Osswald ~ shopping for perfume in New York City

Osswald, Soho, interior

Osswald Parfumerie & Luxury Skincare Boutique opened its New York branch in August 2012. This is the second of only two Osswald locations; the original boutique is located in Zurich, where the family-run Osswald Parfumerie business was founded in 1921.

Osswald's New York boutique is located in Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood, near the downtown end of the West Broadway shopping strip. The store's interior is visible through a glass facade and its door is propped invitingly open; just inside, you'll ascend a few steps to the main shopping area. This layout is an apt metaphor for the Osswald shopping experience: accessible and upscale at the same time. Osswald carries a variety of hard-to-find niche fragrance lines, many of them not available anywhere else in the city. Whether or not you're already familiar with these many lines, there's no need to feel intimidated: the boutique's knowledgeable, friendly staff is ready to walk you through various brands. They'll also ask about your current preferences in fragrance, in order to direct you towards perfumes you may like, yet there's no pressure to make an immediate purchase.

In addition to perfume, Osswald's brightly lit shelves also hold scented luxuries like Amouage candles, Fornasetti incense and Astier de Villatte dishwashing liquids. There's also a small counter for the cult cosmetics line By Terry, a wall of Swiss skincare brands (most of them exclusive to Osswald in the United States) and a selection of high-quality makeup mirrors and men's razors.

Because of the range and richness of its merchandise, Osswald requires multiple visits. Fortunately, its pleasant, low-key atmosphere makes that prospect an even more appealing one.

Osswald, Soho, exterior

Fragrance brands: Parfumerie Générale, Huitième Art, Maison Francis Kurkdjian,Clive Christian, MDCI, Amouage, Micallef, Arquiste, Nasomatto, Boadicea, Six Scents, Parfums de Nicolaï, Maître Parfumeur et Gantier, Profumum Roma, Biehl Parfumkunstwerke, Ys Uzac.

Not to be missed: A colorful display of hundreds of "mini" perfume bottles along the boutique's rear wall.

Details: 311 West Broadway (between Grand and Canal), New York NY 10013; 212-625-3111; Osswald.

Nearby: Before heading to Lafco New York (285 Lafayette Street), Bloomingdale’s SoHo (504 Broadway at Broome Street), or the nearby branch of Sephora (555 Broadway at Prince Street), you can refresh with a cocktail or glass of wine at Sanctuary T (337B West Broadway).

— report and images filed by Jessica.

See also: Perfume Shopping in New York City

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