A Guide to Perfume Shopping in Toronto
Toronto isn't a huge perfume hub. Fragrance isn't an essential part of beauty regimens here, like it might be in Paris or Moscow; streets in this city aren't lined with perfumeries like they are in Rome. But in the six years that I've lived here, I've seen an increased interest in perfume—particularly the smaller niche fragrance brands that you'd never see in a department store.
On a warm, beautiful day, there's little I like to do more than walk through this city on a solo perfume crawl. It's a healing ritual for me as much as it is a pleasurable activity—smelling is my way of recalibrating. I don't do yoga or meditate or spas. But when I smell a bright and beautiful thing, my soul feels instantly lighter. You should try it.
Here is a map of my favourite local stores and a list of the brands they carry. Throughout the years I've accumulated a lot of this information in the recesses of my brain, but it's time I put it somewhere helpful. If you're looking—I hope you find something that brings you joy.
THE Junction & Roncesvalles
Design objects and furniture from Scandinavia/Japan.
Brands: Andrea Maack, Frama, Skultuna
Menswear and accessories.
Brands: CoSTUME NATIONAL, État Libre d'Orange, Malin + Goetz
Home decor, handmade goods and other gift-able items.
Brands: Blackbird Ballard, Brennan Michael, By Rosie Jane, Christine Chanter Botanicals, For Strange Women, Goest Perfume, Little Shop of Oils, LVNEA, MCMC Fragrances, OLO, Under Aurora, Universal Flowering
Women's clothing and accessories.
Brands: CB I Hate Perfume, Christine Chanter Botanicals, C.O. Bigelow, Escentric Molecules, Malin + Goetz, Universal Flowering
Little Portugal & Queen West
Shop, gallery, and event space with a constantly evolving range of products.
Brands: Brennan Michael, Crosby, Les Ares, Libertine Fragrance, Reassembly
THE FUTURE OF FRANCES WATSON
Clothing and accessories for men and women.
Brands: Abbott NYC, Henrik Vibskov, NA NIN
Women's clothing, accessories and home goods from emerging designers.
Brands: Apoteker Tepe, Aydry & Co, Cinnamon Projects, Mondo Mondo
Home design, accessories and goods.
Brands: Blackbird Ballard, Christine Chanter Botanicals, D.S.&Durga, Maison Louis Marie, Mondo Mondo, NOVA, Olo
Modern footwear, clothing and accessories.
Brands: Cire Trudon, Comme des Garcons, Laboratorio Olfattivo, Mad et Len, Olfactive Studio, Santa Maria Novella
Limited edition graphic tees, clothing and accessories.
Brands: Capsule Parfums, Fiele Fragrances
Men's clothing, shoes and accessories.
Brands: D.S.&Durga, Haeckels
Luxury skin and body care products.
Perfumes, candles, and body care. (Not technically "niche" or "independent" but people love this stuff, so here it is.)
Brands: Le Labo
Designer menswear, footwear and lifestyle goods.
Brands: Baxter of California, Comme des Garcons, Escentric Molecules, Heeley
Luxury menswear and accessories.
Brands: Amouage, Hors la Monde, Initio, Parfums de Marly, Parfums Dusita, Parfums MCDI, Puredistance, Sospiro Perfumes, Xerjoff
JACOB & SEBASTIAN
Luxury skincare, makeup and fragrances.
Brands: Aroma M, Escentric Molecules, Ephemera, Etat Libre d’Orange, La Bella Figura, Nemat International, Oribe, Rodin, Santa Maria Novella
MIDTOWN, YORKVILLE & GENERALLY NORTH OF BLOOR
Minimalist womenswear, accessories, and footwear.
Brands: Coqui Coqui
European womenswear and jewelry.
LA BOUTIQUE NOIRE
Designer womenswear and accessories.
Brands: Amouage, Parfums de Marly, Parfums MDCI, Puredistance, Rance 1795, Xerjoff
Perfumery—the biggest selection of French and Italian niche perfumes in Toronto.
Brands: Amourage, Chateau de Versailles, Designer Shaik, Franck Boclet, Grossmith, Hors la Monde, Initio, Kajal Perfumes, Mancera, Montale, Olibere, Parfums de Marly, Parfums MDCI, Parfums Dusita, Profumi del Forte, Puredistance, Rance 1795, Serge Lutens, Sospiro, Stephane Humbert Lucas 777, Teo Cabanel, Widian, Xerjoff, Zoologist Perfumes
DANFORTH & LESLIEVILLE
As the name would suggest—men's skincare, grooming accessories, colognes.
Brands: Acca Kappa 1869, Barrister & Mann, Captain's Fawcett, Castle Forbes, Crown Shaving Co., D.R. Harris Arlington, Floris, Geo F. Trumper, Henri et Victoria, Il Profvmo, Mr. Gladstone, Penhaligon's, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Zoologist Perfumes
Womenswear, menswear, gifts and home goods.
Brands: Eight & Bob, Malin + Goetz
Looking for something designer, like a Dior or a Tom Ford? I haven't included Toronto's department stores on this list—they certainly don't need more advertising—but there's plenty to choose from! Here are a few I frequent for samples and testing new releases:
- Sephora (multiple locations)
- Saks Fifth Avenue (Eaton Centre)
- Nordstrom (Eaton Centre)
- The Bay (multiple locations)
- Holt Renfrew (50 Bloor St. W)
- Harry Rosen (82 Bloor St. W)
If you find a perfume you love and this map had something to do with it, please leave a comment and tell me which one. Help me smell vicariously.