Niche perfumeries in Bratislava

Ľ.Fulla – Bratislava in Winter, source of image:

When something unpleasant is happening, it is quite a nice escape to remember better times. So I decided to write how I see the advent of niche perfumes in my hometown.

My journey to the niche was gradual, but all the more permanent. I loved good scents since I was a kid, I got my first perfume, I could have been 9 years old. I always had about a dozen scents in my closet, it didn’t seem strange to me, because in the family it was a habit of using fragrances….

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To Step Out of the Shadow

Dusita Paris

Pissara Umavijani

It is difficult to be a child of someone who achieved a lot. The bar for you is set very high and you don’t know it. Because what you grow up in becomes a standard for you. On the one hand, you have the advantage of a stimulating environment, but on the other hand, any success you make, however appreciated by your loved ones, if you compare it to the set bar, it looks insignificant. 

Parents might try hard, they can even give you the name Pissara (freedom), but you will always have the tendency to compare your results to their achievements.

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J. F. Schwarzlose or Didactic Chronicle of the ….. Schwarzlose dynasty

It is fascinating that, at the times when there was a high demand for musical instruments, even a small town like Pressburg (now Bratislava) had two piano factories, in 1856 Herr Joachim Friedrich Schwarzlose, a piano maker and the father of eleven, thought about his possibilities to feed them and give them something to start with, and decided to trade piano production for perfume production. Well, not only perfume, at the beginning he opened a pharmacy, where he produced cosmetics and perfumes only as a part of the merchendise. Who knows whether it was really much more profitable business in itself, or whether there was simply too much competition in Berlin’s pianos?

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Risen from the ashes

Well, so the history of Pompeii – or at least their dramatic end – is probably known to everyone, ergo I decided not to burden the kind reader with that (you do not have to send flowers and chocolates to thank me, but you can).

In any case, the consequence of the tragic end is fascinating. Perhaps nowhere else have so many details and everyday ways of the life of the Roman Empire been preserved, as in the ruins carefully excavated from under the volcanic ashes.

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Mendittorosa, perfumes from another dimension

The miracle of blood

(picture of San Gennaro – St. Januarius)

Rome, year 305 A.D. The Roman Empire faces serious problems, and the Emperor Diocletian is trying to prevent disintegration. Even at the cost of very unpopular measures. He tries to unify the empire on all fronts. Among other things, it will also harm the Christian community, because in a stubborn effort to unite everything, including religious thought, one of the last great persecutions of Christians in the Empire occurs only 8 years before the Milan Edict is enacted and converts the whole Roman Empire to Christianity.


(image source:

I wanted to start by saying that I couldn’t quite separate perfumes (as well as anything else) from social and political events. Then I realized that while I might be able to, I don’t want to. Therefore, in the current situation, I looked at the Turkish brand Nishane with some distance. But then a friend asked me to smell the wonderful scents of Santalové and Tuberóza and – yet careful – love was born. And when I discovered that this year they issued a fragrance in honor of the abandoned Armenian city of Ani, which is located in Turkish territory, and invited Cécile Zarokian, a famous perfume with Armenian roots to create it it, they got all my fondness.

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I have a great weakness for the local perfumery in general and for those “ours” – Czech and Slovak specifically. For I am convinced that, as with any kind of art of man, the creation is affected by the environment in which he lives, in which he grew up, whatever he experiences. And so it yields an amazing variety in results, which can never be achieved by “ordinary” perfume houses with noses concentrated more or less in one place in France, and moreover, those from our cultural sphere have much more to tell us, or simply about us.

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Talk of the violet, and the wolf appears …

It’s all Chagall’s fault… So you go to Chagall’s Villa in Nice. You are still full of impressions when browsing through things in the museum shop on the exit. You willy-nilly grab a few of violet-themed souvenirs and then your whole car smells like violets for hours and you know: this phenomenon certainly deserves a deeper examination.

No surprise I spent the whole evening googling (fortunately my obsession to always check the fragrance manufacturer to see whether it is not missing from our database helped this time again) and driving to the mountains right the next morning.

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Tom Ford Métallique

image source

The turn of the 80’s of the last century. The Iron Curtain breaks. Finally, it is possible to buy luxury fragrances in a different way than occationally in the pivilidged-access Tuzex store, or have them smuggled in from the outside of the country. Not that we didn’t know anything other than Living Flowers (Živé kvety) or The Smells of the Moscow (Duchy Moskvy), thanks to the cooperation (read selling semi-slave labour) with Dior we could get some classic Dior’s before, even a Dior boutique opened in the Bratislava city, where we went religiously to smell the beauty.

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