Getting hold of skincare and scents by Fresh is pretty hard in the UK. The line used to be carried by some John Lewis stores, but even that channel dried up a couple of years ago. At present, anyone in the UK eager to sniff a perfumer’s take on cannabis will have to visit the Fresh store in Marylebone High Street.
The store is in a good location — this is an expensive area, but tending towards boho-chic rather than, say, Royal Family. It’s also the nearest shopping and dining possibility for those visiting Harley Street clinics, and sadly but inevitably, a fair proportion of shoppers consists of people passing time between appointments. With this in mind, the Fresh concept — white decor, slightly clinical, herbal undertones — is probably more than usually attractive.
The shop offers skincare, bath and body products, scents, and a small cosmetics line.
The most striking sight, for perfume lovers, is a group of glass ‘urns’ where scent is dispensed from taps. (‘Urns’, of course, is what Caron has taught us to call them. Fresh call them a ‘Fragrance Bar’. Sigh. At least it’s not ‘Fill’n’go.’) The scents are ones that were originally discontinued, but brought back only for the Fragrance Bar. The idea is that you fill little 15 ml spray bottles (about £17 for bottle plus juice), and then you can ‘create your own scent’ by layering on skin. The scents — Pear Cassis, Cucumber Baie, Violet Moss and Patchouli Pure — are fairly complete fragrances, so I’m not at all sure about the layering idea. But the 15 ml thing is brilliant.
The full line of scents is available in the boutique, with plenty of paper strips to test. Scents include Bergamot, Cannabis Rose, Cannabis Santal, Citron de Vigne, Fig Apricot, Hesperides, Pink Jasmine, Redcurrant Basil, Sake, Sugar, Sugar Blossom, Sugar Lemon, Sugar Lychee, Violette, and one whose name I simply can’t make out from my terrible scribble, but it’s not Brown Sugar, which I didn’t see on my visit.
Fresh doesn't sell online in the UK, but the London store does do mail order via phone / email. In fact, this is one of only two stores outside the US (the other is in South Korea), and it services all international, non-US countries. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
They also do free gift-wrapping.
Best selling perfumes: Cannabis Santal and Sugar. Best-selling product overall: Sugar Lip Treatment. (I’m beginning to sound like an awards ceremony. Next we’ll have ‘Best scent in a supporting role’…)
Getting there: The nearest tube station is Baker Street, and it’s about ten minutes walk away. Emerge from the station, cross over Marylebone (pronounced ‘Marrlibun’) Road to Baker Street, proceed south a hundred yards, then turn left into Paddington Street. Walk all the way along here, and turn right at the T-junction. Fresh is a minute’s walk away, on the right
Fresh London, 92 Marylebone High Street, London W1U 4RD. Tel: +44 (0) 20 7486 4100
Not to be missed: Patisserie Valerie, just down the road to the south. Enjoy the Italianate murals on the walls. Unfortunately, to get to the murals and the eating area, you have to squeeze past a display of exquisite patisserie. I defy you to leave without a little ribbon-wrapped box of yumminess.
Nearby: Madame Tussaud’s is five minutes away on Marylebone Road.
— images & report filed by Nina.