A spray here, a dab there… join Annabelle Mallia on an olfactory journey through Berlin’s sweet-smelling perfume stores.
An olfactory journey through Berlin's sweetest-smelling perfume stores.
"Pure Violet No. 37 was composed especially for
Ever since I returned from a work assignment at the Cannes Tax Free World Exhibition with a bag brimming with samples, I've been in love with the art of perfumery. The recipe for a single scent is rather straighforward – pure alcohol, distilled water, and essential oils – but when you find that one scent that lifts your mood, the one with heavenly notes of orange blossom and cinnamon that you can’t breathe in deep enough, that simple little bottle transforms into a vial of pure magic.
Described by Vogue as “a mecca for aficionadas… a poetic walk through the sensory shrubbery of one’s past,” Frau Tonis Parfum (Zimmerstr. 13, www.frau-tonis-parfum.com) is a must for perfume fans like me. The little boutique around the corner from Checkpoint Charlie offers exclusively manufactured perfumes, including top sellers Linde Berlin No. 1, packed with the full sweetness of blooming linden trees, and Pure Violet No. 37, once composed for Berlin’s legendary Marlene Dietrich. Olfactory fanatics can also take a scent test and try making their own blends. Back in the 1920s, Harry Lehmann (Kantstr. 106, www. parfum-individual.de) began selling his handmade perfumes and colognes out of apothecary-style glass bottles, a tradition upheld to this day by his namesake boutique. Upon request, each specimen is siphoned off into smaller bottles, weighed out on an old brass scale, and mixed as
desired from a selection of 50 exquisite scents.
Known as the golden triangle for perfume lovers, the area of Friedrichstraße that lies about a 10- minute walk from the Brandenburg Gate abounds with niche international brands like Crabtree & Evelyn and selections found at Galeries
Lafayette and Departmentstore Quartier 206.
For a different kind of aromatic sensation, head to LUSH (Friedrichstr. 96, www. lush-shop.de), which sells the revolutionary perfume range Gorilla, inspired by art, music, and poetry, plus an array of unique handmade soaps and cosmetics. Try their Honey I Washed The Kids soap, scented like honey and caramel bonbons. A feast for the senses!