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Best Perfume

9 Christopher St.

Fragrances on display at Aedes de Venustas.  

New York has surprisingly few perfumeries of the sort one sees in European cities—jewel-box boutiques that sell nothing but scents. But this tiny West Village store devoted to fragrances (with a smattering of skin care) more than does its part. The romance factor is big, with violet walls, gilded and mirrored furniture, giant bouquets of fresh flowers, and the owners’ tiny dogs snoozing on velvet chairs. Scattered about are dozens of carefully chosen, relatively uncommon scents like Coté Bastide, Serge Lutens, and Hierbas de Ibiza, alongside better-known lines like Diptyque, Creed, and Santa Maria Novella. Exclusivity doesn’t come cheap—a candle and a cologne will generally run you well over $100—but the shop clerks will take plenty of time to help you select just the right scent, and the gift wrap topped with fresh flowers is a pretty final touch.

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