It's easy to think of only the biggest and most popular brands when it comes to perfume, but niche perfumers in Paris are showing the city exactly what the smaller brands have to offer by serving up a unique blend of fragrances that can't be found in the catalogs of their monolithic competitors, an alternative many Parisians are starting to pay attention to.
Deep in concentration, Tina Queralt sorts through a scatter of white paper strips sprayed with scent. She has whittled the choice down to a handful in her search for The One: the perfect perfume.
One Saturday in the run-up to Christmas, the Parisian and her two daughters have come to investigate a niche perfume store called Nose, which holds more than 250 references — and the elusive promise of personalized perfumery.
Opened in June, Nose is one of a new breed of stores that prides itself on cutting the marketing out of the scent business to put the focus back on the people at either end of the chain — the creators and clients.