Update 9/5/2011: The IUNX line was reintroduced to the market in 2008, and the fragrances are currently available at the store next to the entrance of Hotel Costes in Paris.
Olivia Giacobetti’s boutique on Rue del’Universite, right in the heart of St. Germain, is not to be missed due to its pleasant atmosphere and unique decor combining Zen-like simplicity and futuristic touches. Called Iunx (pronounced ‘Yoonks’), this amazing perfume gallery, created in 2003, is sponsored by Shiseido, with the interior designed by Francis Giacobetti, Olivia’s photographer and film director father.
The essence of Olivia Giacobetti’s Iunx range is revealed in her own words when she says that “In ancient Greek, Iunx refers to the fascination and seduction of aromas. …. Fragrance moves towards a unique way of combining simplicity, innovation and technology.” Ten androgynous fragrances in the Iunx range (please see my reviews) are light eau de toilettes, more similar to eau de colognes. They are designed to be light splashes, linear and simple. Like most Olivia Giacobetti’s creations, they showcase her ability to render a certain essence, a radiant simplicity.
The dark interior of the boutique is dominated by a lily pond, surrounded by unusual installations that allow to sample fragrances in a highly interactive way. Tester cones through which the scents of lotions, creams and shampoos can be inhaled, candle sample sticks permeated with luscious scents are some examples of the ways Iunx discovery takes place.
Right behind the lily pond, one finds a glass installation holding large fragrance flacons, illuminated only by opalescent light. Fragrances are tested by a button being pressed under each number, releasing a just scented paper strip. When one is ready to sample fragrances on the skin, helpful sales associates dressed in slim black ensembles lightly touch cabintes with concealed doors, revealing rows of tester sprays.
It is definitely one of the most pleasant fragrance shopping experiences I have had—leisurely, quiet, a respite from the world outside the boutique’s walls. I cannot recommend a trip there highly enough.
The stars of the range, in my opinion, are the room and body products which are of high quality and come in a wide range of tantalizing and unusual fragrances from exotic flowers, luscious fruit to smoky woods. Shower gels have scents such as courgette (zucchini) flower, melonseed, linseed and wild rice. Moreover, Longan and Rum and Date Honey shampoos are luscious and leave hair subtly scented and soft. The candle collection is definitely worth exploring, with scents like White Lily (Lys Blanc), White Yucca (Yucca Blanc), Galangal, Papyrus, Saffron (Saffran), Red Sandalwood (Stanl Rouge), and Sugar Cane (Canne A Sucre), to name my favorites. Every candle I have had was enchanting, releasing potent and long lasting fragrance lavishly into the air. Furthermore, Iunx Ozmotek system designed to scent a room is likewise great. I especially liked Vapeur Rose and Vapeur de Sucre, a scent of delicate red roses heated by the sun and a mouthwatering flowery caramel, respectively.
Finally, the sensory experience is complemented by Iunx macaroons, with flavors like Ambre Blanc, white amber (vanilla, white sandalwood, rose petals and mandarin), Havana (white tobacco, rum, honey, spices, saffron, and vanilla), and my favorite Madras (rose, saffron, mango pulp, green almond, cardamom, sandalwood and black cumin).