Scents and Sensibility
by Mallory Passuite, 10/08/2013
Photo: Julio Gaggia
Aedes de Venustas
9 Christopher St., West Village, 212-206-8674
The decor in this "temple of beauty"—the English translation of the shop's Latin name—includes a chandelier; plush, plum-colored carpeting; and hundreds of roses, pink and white, arranged in lush bouquets and floating in bowls of water. The store's scents are equally luxurious. Aedes recently released Iris Nazarena, its second house fragrance. For this scent, the store's founders, Karl Bradl and Robert Gerstner, partnered with German perfumer Ralf Schwieger to evoke the essence of the root of a rare iris flower. The result is a powdery perfume, suitable for both men and women, with hints of clove and rose, as well as touches of patchouli and smoky vetiver. Other brands sold here range from newer, independent lines like The Different Company (created in part by the team behind commercially successful scents for Hermès and Cartier) to select lines from fashion houses like Comme des Garcons and older heritage offerings like candles by Cire Trudon. The latter was founded in Paris in 1643 and was reportedly favored by Louis XIV and by Marie Antoinette. It's no surprise to learn that Sofia Coppola lit Cire Trudon candles on the set of her 2006 film starring Kirsten Dunst as infamous queen of France.