Friday, 28 May 2010

City Shopping Feature: London Part I: Avery Fine Perfumery

Until my recent trip to London, 'Mayfair' was simply an indigo-coloured Monopoly card that all players aspired to possess. It was the one piece of board-game real-estate that could make or break a person's fortune. But today - as I strolled around the luxury hotels and beautiful squares and gardens of the district for the very first time - I truly came to appreciate the grand architecture and exclusive businesses flourishing in the area. For fragrance enthusiasts visiting London, the Avery Fine Perfumery that opened earlier this week on Avery Row in Mayfair represents the newest retail boutique to fling open its doors in the locality.

Avery Fine Perfumery is the perfume project of Dutch designer Lilian Driessen, wife of Nasomatto nose and CEO Alessandro Gualtieri, and the boutique interior reflects her predilection for the quirky and chic. Playing on the "avery / aviary" theme, the caged window displays present perfumes perched atop stylized branches, and concealed speakers in the store funnel through exotic birdcalls that twitter and ka-caw overhead. A stylish heavy wooden dresser with bird-talon feet offers a very select variety of perfumed elixirs to please and enchant the nose, including those from: Nasomatto, Nez a Nez, Carthusia, Andree Putman, Profumi del Forte and Morgane Le Fey. Whilst the store space is tight, it has been decorated beautifully, and one can't help but feel as though they might have tumbled down Alice's rabbithole into a parallel world of altered reality.

Only 72 hours after opening, Avery are already creating a flutter in Mayfair. At the time of my visit, Sarah Jessica Parker's publicist stepped into the store (currently in town for the London premiere of Sex and the City 2), lured in by the smokey ribbon of Black Afgano that was meandering on the air; and promised to return with her celebrity client who is currently residing just around the corner at the ever-stylish Claridges Hotel.

More lines soon to be added to the Avery inventory include Bodicea the Victorious, Boellis and Profumi di Firenze.

You can visit the store in person at 27 Avery Row, Mayfair, or online at