We chat to Nick Smart, owner of Libertine Parfumerie, about his favourite travel destinations, how you can pick your perfect signature scent, and all things Libertine.
Libertine Parfumerie is Australia’s home of some of the world’s rarest fragrances. What was your inspiration behind this unique store?
The ethos of Libertine Parfumerie was to source the most originally crafted perfumes, both new and old, which are compelling, visionary and avant-garde, and bring them to our clients in a way which offers an exceptional experience and an exceptional product. We want our clients to step into our store and feel as if they have stepped into a little piece of Paris… a place bursting with olfactory memories and beautiful treasures.
You are lucky enough to visit some of the oldest fragrance houses on your international buying trips. What are some of your favourite destinations?
Europe is without a doubt the most treasured place I visit. Paris is home to the majority of our fragrance houses, and hence I spend a great deal of time there and always ensure I allow for extra ‘me’ time whilst there. Nothing compares to a walk along the Seine with those tasty Nutella crepes!
Sometimes my travels take me further and I travel around places such as Grasse in the South of France. One of our fragrance houses, P. Frapin & Cie has a chateau in the South and I was lucky enough to spend time there. Experiencing the history there, which dates back to 1270, is without a doubt one of my greatest travel memories.
You have a keen eye and always bring back exciting new products from new fragrances to beautiful home wares and gifts. What things are you looking out for when buying?
What we strive for is to offer niche perfumes; those that offer a luxurious, historical element with a special story to tell. We really feel clients are looking for quality and not just a flashy brand name or the like.
What should customers be looking for when they enter Libertine and when does a customer know that a fragrance is right for them?
Fragrances are such a personal thing… They never smell the same on two people. They also evoke memories that are unique to each of us. When choosing a fragrance, there are a few things that you need to consider.
You need to understand that a fragrance is composed of many different layers of smells. Fragrances consist of three different layers know as top notes, heart notes and base notes. It is also important to try the fragrance on your skin. Unfortunately a fragrance that works well on one person will not always be suited to another.
How important is it to have a unique and defining scent?
Niche perfumes are so special because they are so unique… Each fragrance comes with an amazing story, a moment in history so that when you wear it, you’re wearing something with a sense of purpose. People search for a niche fragrance because they want uniqueness and individuality in their fragrance – something that is theirs and theirs alone.
We hear that you are growing your beautiful store. What plans have you got for the expansion?
The New Farm store is our flagship boutique and we therefore will keep it true to Libertine’s original vision. As we are expanding the space, we will be creating a Moroccan Tea Bar, another scent-driven offering.
On a larger scale, demand for the Libertine experience continues to grow with many of our clients coming to us from all over the country. To cater for such clients, we will be expanding interstate with another store opening in Sydney later this year.
March 5, 2014