Knows Perfume, in the West Seattle Junction neighborhood, has one of the most eclectic selections of perfumes and home fragrance products in Seattle (and Seattle isn’t a slouch in the perfume department these days). Owner Christen Cottam, perfume lover, raconteuse, former roller derby skater known as “Flirtation Device,” and ex-biotech rep, opened Knows Perfume last summer.
The high-ceilinged store, with dark wood floors, natural (non-aggressive) lighting, and a large comfortable sofa, provides a calm/relaxed atmosphere for sampling fragrances. Cottam would not be unhappy if you decided to stay the afternoon and try every fragrance in the shop; there is no hyper, hard-sell atmosphere at Knows Perfume. The first time I visited the store, I chatted with Cottam for over an hour and was impressed by her passion and knowledge of perfume. Cottam's personal collection of fragrances has outgrown her home and is stored at Knows Perfume (along with her huge sample collection that’s kept in an antique card catalogue).
Among the fragrance lines I’ve found nowhere else in Seattle are: Bois 1920, CB I Hate Perfume, Laura Tonnato, Maître Parfumeur et Gantier, Montale (a selection of nine fragrances...more to come), Odori, Penhaligon’s, and Strange Invisible Perfumes.
Lower priced fragrance lines are also available, such as aroma M, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, Infusion Organique, Le Cherche Midi, OLO, Tallulah Jane Natural Perfumes, and Smell Bent.
Pattern body washes, Patch NYC candles and solid perfumes, and my favorite, Mixture skinny candles in glass, are sold alongside established perfume brands like Costume National, Comptoir Sud Pacifique, and L’Artisan Parfumeur.
Knows Perfume also hosts perfume events and classes; see the Knows Perfume website or facebook page for details.
Best Sellers: CB I Hate Perfume Russian Caravan Tea and At the Beach 1966; Penhaligon's Elixir; Maître Parfumeur et Gantier Bahiana; Patch NYC candles in "Pipe" and "Stag" fragrances.
Coming Soon: Cherry Bomb Killer, Olivier Durbano, Le Labo candles, Lostmarc'h, Parfum d’Empire, and Sonoma Scent Studio.
Details: Knows Perfume….purveyor of uncommon scents,
4536 California Ave. SW, Seattle, WA, 98116; website; facebook.
— report by Kevin.
Update: this store is now closed.