On Tonight: Scents and Sensibility
Finding Die Parfümerie can be a challenge. The new permanent home of a trio of mixologists that made their name as a pop-up bar, we searched in vain for a sign indicating their presence, strolling unsuspectingly past the locale several times. Finally, we consulted Siri and reexamined an inconspicuous storefront with a nondescript black exterior. Lo and behold, a tiny sign with brightly glowing lights read “BAR” above the door.
Eager to escape the cold wind stinging our faces, we entered a cozy wooden interior with dark green accents, slightly resembling the parlor of an eccentric-yet-hip great-grandfather: The highly contemporary style was starkly contrasted with an ironic, cheesy antique painting hanging behind the bar. A respectable crowd for a weekday night was already assembled, nursing their drinks as funk, RnB and the Wu Tang Clan played quietly in the background.
In keeping with their name, various antique atomizers with diverse aromas, cordials or bitters lined the bar, ready to be sprayed into drinks to give them that special, final touch – why one would choose anything besides their gorgeous, fragrant cocktails mystified me.
As we settled in, our bartender promptly brought glasses of water before we ordered. At first, we considered it a polite gesture; later, after realizing how potent our drinks actually were, the water helped stabilize our blood alcohol level.
It’s all about the mix
Their aromatic gimmick extended to their simple paper menus, where drinks are arranged based on alcohol content: going from the the strongest, eaux de parfum, to the weakest, eaux de toilette.
After leafing through the abundance of choices ranging from classics to house specials, we finally settled on an Orange-Thyme Daiquiri (the classic with thyme and orange marmalade added), an 84 by Lukas (tequila, mezcal, peach, chartreuse, lime, pepper and chocolate bitters) and a Selma’s Mule. The latter was the house specialty and my new personal favorite, a dream of pomegranate-infused vodka, lime, ginger beer and fresh pomegranate. It was almost too pretty to drink, it was light and fruity, walking a delicate line between sweet and bitter – and finding the perfect balance. We sipped our way through the round quickly, enjoying every drop and barely giving the ice cubes at the bottom of our fancy, cut-glass highball tumblers time to melt.
The parfumiers, Max, Gianni and Gilles, mindfully construct each drink like a work of art, never permitting big crowds to faze them and cut corners. With a flair for dramatic presentation, their high quality ingredients and knack for unusual and aromatic combinations tickle your taste buds. Add their relaxed contemporary chic and reasonable prices into the mix and Die Parfümerie certainly has what it takes to become more than just a tempest in a flacon.