With love in the air and summer on the way, we headed to a place that would make any fragrance aficionado feel like a kid in a candy store.
We visited Osme Perfumery & Apothecary located at 50 NW 24th Street #111 Miami, Fl 33127, inside the Wynwood Arcade in Miami, Florida. We stopped to chat with one of the shops owners, Maurice Locke, a full-blooded Jamaican with a nose so discerning he can probably smell the ingredients of last night’s dinner on your breath that many hours later and even after brushing your teeth twice since then. A collection of some of the world’s most niche perfumes ranging from $40 to upwards $3,500, Osme Perfumery & Apothecary has the perfect variety to enchant your sense of smell into experiencing the luxury of perfume daily.
A fragrance aficionado and expert, Maurice was the perfect person to ask some basic questions about choosing a fragrance.
Maurice Locke, Owner of Osme Perfumery & Apothecary
His responses were everything but basic, even unexpected. His perspective changed our attitude and understanding about fragrances. We walked out of there loaded with samples and spent the next few days relishing in an olfactory experience we never knew we wanted so badly (sex in a bottle, anyone?), not to mention the consistent wave of compliments we kept getting.
Our Petite Victoria Basket was a great place to stash all of our new samples
Lorena Miranda (LM): Maurice, what can you tell me about picking a fragrance for summer or even for some Valentine’s Day romance? What are some notes or blends I should look for?
Maurice Locke (ML): Well, the way you ask me that question isn’t correct because I don’t believe there is such a thing as a spring or fall scent or male or female. The reason fragrances have been divided this way is because commercial fragrances have marketed them that way so now consumers have been conditioned about what smells masculine or what smells feminine. You can take a fragrance and based on your chemistry it can smell one way on you and another way on someone of the opposite sex. Either way, if a fragrance is meticulously blended the way niche fragrances are, all the right notes will mix beautifully with your chemistry and bring out the best in it, whether you’re a man or a woman. A great perfume is meant to be unisex, and if you love a particular type of note or base you should wear it year-round, just wear more or less depending on the season. So not only are great perfumes unisex, they are also season-less.
LM: Wow, that’s interesting, I never thought of that. I always thought that certain notes were for particular seasons or sexes, I mean that’s what they would tell me at the fragrance counter in department stores… Well then with all that said, what is the difference between niche perfumes and designer or department store fragrances?
ML: One of the main differences between niche and designer is that designer perfume companies are mass produced where they don’t use as many raw and natural ingredients. There are good synthetics and bad synthetics. When it comes to really well blended perfume, they use the right synthetic molecules to enhance the smell of rose or gardenia, for example. When you spray a niche or really well blended fragrance, you will notice a very high concentration of oil. Typically, a niche perfume has from the low end, 15% up to 35% oils where a commercial perfume has between 3% -9%. The oil concentration makes the spray a lot thicker, which makes the fragrance last longer. So, when you look at the sometimes heftier price tag of a niche perfume, you now understand why it is actually a good deal.
The other thing that sets the two apart is the thought that goes behind creating a niche perfume. Since these houses are solely focused on creating fragrances and not other items, they take their time to refine and envoke smell and memories they want. The clientele for niche fragrances is extremely discerning and those who have never smelled such a fragrance should be wowed at first sniff. And then of course, the designs of the bottle are made to adorn any piece of furniture or vanity.
LM: Lastly, what is the one note that is universally loved and works well with all chemistries, sexes, and seasons?
ML: Oh that is a tough one because everything is really based on your preference, but I can say that Sandalwood is a very common component in a lot of fragrances, whether floral, citrus, or musky. It is easy to like, blends well with a lot of other notes, and works well for a lot of people.
And there you have it! One of the best parts about writing this blog was learning which fragrances worked best for me and teaching my nose to pick on certain notes and blends. After a few hours there, I know for sure that I am far more into the alluring, sultrier scents that those that hit you in the nose first, like the citrus kind, however, I was totally digging some perfumes that combined the two. Imagine an orange smell that turns into an oud as you wear it through the day.
Best of both worlds!
Below are some of the fragrances we tried that can be found on https://www.osmeperfumery.comas well as in the shop:
A fragrance sculpted around a floral accord, dominated by Turkish rose, but also facets of lily of the valley and peony. A sensual bouquet revolving around these flowers, but also the fullest, most generous and tangiest fruits. Finally, woods and frankincense envelop the creation in depth and mystery.
One night during his summer vacation in 1937 on the French Riviera (Cote D'Azur), Albert met and got on very well with a young American student who was touring France in a convertible: John F. K. Within minutes of being introduced, the vain JFK was captivated by the essence that...
The fragrance Hollyrose is a black leather rose and refers to teenage groupies who ruled over Sunset Boulevard in the 70’s. Anita Pallenberg, Bebe Buell, Pamela Des Barres were the muses and queens of the Hollywood scene, dating the likes of Jimmy Page, Mick Jagger, Alice Cooper, Robert Plant, Iggy...
The most pure Roses delicately harmonised by the precious Musk, underlined with a touch of Amber and Jasmine, for an elegant sparkling sillage. Notes: Roses, Musk, Amber, Jasmine