Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Discovering Our Own Hidden Treasures


Aroma Sanctum ~~ Sometimes it takes a little extra nudge for us to find what exists right in our own "backyard" and that is exactly what happened to me this past week.

I decided to profile the lovely businesses that advertise in our "in-room" guest directory here on my blog, and in doing so I realized that some of them were places I had never even been to myself.

One such place is just lovely -- Aroma Sanctum -- which is a perfume shop located on Central Street just around the corner from Essex Street.  I probably have walked by it over 100 times, and just never thought to go in.  Now that I have "discovered" it though, I plan to make up for lost time.

Aroma Sanctum is not just any perfume shop.  As owner Akuura Kulak explained to me, it is about allergy-free, 100% natural fragrances which are the "real deal" -- nothing about anything in this little jewelbox of a store is artificial, nothing is made up of chemicals, and all of it is pure.  While her essential oils which she uses to make her fragrances come from all over the world, the lotions and related come from  California.   Some essences are imported from as far away as Bulgaria, such as "absolute rose" which is one of the most expensive fragrances in her shop.

Speaking of price, her pre-mixed fragrances run between $20 and $40, and custom products between $45 and $200 depending on the cost of the items making up the fragrance.  Akuura keeps a record on file for you of your custom fragrance so whenever you need more, she can instantly recreate it for you.

 Fine perfume bottles are for sale in her shop as well -- both new and antiques, so if you are looking for a gift but don't know what kind of fragrance the recipient might like, a beautiful bottle might be just the ticket.
Some of the fragrances available at Aroma Sanctum

Owner of Aroma Sanctum, Akuura Kulak, working with a client who is a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, to blend a custom fragrance just for him.

Akuura explained to me that while she does have a number of ready-to-use blended fragrances (as you can see from the photos above) many of her clients enjoy the process of having a custom-blended fragrance made just for them.  She is very skilled at doing just that, and you can clearly see that she enjoys the process as well.  In the course of our conversation I learned that she can even resurrect and reconstruct a discontinued fragrance for her clients if she can have access to that last little bit that you have.  She has even recreated samples from little slivers of soap that clients have brought to her.

This kind of customization s what sets her shop apart from many other places one can obtain fragrance.

Aroma Sanctum was started 16 years ago inside a no-longer-extant book store here in Salem.  It was located for a period in the old Daniel Lowe building, but has been at its current location at 5 Central Street for about 11 years.

When I asked, Akurra told me that her clientele is made up of around 50% "locals" and 50% visitors from out of town.  Now that I know about her store, I'm sure I'll be one of those "locals."

For more information you might want to visit her website:  Website for Aroma Sanctum

I hope to see you here, or there.


1 comment:

  1. Miss Deidre7:35 AM

    I have to agree 100%. I've been a customer of Aroma Sanctum for almost 10 years and it's literally the only shoppe I'll buy my lotions and bath products from. If you've the opportunity, pick up a custom fragrance in her olive oil/shea butter body lotion ... it's utterly luxurious on the skin!