The area around Dover Street Market has had a spruce-up recently, with the new St James’s Market slowly coming to life. If you’re approaching DSM from Jermyn Street, it’s the road that continues along leading to Haymarket. This new block is soon to house retail and restaurant premises, inclusing a Jigsaw and a Smeg. Yep, you read that right, the trendy fridge is getting its very own shop.
Successful bricks-and-mortar retail these days is all about the surprise and no-one knows this more than Dover Street Market. It’ one of the few superstores where you’re genuinely thrilled by something on every visit. And that’s hard to do.
For the jaded fashionistas visiting this Fashion Week (London Fashion Week starts on Friday), there’s a nice surprise in store. It’s very pink and very luxe. A few months later than planned, Officine Universelle Buly (aka Buly 1803) has opened at DSM, a vision in pink and blue tiles. If you’re a regular to Paris’s fashionable streets, you’ll know the brand. If not, it’s a niche beauty brand that sells quirky artisanal creations, from candles, to hand creams, to toothpaste to fantastic soaps (that you can have personally mongrammed). Everything comes in charming old-worlde illustrated packaging and is fantastically expensive.
Quick back story. The brand originated in 1803, floundered, and the name was revived more recently by power couple Victoire de Taillac-Touhami and Ramdane Touhami (the fellow responsible for the success of Cire Trudon candles). Travel is their thing and their globetrotting introduces them to ancient practices, rituals and producers. Everything is preservative and alcohol-free. And the name? It was originally ‘Bully’ but was tweaked to ‘Buly’ for obvious reasons and its full name is now Officine Universelle Buly.
While the Paris store sells all sorts of curious unguents, the Dover Street Market outpost is more curated. Unfortunately you won’t find the ‘eau triple‘ fragrances here (you’ll have to pop to Paris for those), but you will find the cult hand cream and toothpastes. I tasted the apple flavoured one and it’s so good! I’ve always wondered when someone would sex up toothpaste* and these guys have done it, just look at the tubes FGS!
The soaps come in the most sublime illustrated boxes and you can also buy scented matches. Reader, this is Gift Heaven. And for more quirkiness, there are handmade combs and brushes of every ilk to ogle in their glass cabinet at the counter. See what I mean about retail surprise? This is purely about want, not need. Do head to Dover Street Market to experience it in person. But if you can’t make it there, the good news is Officine Universelle Buly will also be arriving at Net-a-Porter and Mr Porter imminently.
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*Oh wait, toothpaste is trending at NYFW
WORDS AND IMAGES: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
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