EASTHAMPTON – Cottage Street recently welcomed a new fragrance boutique, Tsvga Parfvms, which staged its soft opening on February 20.
“It is an honor to be part of the cultural district. I love this town,” owner James Barry said.
Barry shared that things went well with his first client.
“I enjoy the experience of shopping in a privately owned luxury boutique and being able to give a customer my full attention,” Barry said.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Barry has indicated that he will be doing private shopping by appointment only. He said there will be random times between appointments when a sign will be on the door saying the store is open to the public without an appointment.
“I love the idea of having only one client or group at a time to give my full attention to, especially since I’m doing it all myself,” Barry said.
Barry said Reminder publication that Tsvuga (soo-guh) is Latin for the Hemlock tree. “Hemlocks grow profusely here and I go on hikes and collect the needles in a bag to turn into perfume, it’s one of my favorite smells.”
Barry had been making perfumes for a year but has been a collector of niche perfumes for a few years now.
He shared that perfume lovers take collecting as a hobby and most of them have hundreds of bottles. Barry said he had between 200 and 300 bottles in his collection.
“I started critiquing on YouTube, gained a small following, then thought that since other art forms came naturally to me, perfumery would too and I believe I was right. On the second day of perfuming, I was already doing things that I would wear,” Barry said.
He added that it felt like a child picking up a new instrument and learning to play it in minutes.
Barry said he makes niche, artisanal and natural scents that are different from the traditional smells you can find in the mall. His perfumes are always unisex because he does not believe in assigning a gender to perfume.
Barry’s perfume prices range in size, he said his costs range from $39 to $325.
“I use materials that can cost $100 a gram. It’s a completely different ball game from the fully synthetic fragrances that people are used to that cost a few dollars to create an entire bottle. I source ingredients from around the world and have made connections to find rare materials,” he said.
When he started making perfumes, each bottle had an artisanal touch. Barry said he would cut tree branches to create wooden plaques for the bottles, brand them with his logo directly from the fire, then hand-wrap each cut with suede.
“It was no longer feasible as the brand grew, so I moved on to creating a painting to make a sticker for each label. The canvases are then sold with a bottle for the special edition version. The editions specials ranged from $200 to $5,000,” Barry said.
Tsvga Parfvms offers personalized perfumes and gives customers the opportunity to create their own perfume by appointment.
Barry sells raw materials for people who want to experience natural fragrance at home, he sells oud chips to burn and oud oil to wear as perfume. He suggests that if people want to know more about oud and experience it, visit the store.
Besides perfumes and scents, Barry offers paintings and sculptures. He shared that when he can, he plans to do an open mic but no microphone for a more intimate setting.
Clients can book their private fragrance consultation, gallery tour and make their own fragrance appointments on www.tsvgaparfvms.com/booking.
Barry is also a full time therapist. In the coming months, the back room of his store will be transformed into a private practice.