Walking in the old city of Havana, I came across a shop that is pouring with people. I’ve passed this shop many times before but it was only now that I’ve decided to go in and check out the place. It was a specialist shop. A beautiful specialist shop that sells perfume made from tropical flowers.
The shop is glamorous. With its stained glass windows, glass covered cabinets, shiny mirrors, marble countertops, wooden tables, old looking cash register, pretty bottles filled with perfume and well thought through decorations, it was like going back to the golden old times when women dressed so elegantly with their pointed heels and artistic hats. On the countertops are small colourful clay jars and a stove is also on display where they keep the wax melted to use for sealing the jars once it is filled with perfume.
The shop has two rooms. The inner room shows a mini museum of what this place is all about. The outer room is buzzing with people, smelling strips of paper dipped in perfume, wanting a jar or two of the coveted fragrance. As a lover of perfumes, I have been to a number of perfume shops before but nothing as fascinating as this place. It was nostalgic. Not just the alluring smell surrounding the place but the energy of the shop keepers and those who came to buy. Some undecided and kept coming back to the thin strips of paper. While others, surely are regular costumers of this place, went straight to the counter to place their order.
I was one of those who went through the some two dozen strips of paper. But has been very decided at once. Asking for a small purple clay jar where the Habana 1791 is written across it, I have it filled up with a sweet smelling perfume. For twelve dollars a bottle, I found it not expensive at all and actually felt that I haven’t really spend anything as the experience I had was priceless.