfumes you have to go all the way in and round the corner. Even then, you could almost miss them — they’re laid out very discreetly on a little dressing table.
“Actually, people often come for the perfumes,” said the assistant.
Best seller: Patchouli Antique.
Fragrances: Fleur Poudree de Musc, Imperial Opoponax, Musc de Java, Musc de Samarkand, Oriental Lumpur, Patchouli Antique, Vert d’Eau.
Nearest tube is Covent Garden, which is a lift-only station (there are no escalators). It’s a short walk from Charing Cross train station.
35 Long Acre
London WC2E 9JT
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7272 9278; website
— images & report filed by Nina.
See also: Perfume Shopping in London