Perfume Shopping Around The World – The Poland Edition

Editor’s Note: Let us welcome Lukas today, who will introduce himself below.

By Lukas:

Hello to all who travel through the perfume world along with Olfactoria!

Nice to see so many perfume enthusiasts in one place. Let me introduce myself: I’m Lucas of Chemist in the Bottle, a blog about perfume and chemistry. Thanks to our beloved Olfactoria, I’m here today as a guest writer, which is very exciting. Bows to Olfactoria for having me, you’re an amazing host. Now on to the main topic!

I became interested in perfume in 2006. I was a junior high school student living in a small town without any fancy shopping centers or movie theaters. Every now and then I jumped on a train to take an hour-long journey to Poznań, the biggest city in my region. I used to go there with my friend to see a movie, do some shopping and have lunch. As part of those little adventures we also visited Sephora. That was my first experience with perfume that sparked a passionate flame in my heart.

In 2009, I bought my first bottle of perfume. It was a gift to myself to celebrate passing my final exams in high school. That same year I was accepted at the cosmetics chemistry faculty of Adam Mickiewicz University and moved to Poznań. For many years I’ve been reading perfume blogs talking about perfume brands I’ve never heard of, thinking that bottles offered at Sephora or Douglas (a high-end perfumery store chain) were my only choice. Luckily I was wrong.

In April 2012, I accidentally discovered that there is a perfume boutique in Poznań’s Old Town district. I was going to meet a friend and decided to take a different route than usual. I passed by a window displaying perfume bottles. I recognized one of them as it looked exactly like one of those I saw on a blog. To my excitement, I realized, I discovered a niche perfume store. I returned there few days later to explore what’s inside.

The boutique I found was a small and cosy place named Quality Missala. Later I found that Quality Missala is the biggest niche perfumery in Poland and that they have few more boutiques throughout the country. At the beginning I was overwhelmed by the amount of niche brands in one place, but I quickly learned how to move in this new environment.

Excited by all those brands, I purchased my first niche perfume, Annick Goutal Nuit Etoilée, in May of this year.

Quality Missala is a family business owned by the Missala family. Through email conversations, I befriended them and we have a  good relationship now.

They offer amazing variety, a few examples are AmouageAnnick Goutal, By Kilian, Montale and Xerjoff. For the last few months they’ve been doing an extremely good job of bringing the newest releases to Poland. Olivier Durbano Heliotrope or Frapin Speakeasy were brought from Fragranze Pitti 10 in Florence, to name just a few.

Once you enter their boutique, the first thing you’ll notice is the smell of perfume floating in the air but shortly after you should take note of the interior design. Wooden tables, burgundy velvet chairs, dimmed lights. The boutique has an amazing atmosphere. Once you enter it’s not easy to turn around and leave again. The place is so inviting that you want to stay a while longer. And you’re welcome to stay in as long as you want.

What’s more, you can make an appointment for a personal fragrance consultation. You’ll be offered a comfortable seat, coffee (or tea) so that you’ll be comfortable and relaxed to find an ideal fragrance for yourself.

Personal Consultations Corner

Members of the Missala family are not only great perfume lovers, but they’re also creators. In 2011 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Quality Missala perfumeries, the family created their own perfume, Qessence, in collaboration with perfumer Jean-Claude Astier. The result of this teamwork is a magnificent woody oriental perfume containing numerous natural essences. The idea of the scent was to create something that would evoke the values that guided the Missala family through life.

In my opinion discovery is one of the best aspects of this hobby, but we all know there are many brands that don’t offer samples. Quality Missala niche perfumery has a great sampling program. You can try every single scent they have in stock and you get a 1,2ml glass spray vial with a nice label for 1,5€ – 4€. I order from them every few months to discover the latest scents or older perfumes I didn’t try yet. Oh, and the prices for some brands are really good in comparison to other retailers.

Education is an important factor for perfume lovers. We want to develop our abilities of smelling and recognizing perfume ingredients. Here at Quality Missala they know about that. Every few months they organize perfume workshops in their flagship boutique in Warsaw. Those workshops cater to perfume lovers, who want to learn more. Each meeting has a theme, for example there was a meeting in September on the topic of amber. Participants could learn about natural amber, its price, they could also see the raw ingredients and experience various perfumes with amber notes. Lessons like these are really valuable.

