Art Books Events Opening of new Boutique: Providence Perfume Company

Opening of new Boutique: Providence Perfume Company

05/01/13 12:39:13 (9 comments)

by: John Biebel

 
April means spring, and new life abounds around us as leaves push through the cracks in the earth. The Providence Perfume Company has also felt the sun of spring, and what is blossoming is the new store on 301 Wickenden Street in Providence, Rhode Island.  The store opened just a few weeks ago, and had a grand opening reception to the public this past Friday.  It was an impressive collection of perfume enthusiasts and city locals that came to enjoy the latest creative addition to this fascinating city on the cusp of New England’s southeast coast.


Charna Ethier is the perfumer of Providence Perfume, and has been dreaming of having a storefront space for her perfume house for many years. “I travel a lot to New York to teach classes,” she says, “and I really look forward to teaching right here instead.”
 
The space is a beautifully clean-lined set of rooms that houses many functions. The front displays the beautiful perfumes of Providence Perfume in tantalizing glass cloches, along with skin care and beauty products; the back room is both lab and teaching area, with room for students to partake in Charna’s renown natural perfumery classes.
 
The business of manufacture and packaging is also in the back, along with a delightful patio that feels like it’s straight out of a Parisian bistro. Charna has also put her personal perfumer’s organ in the shop so that she can create in her own space.
After pursuing many career options, including great success at department store fragrance retail, and finally finding herself at the natural beauty company Aveda, she grew to love the world of natural perfumes and products.  “At first, some of these scents can seem unfamiliar,” she says.  But she grew to love natural scents, and thought more and more about working on her own perfumes.  After having a child, she thought it was time to branch out on her own.  
 
 
Working on her own also meant access to natural ingredients that would not normally be cost-effective for a large scale company like Aveda.  After dabbling in different kinds of scent making, she created some wondrous scents that have gained her international attention, including the rich and herbal Moss Gown, which was a Fifi finalist for niche perfumes in 2012.  Charna’s scents cover a vast territory on the scent map: from the masculine and tweedy resins of Tabac Citron, to the deep vintage tones of Divine Noir, to the light and flowery clouds of Eva Luna, her work reaches to many sensibilities.  The new shop is yet another step in the process of opening Providence Perfume’s works to the wider world.
 
 
The larger facility also means new products—Charna has created beautiful hair oils, solid perfumes, and perfumer’s alcohol bases, among other products, and hopes to include scented candles as a new product as well.  We had fun discussing some of the challenges that an all natural perfumer can face when diversifying. “Making an all natural candle is more complicated than you might think!” she says.  She has been experimenting with natural floral waxes as part of candle construction.  The great beauty of these experiments is that research, development, production and sales are all now under one beautiful roof.
 
 
Charna is a lover of many things "vintage," as evidenced by her incredible collection of vintage jeweled solid perfume holders.  Some of her scents even have a vintage flair to them, almost as homages to some of the beautiful past scents full of gorgeous oak moss and bold, ripe flowers.  But already, her imagination is blossoming.  “I’ve seen women come to the shop, and they reach for a lighter perfume, and I want to work in that direction, too.”  She’s done this to great success in new products, including a cucumber and green tea facial mist and hair oil, both deliciously fresh and juicy products that feel like dew and sunshine trapped in a bottle.
 
Providence Perfume Company is poised to be a great addition to the city at large, not only by its fine perfumed offerings, but also by its friendly and generous creator who is willing to share so much of herself alongside the products.  Be sure to visit this charming new shop that is bringing niche scents from out of the confines of the internet to the brick-and-mortar storefront of local commerce.
 
Providence Perfume Company is located on 301 Wickenden Street in Providence, RI, 02903.  It is open Monday through Saturday, 10:30 am – 6 pm.  
Email: [email protected] or call 410-455-2325.
 
Event photos by John Biebel 
 

John Biebel (johngreenink) is a painter, musician, writer and software designer currently living and working in Boston, MA. He is a graduate of the Cooper Union in New York City where he studied fine art, and he currently works as a software and web interaction designer specializing in human factors. He is a student of the scent sciences and takes particular interest in the history and chemistry of perfumes.

 



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Chickenboo
Chickenboo

Congratulations, Ms. Ethier! An excellent reason to visit beautiful P-Town again!

Thank you for the article, Mr. Biebel!

Best Regards,

CB

May
06
2013
Cybernoir
Cybernoir

The shop looks beautiful, and Providence is a great city. I wish them all the luck in the world.

May
02
2013
luvs_perfume
luvs_perfume

Delighted to see someone's fragrant dreams develop into a beautiful business. Congratulations Charna, continued fragrant success!

May
01
2013
zoka
zoka

I have met people from Providence Perfume Company and they are really nice and very positive. Charna has great vision and I wish her all the best. It takes some courage to move into venture like this but I believe in them and opening own store is definitely very important step on their way.

May
01
2013
rickyrebarco
rickyrebarco

Beautiful store- great article!

May
01
2013
raw umber
raw umber

Charna's creations are truly inspired, transcendent works of art that not only stand on their own regardless of classification, (niche, designer, natural perfumery or what have you) but they smell absolutely gorgeous.
She gives me hope for the future of perfumery. Hindu Honeysuckle, Moss Gown, and Gypsy are just beyond words. She's a genius, a very hard worker, and a kind person. I wish her more than luck.

May
01
2013
Luccia
Luccia

Looks gorgeous. I love Providence, having lived there a couple of summers of my high school years. They must be very happy to have such a place there, sophisticated yet personal.

May
01
2013
NebraskaLovesScent
NebraskaLovesScent

The store looks great, and that is a beautiful picture of Charna! Wish I could have joined you guys. Must visit there soon. :-)

May
01
2013
chayaruchama
chayaruchama

I couldn't agree more, darling !!!

It does the heart good to see Charna do so well; she's worked so very hard.

May
01
2013

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