The Perfumery Barcelona is located in the heart of the Sant Pere quarter within the District of Ciutat Vella on Sant Pere Street, number 58. The Perfumery, a place of niche worship.
Tom receives us with his characteristic smile, but even more so, today. His long-awaited Murano lamp had arrived from Venice and was finally beautifully displayed in the center of the shop.
The first thing you notice when you enter the shop is its meticulous order and the unexpected and surprising absence of aroma in the atmosphere. The perfumes are millimetrically aligned with their corresponding glass funnels located in front of each bottle. The glass funnels are not only esthetically enticing but maintain each fragrance isolated from the other scents. This prevents the perfumes from mixing in the atmosphere and interfering with the rest of the aromas. The carefully planned neutral environment was specifically developed to make it easier to choose that special perfume that will make us distinct from the rest without the interference of secondary aromas.
The perfumery is dedicated more to originality and personalization rather than marketing or advertising, devoting all its effort to offering true works of art. And, unlike the majority of other select perfumeries, The Perfumery is what Tom has coined “niche-boutique”. In the last decade many niche brands have become almost as commercial as the commercial perfume brands themselves. For this reason, Tom spends much of his time searching for those unique perfumes that practically no one has and offers a space for new and young talent that is just starting out. Tom also offers his own in-house perfumes.
© Jaume Cosialls
Tom launched his first in-house perfume, “La Esencia de Santa Eulalia” with the Spanish perfumer Daniel Josier. “La Esencia de Santa Eulalia” is dedicated to the patron saint of Barcelona. The scent represent Eulalia’s strong character during her spiritual stance against the Roman Emperor Diocleciano in Barcelona in the year 305 AD and is the most well-liked perfume at the shop.
Tom was born in a very rural area of the U.S. in an area known as Pine Barrens in south New Jersey. The Pine Barrens has its own micro-climate and flora and fauna. From a very young age Tom had always been intrigued with the abundant flowers and plants that could literally be found everywhere in the area. Tom was fascinated with the fact that in addition to the particular physical characteristics of each flower or plant that made them unique that their identity was also defined by their distinct odor. This would eventually lead him into the amazing world of perfumes.
After coming to Barcelona on a scholarship Tom decided he eventually wanted to move to Spain. Upon finishing his college degree, he returned to Spain to continue his studies and work. Tom eventually made the decision to begin his own business and opened The Perfumery Barcelona, where we can find extremely rare and unique perfumes.
Just like each individual, every perfume is unique in its own particular way. For this reason, Tom explains how important time and patience is when it comes to assisting a person to find his or her singular perfume or perfumes. In addition, Tom makes it very clear that it is extremely important to do so in a calm and relaxed atmosphere and the shop was specifically created for this very purpose. The space was carefully designed based on the Feng Shui philosophy. Feng Shui of Taoist origin is based on the conscious and harmonious occupation of space, in order to achieve a highly effective and positive influence on the people who occupy it.
© Jaume Cosialls
Some customers identify themselves with just one perfume or scent whereas others prefer to have an array of perfumes that may be applied according to their mood or a particular season or time of the day. The “norms” related to what kind of perfume should be worn and when is entirely cultural. As Tom explains what might be correct within one culture may be completely different in another. For example, in the West we have a tendency to wear one type of perfume during the winter and another during the Summer. Heavier and stronger perfumes would be considered more appropriate in Winter and the lighter, fresher ones, in Summer. In contrast, in the Middle East, where it is generally hot year-round, heavy and strong perfumes such as those made with Oud are used year-round.
© Jaume Cosialls
In the end, as Tom points out, perfume is very subjective, and each individual should wear what they want, when they want. For this reason, Tom is very open minded when it comes to assisting and advising customers looking for that special perfume. And In the end, as Tom explains, it is extremely important to listen to each and every client’s preferences and objectives. Finally, it is usually the client that actually guides him to that special scent they are searching for.
© Jaume Cosialls
Thanks to QVistaBarcelona and Jaume Cosialls for this wonderful interview and their wonderful photos. You can also view the original interview at www.Qvistabarcelona.wordpress.com