Amouage perfumes have been available in London for several years, via small counters in Harrods and Selfridges. Fab as these stores are, they’re crowded and busy — not the best environment to take in the finer points of what are pretty darn expensive perfumes.
It’s therefore not surprising that Amouage has opened its own standalone boutique, and equally unshocking that the new shop is in the swanky shopping area that Annick Goutal chose for its London flagship.
(There’s a hint of lèse-majesté in the fact that the block housing Amouage is currently shrouded in scaffolding, so that the new shop peeps out between padded poles. It doesn’t make for the best photo-opportunity.)
The shop’s interior, consisting of two spacious rooms, offers a bright and serene environment for appreciating the scents. It also offers a wider range of goods than can be fitted into the tiny spaces in the department stores. Along with the well-known scents are toiletries (soap, hand-lotion, shower gel), candles, room sprays,and small leather goods housed in two corner cabinets. There’s a huge candle (8 inches in diameter, 5 wicks) selling for £300.
The exciting thing about the Amouage shop is its range of Attars — small bottles of concentrated perfume oil, ranging in price from about £60 to $200. The bottles come with glass stoppers attached to little dipsticks, and the only way to identify the Attar is to turn it upside down and look for the clear sticker on the base. It’s very important to keep your fingers firmly on the stopper, or you’ll find yourself with a hundred quid’s worth of fragrant oil trickling down your sleeve. Note that they’re fairly slippery to begin with. Quite why they don’t put the names on the outside of the bottles is one of those great perfume mysteries. Quite how I managed not to slosh an ounce of pure oudh about my person is equally baffling.
Fragrances: Ciel, Dia, Epic, Gold, Lyric, Jubilation XXV & 25, Opus I, II & III, Reflection, Silver. (I didn’t see Ubar, but it’s doubtless hidden away somewhere.)
Attars: Afrah, Al Andalus, Al Shomoukh, Asrar, Ayoon, Bahjah, Basmah, Homage, Jasmine, Majar, Molook, Musk, Ohood, Oud Al Khaloud, Rose, Sandal, Shams al Doha, Tayyiba, Tribute
Best-sellers: “It’s early days for the shop, but the new Library collection (Opus I, II, III) is being very well-received.”
Getting there: Nearest tube stations are Knightsbridge (make for the Harvey Nichols exit) or Sloane Square.
14 Lowndes Street
London, SW1X 9EX
Tel: +44 (0)207 235 3345
Not open Sundays.
Nearby: If you can resist the Christian Louboutin shop on the other side of the junction, you may still be seduced by the Annick Goutal shop a few doors down. There’s also a useful Waitrose supermarket round the corner.
— image & report filed by Nina.
See also: Perfume Shopping in London