If you ask me about perfume shopping in Poland, I would actually have a problem giving you a short answer. Quality Missala keeps the niche standard high with their hard work that allows Polish perfume lovers to be up to date.

On the other hand many mainstream and designer releases never even appear in Poland. There’s also one more thing that bothers me – fragrances from fashion designer luxury lines are not available here. It might be hard to believe, but Les Exclusifs de Chanel, Hermessences or Dior La Collection Privée fragrances are impossible to get in Poland. Are we worse customers? Maybe…

To sum up, perfume shopping in Poland can be fun and educational at the same time, if you know what you’re looking for and where to go. Sales assistants are generally friendly and willing to help which is a plus, especially when you’re a beginner who doesn’t know where to start. Assistants (especially at Quality Missala) know their stuff and will suggest something to start with. It’s good, but there’s still plenty to do to make Poland an even more Perfumista-friendly country.

I’m sure that day will come, it’s somewhere in the future.

All photos by Quality Missala, all rights reserved.
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43 Responses to Perfume Shopping Around The World – The Poland Edition

  1. Nice one Lucas. Congratulations on your first OT Guest Post,
    Portia xx

  2. Undina says:

    Welcome here, Lucas.

    Is there a chance you know the address for that shop? I tried looking online but their website doesn’t list stores locations.

  3. Ines says:

    What a lovely place! :) If I’m ever in Warsaw, I’m definitely going there just to enjoy the atmosphere a bit. :)
    Thanks Lukas for sharing this with us!

  4. flittersniffer says:

    What a treasure trove! The chairs were also a highlight. Great write up, and another key addition to our Perfume Shopping guide…

  5. fqjcior says:

    Nice job, Lucas! Congratulations on your guest post on the fabulous Olfactoria’s blog.
    If I can add something from my side (as I live in Poland as well), we have here at least three other niche perfumeries, although much smaller than Quality, they offer diiferent niche brands. Of course Quality Missala is the biggest and the oldest one with a few of the widest and very fast grownig offer, which is absolutely great. They are very customer friendly and far ahead from others in terms of attitude and business philosophy. Aside from selling fragrances they promoting knowledge about perfumes, ingredients and perfumery art in general which is unique in Poland.
    Talking about availability of exclusive fragrance lines from Chanel, Dior or Hermes it is crucial to know, that in Poland there aren’t boutiques of any of these brands yet. Let’s hope it will change in the future.

    Take care, Lucas!
    All the best to you, Olfactoria!

    • lucasai says:

      Thanks! Oh, sure I know we also have Lulua and Galilu, but only Missala has boutiques spread over the country. I love their attitude towards customers, their level of knowledge and passion for perfume, seen in organizing those workshops.
      I hope one day we’ll have our luxury Diors, Chanels etc here in Poland. For the moment we need to cope and get them by other means

      • behemot says:

        Lukas,
        I don’t know much about Lulua, but GaliLu has three locations in Poland, two in Warsaw and one in Krakow. Their stores look different than Missala’s, and more like ScentBar in Los Angeles.
        Galilu has a nice selection of niche frags (over 50 brands I believe) and very knowledgeable staff. They have a website http://www.galilu.pl, and it is worth checking out.

        I am Polish, but live in the States. Each time I visit Poland, I spend some time at their store. There is always something new for me to smell.

        Missala boutiques are wonderful, but I simply think it would be nice to say a few words about GaliLu when writing a post about perfume shopping in Poland.

        • lucasai says:

          Sorry if you feel offended by the fact I didn’t mention Galilu or Lulua. I know Galilu has two other boutiques apart from Krakow.
          The fact is that my post is my personal point of view, the way I can shop. I have no local access to other niche perfumeries in Poland but Missala that’s why I described only this one.

  6. Ellia says:

    Great story, Lukas, and very beautiful place. If I’m ever in Poland Poznań’s Old Town district is the first place to explore and enjoy :) Thank you!

