Must-See West Village
by Christina Parrella, 12/09/2015
C.O. Bigelow Chemist. Photo: Willie Davis
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If you’re looking for slightly under-the-radar brands and just a bit trendy wares, you should check out the West Village.
Aedes de Venustas (Latin for "temple of beauty") peddles exotic, luxurious scents. The lushly decorated shop sells its house fragrance alongside high-end perfumes, lotions, incense and candles from the likes of MEMO and Cire Trudon. Similarly, the first stateside location of the French perfumery Annick Goutal vends rare scents created with ingredients like Sicilian lemons and Damascus rose. The bottles, handcrafted in France, are quite the collectible items themselves.
Shoppers catch a whiff of nostalgia at C.O. Bigelow Chemist, the nation's oldest apothecary. The venerable store carries exclusive homeopathic remedies, skin care products and fragrances from its house brand and international lines that can be hard to find. Australian skin care brand Aesop sells natural, organic products in its futuristic Bleecker Street location, while Sockerbit specializes in imported Scandinavian candies.
The quaint Greenwich Letterpress is a go-to for artistic stationery, letterpress cards, postcards and gifts. The selection, heavy on products from independent artists, is playful and sometimes NYC themed.
Montreal minimalist brand Want Les Essentiels, famous for its coveted leather handbags and luggage, is located inside a gorgeous townhouse—complete with a tea room—that once belonged to the Marc Jacobs women's accessories store. You'll find tailored women's and men's items, handcrafted totes and accessories and apparel from international brands like Tomorrowland and Michel Vivien.
Tea & Sympathy, part restaurant and part grocery store, sells quirky English knickknacks, chocolate, canned goods, pudding and, of course, teas and teapots. The Union Jack also flies at Myers of Keswick, where you can shop for gifts, imported food products, bath items and meat pies.