A Very Happy Birthday: Celebrating 5 Years of Avery Perfume Gallery


12th August, 2015

Avery Perfume Gallery, the retail concept stores for the Intertrade group, opened the doors of their first store on Avery Row in London 5 years ago – and since then, the perfume industry feels as though it has exploded. A profusion of new niche lines seems to appear daily, either created by the large brands (for example, Chanel’s Les Exclusifs and Dior’s La Collection Privee), self-taught perfumers like Sarah McCartney of 4160Tuesdays, right through to collections by fashion bloggers (Diane Pernet), and perfume enthusiasts such as Neela Vermeire Creations and Victor Wong of Zoologist. The industry is, right now, a massively exciting and overwhelming place to be.

"I was particularly enthralled by Clockwork [by ROADS], a gritty and woodsy mechanical vetiver with peppery and leathery facets"
Avery invited me along to their 5th birthday celebrations to their recently refurbished store, keeping its incredible bespoke chest of drawers, and feels altogether lighter and brighter – with various scent-able porcelain statues and a bewildering but enchanting apparatus that invite you to place your nose in, and inhale. I took the opportunity to sniff out their latest collections, with the assistance of Hazel – one of those rare sales assistants that understands their product and a customers’ tastes implicitly. Her brief: get the weird stuff, please.

ROADS, a series under the creative direction of Danielle Ryan – heiress to Ryanair’s fortune – as part of a lifestyle group, is a collection of 10 fragrances that ‘celebrates the individual in every sense’. Created in conjunction with master perfumers, each fragrance ‘explore new paths of research, leaving the door open to new forms of olfactory poetry’. The names inform the concept of the fragrance – I was particularly enthralled by Clockwork, a gritty and woodsy mechanical vetiver with peppery and leathery facets.

AVERY is the boutiques eponymous brand, created through the guidance of the customers of the Avery Row boutique, who sniffed the ingredients blind in the store and subconsciously guided the creation of the fragrances. Each is named for the letters making up the boutique’s name: A (adorable), V (vigorous), E (evocative), R (royal), and Y (young at heart). V was my favourite, an aldehydic, peachy, inky patchouli-benzoin blend that reminded me of Comme des Garcons 2.

"Yellow [by Azagury] Yellow is bizarrely a blackcurrant-woody fragrance, although the name somehow matches it"
The latest from Agonist, No10 White Oud, was an intriguing look at the oud theme, described by the brand’s founders as challenging “traditional uses of raw materials with a singular artistic Nordic vision”. Marrying bitter cypriol to a suede facet, with a crisp and fluffy blend of musks and violet notes. I found it disturbingly pleasant.

AZAGURY, a collection (mostly) inspired by Jacques Azagury’s concepts of colour, was another intriguing find. The colours – pink, yellow, black, white, green – don’t match the typical perfumery interpretations that you find. Yellow is bizarrely a blackcurrant-woody fragrance, although the name somehow matches it. Black is a lily-of-the-valley meets ambergris and musk, with a backdrop of oud. Wenge, not a colour, was a fantastical rubber and saffron take on the wood.


In Pursuit of Magic by Diane Pernet
My love of the evening was In Pursuit of Magic, by Diane Pernet. Diane Pernet is a blogger, journalist, and fashion icon - responsible for A Shaded View on Fashion. A chance encounter with the CEO of Intertrade ended in a collection of fragrances. Shaded, Wanted, To Be Honest and then, my favourite, In Pursuit of Magic. A bonkers citrus fragrance, meant to symbolise a parallel universe, it smells tart and bright, with rhubarb and sushi ginger like notes.

Avery's first store can be found at 27 Avery Row, London, W1K 4AY. Avery also has stores in Italy, Morocco, Qatar and USA.

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About the author: Nick Gilbert

Nick has been working in the world of fragrance for over 15 years. He is co-founder of Olfiction, a creative scent agency offering fragrance development, training, copy and content production. He is frequently quoted in the press and has provided perfumery training globally, from London to Seoul.

Website: http://www.olfiction.com

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    Comments

      • scentsitivity | 12th August 2015 21:23

        A wonderful read! I hope to visit in the future.

      • hednic | 13th August 2015 02:05

        Like the interior setup!

      • Carolyn M | 13th August 2015 18:41

        Might give them another try in December when I'm in London, visited not long after they opened & wasn't impressed with their customer service.