    • lucasai says:

      Ellia, when you do you can let me know earlier. I study in Poznań so we could meet to have some sniffing. Still I suggest visiting their headquarter boutique in Warsaw, which has a full variety. Poznań boutique is small and they don’t have everything in stock

  7. Tara says:

    Welcome Lukas! I loved your write-up. Quality Missala sounds like a really welcoming and well stocked niche perfumerie and I love that they organise workshops too.

    I also whole heartedly agree that discovery is one of the best parts of our hobby and I hope you get the exclusive lines from Chanel, Dior and Hermes soon.

    • lucasai says:

      Hi Tara! I’m flattered you liked it. It really is a lovely place, great perfumery. I didn’t take part in those workshops yet but will do in future.

      Thanks to a London friend I got samples of all scents from Chanel exclusive line. Others are still waiting for me to discover them

  8. poodle says:

    Congrats on your guest post! Wow, would I love to have a store like that near me… It looks like they have a great variety even without the fashion designer scents.

    • lucasai says:

      Thanks Poodle! The place looks stunning huh? I wish their main boutique (the one from photos) was the one in Poznań. Here in Poznań we have much smaller and less decorative place. Got to visit their main place when I’m in Warsaw

  9. Esperanza says:

    Loved your article, Lucas ! Congrats. You are very lucky to have such a wonderful shop nearby with such an amazing collection. It is very important sales assistants know what they offer and sell as well. I agree education is an important part for perfumistas, not many perfume shops understand this in Amsterdam if any. Except one that is, my favorite one. Quality Missala is really impressive. And you are right one of the best parts in this journey is the discovery of scents !

    • lucasai says:

      Thank you sweetheart! Well, the shop from photos in not the one from Poznań where I study. In Poznań we have a tiny boutique and they don’t have everything on their counters but you can always walk in and make an order which will be available to pick from the boutique within few day

  10. hajusuuri says:

    Nice article, Lucas! How nice to discover something so unexpectedly wonderful and certainly a place where you can keep going back to again and again!

  11. Suzanne says:

    I really enjoyed hearing how you got into perfumes and found this exquisite boutique, Lukas. You did a superb job of describing both the store and the Missala family’s very impressive way of doing business; that they actually hold workshops introducing people to perfume aroma materials … wow, good for them! And lucky you, to be able to attend!

    • lucasai says:

      I didn’t participate in the workshops yet as they’re organized in Warsaw (which is quite far from my hometown, and unfortunately they were being organized in the middle of a working week). I was told by Mrs Missala that they’ll start holding them over weekend so that I’ll be able to travel to Warsaw and take part too.

  12. ringthing says:

    Thank you for the vicarious shopping trip and especially for the beautiful photos. There’s nothing remotely like that gorgeous boutique anywhere near me so a virtual tour is welcome!

  13. Sandra says:

    Welcome Lukas! Thank you for the lovely descriptions of the store. Looks very inviting.

  14. Dionne says:

    Great job, Lucas! The pictures of Missala look amazing, what a wonderful place to shop.

  15. Philipp says:

    Great first post Lucas… thank you for sharing your story with us. The store you presented to us truly looks wonderful!

  16. Lady Jane Grey says:

    The world is so small, after all… I’ve been visiting Poland for work quite often the recent few years – of all destinations Wroclaw is my favorite, with its old town, Christmas market, student pubs (and I love those dwarf sculptures scattered in the city). I always stay at the Sofitel in the very centre of Wroclaw – and you know what ? There is a Missala boutique in that very hotel. I’ll be back in Wroclaw and Sofitel in 10 days again…

  17. Great guest post! And thank you for introducing us to new place!

  18. laniersmith says:

    Lukas! What a wonderful post! I know you are missing some of the big designers in Poland but what a treasure you have found in Quality Missala! It looks wonderful and so inviting. And the staff sound great! Great post my friend!

  19. Kiliwia says:

    Thank you Lucas for your fascinating guest post. Quality Missala is a very beautiful store and they have such a large selection. If I ever have the chance to come to Poland, it will definitely be on my list of places to visit.

  20. Thank you for providing us with an insight into Polish perfume shopping! Quality Missala looks beautiful.

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