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If you stop by Frederic Malle's West Village boutique knowing you want a new scent, but unsure what that scent should be exactly, be prepared to get personal. The perfumer's sales associates, whom he refers to as "matchmakers," won't ask you about your favorite big-name fragrances, or whether you prefer iris to gardenia, but they will inquire, "Why do you want to buy a new perfume?" "The answers can be very revealing," Malle says. "Sometimes they say, 'I'm leaving my husband.'"
The intimate, Steven Holl-designed Greenwich Avenue shop (Malle's second in New York) seems like an easy place to open up, though. The lights are warm, the plush, curved bench invites lounging, and the back garden is a perfect retreat if an overzealous spritz of Carnal Flower has gone to your head.
Frederic Malle will be there today and tomorrow, chatting with customers and unveiling his latest Editions de Parfums launch, Eau de Magnolia, a few days before it hits Barneys. Go if you could use a little matchmaking.
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