Monday, November 24, 2014

MiN New York

With the holidays fast approaching, now feels like the right time to start discussing gift giving and well … even just some new place to see and experience. The destination, experience and gift categories can be solved with a single visit to one of New York City’s rarest treasures. MiN is hiding in plain sight on Crosby Street and offers the visitor an experience which is exactly what proprietors Mindy Yang and Chad Murawczyk  pride themselves on. MiN is part apothecary, gift shop, gallery, olfactory agora, speak easy and remembrance of times gone by. Think Santa Maria Novella in Firenze as a possible frame of reference!

So let’s talk about gifts which can vary from the simplest of items such as bars of D.R. Harris almond oil soap or Trumper shaving cream. Please keep in mind we are NOT speaking of Sephora or Duane Reade varieties but a carefully curated selection of the world’s finest brands that offer a heritage and reputation known only to the very savvy. The offerings boggle the mind and range as said from a bar of soap to the wonderful scents which take the form of candles, eau de toilettes, perfumes, lotions, unguents and colognes. You might even find a scented water to use in your steam iron when pressing your fine linens. Simply said, this establishment has items you never knew you needed!

One of their most incredible items is their own private brand of candles which you might equate to Rigaud or a Dyptique on steroids; these candles far outshine their competition on so many levels. Aside from their custom scents these pillars of scent or bougies, if you will, release their fragrance even when unlit. When lit, these are the most incredible dispensers of scent as they permeate your space but never overpower the recipient’s olfactory senses. If all that is not enough then there are the custom designed translucent bone china lidded canisters that hold each candle. Each container has its own amazing traits including exclusive patterns and even platinum detailing.

For the more adventurous and financially blessed shopper, there is the Bespoke Fragrance Flight or BFF if you will, where a Wonder Pilot will steer you through the discovery of scents that are best suited for the “passenger.” My question is simply “can you verbalize and share your olfactory stimulants and memories?” Within approximately one hour the recipient will have arrived at possibly 5 “destinations” based on their responses ... think about it!! Not as easy as one might think!

One of the newest MiN innovations is Scent Stories which equates to an olfactory art experience or plainly stated a once in a lifetime experience for the most discerning of “noses!” A rather abbreviated explanation is that these perfumes are of limited edition that are signed and numbered. Your membership to this exclusive club takes place in MiN’s Members Vault where the entire process and selection occurs. Once again, the MiN experience is unlike any other!

From an educational point of view, allow Ms. Yang or one of her acolytes to inform you about the difference between truly bespoke scents and what it means to be a genuine perfumer as opposed to a potion maker! Here is a simple example to explain... think of a bartender mixing drinks as opposed to the distiller who actually creates the liquor! It’s an enlightening part of the MiN adventure.

My question to you … “what are you waiting for?”

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