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Founded in Paris in 1903 by Ernest Daltroff, and one of the last remaining family-owned perfume houses, Caron has long been known for such classic fragrances as Narcisse Noir (which Gloria Swanson famously endorsed as Norma Desmond’s scent in Sunset Boulevard) and Pour Un Homme. Now helmed by Patrick Ales, founder of the botanical cosmetics company Phyto-Lierac, Caron continues to attract new generations of olfactory sophisticates to its Madison Avenue boutique, one of only three in the world. Opened in 2000 and moved in 2006, the Manhattan shop is a replica of the original Paris boutiques, with crystal sconces, lion-head pedestals, and rich, neoclassical accents. The shop offers thirty-four fragrances for men and women—including thirteen couture scents carried exclusively at the boutiques in Baccarat crystal urns, or “fountains,” from which aficionados can fill their own bottle. The shop also sells a small collection of exquisitely packaged limited-edition perfumes. Outnumbering (though far from upstaging) the fragrances is an array of enameled glass bottles, Limoges porcelain, shagreen (stingray skin) cases, embroidered jewelry and purses, men’s ties, and luxurious fur shawls. Last but certainly not least, a signature line of goose-down powder puffs and Bulgarian rose-scented powders and compacts offers the ultimate in classic femininity.Extra
Now part of the Phyto Universe company, Caron sells Phyto botanical hair care products, and skincare products by Lierac, a plant-based cosmeseutical line of lotions and washes.
Best of New York: Health & Self
Indoor surfing, spinning lovefests, a luxurious pig-placenta facial, and more.