It’s quite a feat to be a trendsetter in Paris, a city the world reveres for style. But because fashion is part of Romano Ricci’s DNA, he has a unique ability to push the envelope. The great-grandson of iconic couturier Nina Ricci and grandson of renowned perfumer Robert Ricci, who created the ever-in-demand scent L'Air du Temps in 1948, Romano began racing cars at 15, earning his own place in the spotlight. But he couldn’t escape the lure of perfume.
In 2006, the 28-year-old self-taught perfumer founded Juliette Has a Gun, an envelope-pushing boutique fragrance house inspired by Shakespeare’s heroine and a weapon, a metaphor for perfume’s power of seduction.
Not content to simply create avant-garde scents, in 2012 Ricci partnered with Nicolas Cloutier to open Nose, a perfume store like no other. With its vintage apothecary decor, chic coffee counter, and a floor-to-ceiling selection of rare fragrances and candles, Nose is the only shop in Paris where a master perfumer works directly with clients.
At the charming boutique, guests are encouraged to interact with a computer program to help them discover fragrances they’re guaranteed to love. Nose’s proprietary olfactive digital diagnostic tool prompts customers to answer a series of scent-related questions. Customers are then given fragrances to sample and rank, honing the results and selections until a perfect match is discovered. "The Nose diagnosis is like an X-ray for a doctor," Cloutier explains. "It doesn’t replace good advice from our team. It just enables the advisor to be more precise."
The combination of cutting-edge technology, respect for tradition, and elevated and personalized service is what makes Nose not only trendsetting but also timeless.
Nose carries an impressive collection of curated products from some of the world’s finest beauty and grooming brands, including Ren, Shazara, and Lorenzo Villoresi. The home fragrance line includes room sprays, candles, and diffusers by such French and global companies as Birch & Brook, Diptyque, Carthusia, Cire Trudon, and Odin. The Astier de Villatte candles on offer are handcrafted in an 18th-century Bastille workshop that once housed Napoleon’s silversmith.
Nose may be a dream to visit, but the diagnostic tool is available to anyone with a computer. Users simply create an account, answer a handful of olfactory-focused questions, and pay a €10 fee. Nose then mails scents to try and gives users a €10 credit toward the fragrance of their choosing.
Nina Ricci once said, "The creation of a perfume is an act of love, whether real or imaginary." At Nose, her great-grandson Romano not only gives the imagination free reign but also helps transformed it into the wearer’s reality.
Photos by Joann Pai.