The Smell of Kawakubo: Dover Street Parfums Market Opens in Paris as the First Beauty-Oriented DSM Outpost
Ever wondered what Rei Kawakubo smells like? We reckon it’s a mix of petrol, radish and sweet cake (yes, those are all notes found in Comme des Garçons perfumes). But assume we need no more. As a European alternative to one of London’s most-loved scented destinations of Dover Street Market’s ground floor fragrance space, Kawakubo and her partner Adrian Joffe just opened Dover Street Parfums Market in Paris.
25 years after their first fragrance, and 15 years after opening DSM in London, the space at 11 bis rue Elzevir just turned into a beauty haven. Just two minutes away from Musée Picasso in the 3rd, this is the store’s first outpost dedicated solely to beauty products, including fragrances, skincare and make-up representing a diverse group of brands from all over the world. You can get the latest from Byredo and try out all of Gucci’s outrageous make-up and fragrance lines, as well as new launches like Thom Browne’s upcoming fragrance and a CDG Tattoo kit created in collaboration with Mac. There’s also experimental products that perhaps wouldn’t find their space anywhere else, such as Amazonian oils, non-binary essences and magnesium flakes for the bath. There’s no limits at DSPM. The space will also feature special events and, while having nothing on the walls or floor, it still carries a clear design aesthetic of all other Dover Street Markets. Simplicity and fine details – a forest of pillars with egg-shaped shelves carved within them carrying all the latest scented drops.
Three of the latest releases that will also find their place on those shelves are part of the Comme des Garçons Series 10: Clash. Radish Vetiver, Celluloid Galbanum and Chlorophyll Gardenia are the newest members of the ever-expanding CDG perfume family, each of them representative of the paradoxical formulation the brand’s fragrances are known for. Bringing together things that were never meant to be together in the first place, the scents are complex olfactory mixes that will continuously make you question your taste as they develop on the kin. Perhaps the most intense of the three is Radish Vetiver – a mix of organic, earthy notes that’s adds a kick to the often flat vetiver. It’s exactly the scent you want to have on you when you head for a Sunday roast at the pub next time. So better head on off to Paris and Dover Street Parfums Market… Have you heard of Eurostar snap? But not to worry – in case you miss the train, the perfumes will also be launching in DSM London on Saturday.
Dover Street Parfums Market is now open at 11 bis rue Elzevir, 750003 Paris. Photographs by David Foessel.