"Wearing a perfume is like wearing a dress," says CEO Celso Fadelli, who will open his latest venture, Avery Fine Perfumery (527 St Joseph St.), Saturday, Aug. 6. "You don't have one dress. You shouldn't wear one perfume."
Modeled on the concept of an aviary, the perfumery eschews labels and gaudy packaging on its products, preferring instead to let molecules of scent flit through the air untethered by celebrity marketing campaigns. "The inhabitants of Avery are a large collection of birds of all kinds; an exotic range of personalities that meet and live together," the press release states. "We feel the presence of the perfumes, the spirit of their creators, as well as the spirits of other designers and artists who leave their traces in the shop."
Interior designer Lilian Dreissen says the bird metaphor has played into her concept for the New Orleans store, as well as the London and Modena, Italy locations. "An aviary is a metaphor for perfume, so every store is based on an aviary where birds live, and birds are free spirits," she says. "We like the idea of perfumes being something flighted, and we also like to acknowledge the mysterious part of creating perfume." Dreissen's design for the New Orleans location does differ in some ways from its predecessors; specifically, she incorporated more salvaged items as an homage to New Orleans' past. "Because of the flooding, there is a lot of salvage - I saved doors, locks, details and some of the metal wear which is so recognizable," she says. "I incorporated the balconies into the shop as well. The spirit of the old town is still in here, attached to the perfumes."
Avery's perfumes range in price from $70 for a solid balm to $850 for a perfume and include brands like Carthusia, Nasomatto, Nez a Nez, Czech & Speake and Profumi Del Forte. Fadelli says his target customer is well-traveled, curious and artistic - traits embodied by many New Orleanians, which is why he chose it as the international perfumery's third location. "I believe the soul of the concept of Avery is very close to the soul of the city of New Orleans," Fadelli says. "We have an ingredient of art in the creation of the perfume, and New Orleans is one of the most artistic cities in America."
To that end, the shop celebrates its grand opening in conjunction with White Linen Night, serving cocktails and hors d'oeuvres from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6. "There will be a lot of sniffing and sharing of the air conditioning (for people) on their way to the Contemporary Art Center," says Shannon Drake, director of sales and marketing for Intertrade Europe. "We'll have wine and beer sponsored by Saint Marie. It's just a big celebration."