While there’s no shortage of department stores stocking luxury perfumes, artisanal fragrances can be hard to find. For years, Dallas’ most discerning noses have had to travel or take their chances online when shopping for unique and under-the-radar perfumes.
It’s a predicament all too familiar to Highland Park’s Deborah Turner, who is remedying the situation by opening The Scent Room on May 11.
Located in the West Village, The Scent Room is Dallas’ first niche perfumery, stocking a carefully assembled assortment of more than 30 hard-to-find fragrances.
A longtime fragrance aficionado, Turner conceived the idea after purchasing a fragrance for her husband that they both loved — but that proved to be too mainstream for their elevated tastes.
Seven years later, while traveling for their wedding anniversary, the couple visited a perfumery in Italy and met renowned perfumer Vincent Gambino, whose expertise further fueled Turner's desire to bring a true perfume discovery experience to Dallas.
Upon returning to the states, she spent years refining her nose and honing her personal scent wardrobe, before reaching out to Gambino and requesting his help bringing her vision to life.
He acquiesced and Turner set flight to Siena, Italy, where she got a crash course in fragrances and accompanied Gambino to Escxence, the largest niche perfume show in the world.
Today, Turner considers Gambino both her mentor and her muse. She relied on him heavily while developing the concept for The Scent Room and curating the collection.
“I believe we all want to smell nice, naughty, or sexy,” says Turner, a jewelry designer and former actress and model. “Whatever it is, it’s part of who we are and who we want to be at a given moment. Scent helps create our persona, and I’m thrilled to bring this exciting opportunity to the women and men of Dallas.”
To bring Turner’s vision of a discovery experience to life, The Scent Room was built sans counters, which allows customers to interact more freely with scents and store associates, who are specially trained to help guide shoppers through their selection.
Brands include cult favorites not available anywhere else in Dallas, such as Abel, Aqua Di Sardegna, Eight & Bob, and Jusbox, and are chosen based on their unique origin stories, their countertop appeal, and of course, their composition.
"Finding the perfect scent takes time,” says Turner. “Our guests are free to explore, sit, relax and enjoy a glass of champagne.”
The Scent Room is at 3699 McKinney Ave., Suite 301, next to Starbucks.