Friday, May 7, 2010

The True Scent Of Luxury

If you had read the book by Dana Thomas titled "How Luxury Lost Its Luster", you will appreciate the true luxury of having something exclusive and not readily available. Call me old school, but there is something charming about traveling to Paris and buying things that are only available there. Commercialism is key to business expansion, but it also killed the exclusivity.

On a recent trip to Paris, I was walking to Hotel Costes for a drink when I saw this really mysterious and alluring shop a door away from the main hotel entrance.

In hypnotising shades of red and amber, this ultra chic boutique at Hotel Costes only sells fragrance and nothing else. More notably, the super exclusive IUNX (pronounced as Yoonx), a niche brand of perfumes created by perfume guru Olivia Giacobetti. In ancient Greek, Iunx means the fascination and seduction of aromas.

IUNX was originally founded in 2003 by Olivia Giacobetti, in collaboration with Shiseido and her famous photographer father, Francis Giacobetti. The line consisted of 19 fragrances but sadly, it closed down in 2006. However, Hotel Costes resuscitated the brand in 2009. Olivia boasts an impressive background and has created scents for L'Artisan Parfumeur, Bottega Veneta, John Galliano for Diptyque, as well as for Hotel Costes.

An ultimate retail experience is one that excites and seduces all the five senses, if not six senses. This is one place that delivered beyond my expectation. Upon entering the shop, I saw a row of clear cylindrical displays. When I asked to sample the scents, the friendly shop assistant asked me to do so by inhaling from the cylinders. It was cool to see a non-traditional way of merchandising and experiencing fragrances.

So, besides the Hotel Costes range of home products, I also bought my very own IUNX No. 09 Eau Blanche. I wish I could show you more pics but not many to be found on the web (except the last pic of the packaging). I had to take these shots of the bottle myself. I love the unconventional bottle design. Long and lean... something sleek that Tom Ford would approve too.

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