Of all the places I was excited to see on this most recent trip to LA, Strange Invisible Perfumes was at the top of the list. I first learned about SIP when they first debuted on Taigan several months ago, and ever since, have been intrigued by the idea of all-natural, non-synthetic perfume. Also, with pretty names like ‘Fair Verona,’ ‘Urban Lily’ and ‘L’Invisible,’ I was really curious to know exactly what they smelled like!
The SIP boutique, located on the north western end of Abbot Kinney, is beautifully decorated, with big windows and a skylight to let in lots of natural light. There’s a lovely white marble bar that serves as the fragrance’s main display area, and it also smells amazingly good.
Once we’d poked around the shop for a bit, my friend and I ponied on up to the bar and started smelling. I was blown away by how easily Shannon, our sales assistant, could recite every note and ingredient in the perfumes. Fair warning: these are not like your average perfumes. In fact, straight out of the bottle and on to the tester, they can be overwhelming, even off-putting. But give it a few minutes. Come back to the paper slips and re-visit. I was amazed at how the perfumes evolved and eventually settled in to a scent that perfectly matched their name (great example: Magazine Street. Be sure to ask how it got its name!).
Once you’ve narrowed down a few perfumes you like on paper (literally!), you can sample them on your own skin, where it quickly becomes apparent what is going to mix well with your oils and what is not. My favorites on paper were Prima Ballerina, Tosca, Essential IX and Epic Gardenia (of course!), but on the skin, Prima Ballerina and Epic Gardenia really sang, whereas the others smelled like they belonged on someone else. I ultimately took home a little bottle of Prima Ballerina, which, as the name would suggest, is feminine, lithe, and lovely. Or, as SIP describes it: Bright notes of Greek sage and organic lime animate a satiny bouquet of Egyptian and Turkish roses. Poised on an enchanting stage of botanical musk, this lithe composition executes a perfect tour jetÃ© with the exhilarating grace of a true classic.
If you’re in the neighborhood, you must check it out! SIP also offers an impressive collection of organic soaps, body products, and (hallelujah!) all natural organic skin and hair care, including superstar brands such as Intelligent Nutrients. What’s not to love?