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15West In the world of fine fragrances

Wednesday, December 07 2022
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Opening Times

Tuesday to Friday 11-18
Saturday 11-17

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15West
Giesebrechtstraße 15
10629 Berlin Berlin
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With 15West, a perfume boutique for niche fragrances has opened in Charlottenburg - it doesn't get any finer or more exclusive than this. This powder note, this cinnamon nuance. Very subtle but filling the room. "Fragrances are our first emotion," says Marc Janssen, "we associate smells with experiences and create memories with them."

Today, the Dutch native wears "Grand Beau" by Thomas de Monaco. It's a green-hard scent that recalls carefree days on the rugged coast of southern France. Mr Lehmann wears the leathery-woody "Ravi" by Naso di Raza. Both are niche fragrances which cannot be found in Berlin with other luxury fragrances. Only since the two opened the 15West not far from the Kurfürstendamm in early October. A boutique for exclusive, very individually curated perfumes.

Reclaimed oak parquet, the walls in a rich mud tone, three centrally placed presentation cubes whose pastel-coloured tiles were custom-burned in a Bavarian workshop, two low armchairs with good-humoured floral fabric covers and a ceiling finish crafted by a stucco artist. Simple as well as elegant, contemporary and timeless, restrained and in gentle harmony to give the stage to the main actors: 26 brands from Prague, Paris, Rome, New York, Malmø or Athens, which make the 15West a unique store.

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15West I Foto Creme Guides Ole Zimmermann (14)
15West I Foto Creme Guides Ole Zimmermann (6)
15West I Foto Creme Guides Ole Zimmermann (9)
15West I Foto Creme Guides Ole Zimmermann (10)
15West I Foto Creme Guides Ole Zimmermann (11)
15West I Foto Creme Guides Ole Zimmermann (12)
15West I Foto Creme Guides Ole Zimmermann (13)
15West I Foto Creme Guides Ole Zimmermann
15West I Foto Creme Guides Ole Zimmermann (1)

"Our perfumes also have nothing in common with the traditional categorization into women's and men's fragrances. They are primarily unisex fragrances. Customers decide according to what they like, not according to the label," says Lars Lehmann, who comes from the fashion industry and is responsible for the back office. Meanwhile, Marc Janssen is, as he aptly puts it, "the nose." "I've always had a great passion for perfumes. Whenever I travelled, I first looked for perfume stores," says the trained hairdresser.

Joy and sorrow in equal measure, because many things were too bulky for Janssen. Or too slippery. Or not adequately presented. It was already clear to him 20 years ago that he would one day open his own store with a unique selection of premium fragrances beyond the international brand world.

Janssen and Lehmann have known each other for six years, and it didn't take the Dutchman long to convince the Brandenburg native of the idea of a completely new fragrance boutique, a space in which fragrances become an experience, in which one perhaps first discovers which perfumes actually suit one's own personality.

In the spring of 2022, things moved very quickly. The premises in the smart Giesebrechtstrasse in Charlottenburg were the first they visited and for which they were awarded the contract. The complete renovation was carried out carefully and without compromise with the help of an architect friend. Brutto Gusto, a flower gallery on Wielandstrasse that also belongs to the circle of friends, equips 15West - the name is a creation of the location, City-West and the house number 15 - with new floral decorations every week.

You could describe Marc Janssen as a personal guide who takes you on an emotional journey into a unique fragrance universe. "I ask about preferences and desires, look at each customer," he reports, "you can express your mood with fragrances, can emphasize your presence or also fade into the background through them."

The quality of the raw materials, the play with the aromas that unfold from the top, heart and base notes, the level of fragrance concentration, and the knowledge and skill of the creators make perfumes into masterpieces with a long-lasting scent experience. Or to quickly evaporating mass-produced goods. In recent years, niche fragrances have become a trendy topic, but they are still a very small and delicate segment in the perfume world.

Janssen knows every manufacturer in his "opening collection." "More will be added, almost every day we receive samples from perfume manufacturers from Europe and other continents, although we have only been open a few weeks," he says happily.

As a guest in the showroom, you don't have to bring any expertise. Just passion and curiosity. Janssen talks about the perfumers, the stories behind the fragrances and shares his knowledge. In the process, scented paper strip for scented paper strip and finally the skin test, you approach your personal favourites.

For example, the floral "Cierge de Lune" by Aedes de Venusta, in a classically elegant glass bottle or the fruity-sweet "Aura" by Kinetic Perfumes. The former for the day. The latter, in a cherry-red bottle, for the evening appearance. It's good to have your favourite fragrances with you at all times. For that, the accessories are selected with no less care and style. Hand-flattering vials to fill yourself. In rosé and a few other colours or engraved by hand in the old guilloche technique by two old masters of their art in Paris.

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