Madison Avenue is definitely an appropriate location for Creed, a company that consistently emphasizes its pedigree, the high standard of its products, and the exclusivity of its clientele. Within Creed's uptown Manhattan boutique, its only freestanding location in the United States, several shiny, silvery Creed crests are embedded in the floor and in the sugar-white marble counters; a few cleverly placed mirrors reflect back the large expanses of the windows (with their view of the block's other elite properties); and the perfumes themselves sit on backlit shelves like precisely seated guests at a formal dinner party.
Once you enter this somewhat intimidating, modernist jewel-box of a boutique, you may find that the sales assistance is unexpectedly affable and low-pressure. You won't be left alone to browse — there's nowhere to wander in such a precisely defined space, anyway — but you can receive personal attention from staff who are willing to demonstrate and discuss Creed's various offerings, from historically inspired scents to the most recent luxury fragrance release.
This shop carries Creed's full line, including several hard-to-find items. If your favorite Creed fragrance happens to be one of the Private Collection selections (like Angélique Encens or Fleur de Thé Rose Bulgare), available only in very large splash bottles, you can also pick up a leather-encased travel atomizer. Several fragrances are accompanied by matching body lotions and shower gels, and there's even a small selection of scented candles and room sprays, all marked with the Creed logo. The prices for these ancillary items seem even steeper than those of the fragrances, but if you're fortunate enough to be living in this neighborhood, or even staying in a nearby hotel, you're probably not too concerned.
Best sellers: Spring Flowers and Fleurissimo (women), Green Irish Tweed (men)
Not to be missed: The anecdotes related to each fragrance: they may be true, they may be apocryphal, but they're always entertaining.
Details: 794 Madison Avenue (at 67th St.), New York, NY 10065, 212-439-7777, website.
Nearby: Frederic Malle (898 Madison Ave.), Bond no. 9 (897 Madison Ave.), Clyde Chemists (926 Madison Ave.), Jo Malone (946 Madison Ave.), Diptyque (971 Madison Ave.)
— image and report submitted by Jessica M.
See also: Shopping for Perfume in New York City.