Rei Kawakubo, the founder of fashion label Comme des Garçons, has opened Dover Street Parfums Market, a boutique offering up an eclectic range of fragrance, skin care and makeup brands from around the world.
Fifteen years after opening multi-brand retailer, Dover Street Market, in London, Japanese fashion designer, Rei Kawakubo, and husband Adrian Joffe, have opened their first standalone beauty store in Paris.
Dover Street Parfums Market, located in Paris’ trendy Le Marais district, is a stone’s throw from the Picasso Museum and is dedicated to perfume, skin care, makeup and hair care from around the world.
Rei, of course, is the Founder and Creative Director of Comme des Garçons. Like her avant-garde fashion brand, Dover Street Parfums Market challenges the status quo in beauty retailing with an eclectic mix of niche independent lines alongside established classics, with a distinct focus on sustainable and organic brands.
Alongside Gucci’s Alchemist’s Garden collection of scents, and a specially-designed space featuring Byredo, a host of new fragrance brands and collections co-exist. Ormaie (the name means elm grove in French) is a Parisian, artisanal, unisex all-natural, luxury fragrance brand that launched in 2018. Fragrances are housed in recycled glass bottles that look like one-of-a-kind works of art, with handmade, colored stoppers sourced from renewable forests in France.
Other fragrance brands include Thom Browne’s gender-neutral scents, 09.27.65, that launched exclusively in the store; DS & Durga, featuring herb and floral essences; art-inspired Ulrich Lang; Suigeneris, a nonbinary fragrance; and luxury candle brand Mizensir, founded by master perfumer Alberto Morillas.
In honor of 25 years since Comme des Garçons launched its first fragrance, Dover Street Parfums Market is presenting the full Comme des Garçons fragrance collection. Shoppers can also experience a new collection, CDG Parfums Series 10: CLASH, which focuses on bringing together elements that were never meant to be associated (radish and vetiver, for example), thereby creating an entirely new scent platform. Visitors can also get inked with a CDG Tattoo Kit created in collaboration with M.A.C.
Comme des Garçons also recently launched Odeur du Théâtre du Châtelet (Acte 1), an ode to the landmark Théâtre du Châtelet situated on the bank of the river Seine.
Sustainable and organic collections hold sway in skin and hair care as well, with brands such as Sort of Coal, a Danish brand whose hero ingredient is Japanese Binchotan, or white charcoal, reputedly the highest grade of activated charcoal. Products on offer include charcoal face masks, shampoos and oils. Other non-fragrance brands include La Bouche Rouge, a luxury French vegan lipstick brand; Stryx, corrective cosmetics for men; Japanese eyeliner specialist UZU by Flowfushi; Westman Atelier and luxe skin care brand Oumere.
Rei’s design vision for the retail space is minimalist white, and consists of bare walls, no display materials or advertising, and no department store-like merchandising, such as gift with purchase. Instead, the space is populated with floor-to-ceiling columns featuring egg-shaped shelves in white and cream, a large crocheted pillar and gentle touches of color. Products are displayed on varying sides of the store’s pillars, inviting shoppers to walk around and discover new brands and products at their leisure.
Sales associates are discreet, explaining that their role is as advisors, wanting people to be at ease in the store.