You read that right — luxurious scents priced at upwards of $7,000 are part of the ultra-luxe offering from the high-end Amaffi Perfume House, which opened its doors on New York’s iconic Billionaire’s Row on 57th Street in April 2021.
A relative newcomer, Amaffi was founded just six years ago in Switzerland and operates stores in London and Moscow, in addition to the New York flagship. The perfume house was created with the mission of restoring the classic art of perfumery, through original techniques and the use of natural, rare ingredients sustainably sourced from around the world. The brand works in collaboration with top perfumers, granting them creative freedom to conceptualize fragrances that achieve stability, projection and a lasting sillage (the perfume trail left in the air when someone leaves a room) while maintaining a high perfume concentration.
Housed in elaborate and intricate flacons that reflect the character, mood and name of each scent, each fragrance and bottle are crafted like works of art, requiring two years to create from conceptualization to execution (with some bottles even including thousands of Swarovski crystals).
To interpret this extravagant brand ethos for its latest physical incarnation, Amaffi partnered with New York-based architecture and design firm TPG Architecture to create a storefront that establishes a unique presence on 57th Street while staying true to the brand’s philosophy, “We are Amaffi. We are here to set the bar high.” Drawing inspiration from Art Deco, Monaco-inspired design and Neoclassical styles, the design team worked through more than 70 iterations of the concept. The end result is a flagship location featuring an uber-luxurious design to house the exquisite fragrance bottles and offer shoppers an exclusive experience.
Gilded Tones, Crystal and Black-Lacquered Galore
The store’s main entrance is a majestic stone portal — made of 7,000 pounds of rare Dior Gold Quartzite from South America — that encompasses a large slice of black glass bearing the Amaffi logo. Once inside, the gold cove ceiling of the vestibule and the lightboxes on each side create a transition element with a preview of the aesthetics applied to the interior design. Set against a moody backdrop of black lacquer, gilded tones and sparkling crystals, the open layout features a bevy of opulent touches.
The expensive perfumes are displayed like precious jewels, spot-lit and under lock and key. Adding a classical vibe, the cash wrap station is framed by Corinthian columns and features an obsidian and gold inlay meteorite polished stone. Behind the cash wrap, a large screen serves as a focal point for displaying brand imagery. The Amaffi brand also is displayed on feature walls and display fixtures.
The store’s high ceilings, reaching up to 14 feet, give the illusion of a floating, celestial plane. “Embedded in the ceiling are more than 2,500 individual lights — designed like a starry sky with shooting star effects in several locations,” explained Joseph Park, Retail Director at TPG Architecture in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “Through use of a lighting control panel, the ceiling’s ambience can be programmed and scheduled to the brand’s liking.” Custom-built gold-plated and Swarovski crystal chandeliers also hang from the ceiling, upping the drama.
Lighting also plays an integral role in the regal VIP salon, which shoppers can access through black English velvet curtains to experience Amaffi in a more intimate setting. “Within the VIP room, a very large lightbox has built-in white tuning circadian lighting that imitates the time of the day for meetings with customers (cooler around noon, much warmer at night, etc.),” Park said.
Lastly, a wine and champagne bar provides clientele with the level of hospitality they expect from a luxury brand.
Overall, the flagship’s decadent design details and exclusive in-store experience serve as a fitting home for the Amaffi brand’s U.S. entrée. The only question that remains is, what does a $7,000+ perfume smell like? (Hint: “Like a magnificent bouquet of white and yellow flowers laced with sumptuous and captivating wood notes. The Glory of feminine power.” At least that’s how Amaffi describes it.)
Photos by Veronica Bean