by Ariston Anderson Finding a signature scent requires more than a visit to the aisles of Bloomingdales or Sephora. For scent aficionados in the know, the place to start is Aedes de Venustas , a hidden West Village gem. Dark, mysterious and with plenty of velvet, the store is decorated like a French boudoir. For years New Yorkers have been venturing to this quiet shop, run by Germans Robert Gerstner and Karl Bradl, to soak in their expertise of hard-to-find fragrances. They've traveled the world to bring you scents like Escentric Molecules (starting at $135), which claims to combine the scent of gin-and-tonic, Austrian lemonade and the whiff you get when you open a brand-new Apple laptop. They also carry the somewhat more common Acqua di Parma, which was created in 1916 and was a favorite of 1950s movie stars.
But the boys who have developed a following based on their noble noses and fine taste are about to open up a whole new legion of fans with the release of their own signature scent. Created with L'Artisan Parfumeur, their new Aedes de Venustas Eau de Parfum is a dark mixture of leather with pink pepper, orange oil and cardamom. It's the perfect flavor to match their boudoir-like store. Bottled in a sharp violet and capped in gold, 3.4 ounces will run you $185 and complementary items like votive candles ($65) and room spray ($70) are also available.
Their house label can be purchased at the store and online, along with a selection of other products. And don't forget to choose some samples while you're at it — you can even order a selection of seven samples to try out at home.
Aedes de Venustas
9 Christopher Street
New York, NY 10014map
tel. +1 212 206 8674