Our sense of smell is more sensitive than taste. It’s closely linked to memory. It warns us of danger, evokes memories, and influences sexual behaviour. But how do we choose a fragrance to suit us? Here are six unusual perfumeries – beautiful places with knowledgeable staff – where you can find the perfect fragrance.
Mood Scent Bar
Mood Scent Bar is a chain of niche perfumeries (seven locations) run by Victor Kochetov and Maria Yakusheva. Victor opened Mood Scent Bar at the end of 2013. He was driven not only by his love for original fragrances, but also by a deep interest in psychology and nature, without which it’s impossible to talk about perfume. The belief that fragrance reflects personality was enshrined in the brand's founding manifesto and continues to guide Victor and Maria in their work.
"We believe fragrance isn’t something adventurous, it’s part of your identity. Niche perfumes open eyes – and noses! – to completely different sensations, stories, narratives. Sometimes complex and difficult to decipher, other times beautiful in their simplicity, they always try to capture a piece of reality that’s closest to our hearts and in which we want to find ourselves," say the perfumery's owners.
The range features brands that shy away from imitation, seeking to blaze new trails in perfumery and create new quality. The owners draw inspiration from many sources. Victor is a botanical expert: he collects rare exotic plants from all over the world. Sometimes they bring back inspiration from their travels, including in the form of the brands they collaborate with. Mood Scent Bar is the only perfumery in Europe that offers botanical fragrances from the Mexican brand Xinú.
Mood Scent Bar
Niche Perfumery, ul. Tamka 33
Savage, u. Bracka 3
Candleria, ul. Mokotowska 9
ul. Szamarzewskiego 10
ul. Włodkowica 19
ul. Piotrkowska 6
Plac Miarki 2
ul. Krowoderska 41/1
Polasense Fragrance Studio
Polasense is an intimate studio where you can create your own perfume. It’s an unforgettable experience (appointments must be booked). The beautiful interior of an old tenement in the centre of Warsaw – dark walls, atmospheric lighting, hundreds of fragrance flacons. It all makes the client feel like they’re uncovering some kind of secret.
The studio was established in December 2019. "I've been dreaming about this since I was a kid, ever since I first smelled perfume. And the professional path led me to a point of no return," says studio owner Pola Dźwigała.
How long does it take to prepare a perfume? "Composing a perfume is an individual process of confronting emotions, so it varies. Sometimes a meeting lasts 15-20 minutes, other times several hours," explains Pola. Clients choose the scents that will be used in the composition, often alone in the studio so no one influences their decisions. "Then comes the process of combining the ingredients so that the most beautiful possible composition comes out of these choices," Pola concludes.
Polasense Fragrance Studio
Warsaw: ul. Koszykowa 51A/37
Mo61 Perfume Lab
Mo61 was established in April 2014 on one of the most fashionable streets in Warsaw – Mokotowska 61 (hence the name). The old tenement hides a creative space where anyone can create their own perfume.
The company is growing. Over the past year, more perfumeries under the Mo61 banner have appeared on the map of Poland, as well as one workshop space. At each location, unusual fragrance compositions are created at the customer's request. The brand's motto is: 'Come and mix'.
In the grey and blue interiors, fragrance notes imported from France stand in large bottles reminiscent of pre-war pharmacy photographs. They come from Grasse – the mecca of the perfume world, the city made famous by the book and film 'Perfume'. Assisted by professional perfumers trained by top French specialists, anyone who visits Mo61 can compose their own personalised fragrance.
Mo61 Perfume Lab
61 Mokotowska St.
28 Mokotowska St.
Galeria Mokotów, 12 Wołoska St.
Kraków: Plac Szczepański 7
Gdynia: CH Klif, 256 Zwycięstwa Avenue
Poznań: 37 Półwiejska St.
Galilu opened in 2005. Two women are behind the concept: Agnieszka Łukasik and Warynia Grela. They met by chance when Warynia was renovating her house. Then the idea for a joint business was born, with no calculations, just enormous enthusiasm and the need for change.
Galilu, which has been on the market for 18 years, continues to develop rapidly, bringing more and more brands to Poland (there are already more than 70) and opening new boutiques. And it still puts quality first: of the products on offer (each brand undergoes "internal clinical tests"), of the workmanship (also in terms of shop design), of the relationships (with the customer and within the team). Not much has changed since 2005 in terms of the company's core, guiding idea and style. At the same time, globally everything has changed, locally – the scale of the business is incomparable, but Agnieszka and Warynia have been uncompromising and true to themselves from day one.
Shopping at Galilu is an extraordinary experience. The attention to detail, the quality of the service, the culture of the consultants – it all makes it possible for everyone to feel special, no matter what they buy and for how much.
Galilu Olfactory, ul. Mokotowska 26
ul. Mokotowska 63
Elektrownia Powiśle, ul. Dobra 42
ul. Szeroka 15/17
ul. Sienna 1
Rynek Główny 6
Jan Barba Perfumery
Jan Barba has been in existence since 2015, and it offered its first perfumes in 2018. The company started with candles and cosmetics, but from the beginning had the ambition to create fragrances. It took several years for this dream to come true. Since 2023, the brand has focused on perfumes. To emphasise and communicate the direction it’s taken, a perfumery appeared in its name.
There are 10 propositions on offer: 8 perfumes (extrait de parfum) in two sizes (8.5 ml and 30 ml) and 2 eau de toilette (50 ml). Bartosz Puzio, founder of the brand, perfumer and member of the British Society of Perfumers, is behind the composition of the fragrances.
Each composition is an intellectual challenge and an opportunity to discover something new. "Inspiration flows in the least expected moments. It might come from a passage from a book, as in the case of Aiyoku, or a memory or an experience, like with Olympia. Sometimes it’s the fascination of the ingredients. The fragrances are created slowly, in concentration, over the course of weeks or months. The whole team evaluates them, and each launch is a cause for celebration, as it crowns months of work," says Bartosz.
Jan Barba Perfumeria
Warsaw: ul. Kopernika 25
The origins of the niche perfumery Lulua date back to 2007. At that time, its owner Zbigniew Witek opened a shop in Kraków's Kazimierz district. After 17 years, it’s one of the most recognisable perfumeries in Poland and abroad.
"Selecting a perfume is an individual process and requires time and attention. We help customers identify their fragrance desires, learn about boundaries, preferences and often awaken dormant memories. With customer feedback, we can more accurately pinpoint the fragrance they’re looking for," says Zbigniew.
At Lulua perfumery, the focus is on a positive customer experience. "It’s very important how a fragrance develops over time, so we offer skin tests and offer sample sales. This helps you get to know the compositions we offer," Zbigniew explains.
Krakow: ul. Józefa 22
Katowice: ul.Staromiejska 21