Originally published on http://www.cafleurebon.com
19 November, 2016
Brand New Niche Perfumery In Seattle, WA
When fellow perfumista Jakub Piotrovicz of the Persefume blog and Mendittorosa Perfumes told me about a new perfumery in North Seattle, my ears perked right up! Hey it’s practically in my backyard. We are blessed to have some wonderful niche perfume shops here like Nasreen and Essenza as well as the larger stores like Barney’s, Nordstrom’s, Sephora, and Ulta, but there’s always room for more if it means more choices locally.
House Of Vartan opened last May and it is a gem of a boutique. The space is small but mighty, and owner Brendan Vartan is no stranger to the world of beauty, cosmetics and fragrances. Brendan has been in the industry for almost 20 years, first in Oregon, and recently in Seattle as Business Director for Giorgio Armani and Shiseido for the Northwest region. His passion, however, has always been working directly with clients and he has envisioned a place created for their needs. Having his own retail space has been a dream for him that has been realized.
Located just a block south of Seattle’s Northgate Mall in the Thornton Place complex, House of Vartan specializes in niche cosmetics and fragrances. There’s also a spa/treatment space for all sorts of fabulous rituals!
I recently had an opportunity to sit down with Brendan and chat…..
So Brendan, how nice to see you again! Thanks for taking the time to sit down and talk with me. We’ll just jump right in. Can you tell me how you came to the beauty/fragrance industry?
“I was a lover of art who always drew and colored since a very young age, I suppose I started doing makeup on two-dimensional paper faces. However, my professional career in beauty actually began by accident after college. I worked in the entertainment industry in Asia and got to see the behind-the-scenes transformative powers of makeup. I made friends with a few of the celebrities there and asked if I could practice makeup on them. To my surprise, they liked my work so much they requested me for work which led to makeup for events, runways, photo and video shoots.
This experience allowed me to cross paths with people I never thought I would meet and by good fortune, I got connected with the late, great celebrity makeup artist, Paul Starr. He saw something in me and mentored my skills to another level. Just as important to me, in an industry with inflated egos and attitudes among many artists, he modeled humility and kindness.”
What was the impetus for opening House Of Vartan?
“While I explored makeup, I also struggled with chronic acne and psoriasis. I began to educate myself on ingredients, science, and different techniques when harsh prescriptions made things worse and the must-have items at the counters were not working. As I applied makeup on clients, I also realized how many people were not getting the right help they needed for their skin concerns and just resorted to cover up. I decided to make my private passion in skincare and research a part of my profession.
I saw that there was a real need for a retail beauty experience that is not only focused on product integrity but staff who are licensed professionals trained in the science of hair and skin treatments. I strongly believe that the right education and knowledge can take you a long way to the results you want. The idea for House of Vartan was born.
What motivates me each day is the ability to change lives through beauty as I strive to make a difference with each person I meet. Beauty can be fun, but it also has that power. Sometimes, a better day follows that simple swipe of confidence boosting lipstick or just being wrapped by a beautiful fragrance that touches your soul. My pledge to my clients is this…..
1.) To provide expert knowledge & truthful recommendations.
2) To stay constantly updated and provide some of the world’s most innovative products for your best results.
3.) To provide integrity in service putting you at the heart of all we do.”
“To me, fragrance is the finishing touch to beauty…and actually more personal than skin care or your lipstick color. The fragrance you choose says a lot about you, your mood and how you want to present yourself to the world. Because each scent interacts with each person differently, like a fingerprint, no two people wear a scent exactly the same. This was important in choosing our fragrance lineup.
For the initial lineup I wanted each range to have distinctly different personalities from each other. I focused on Niche fragrances because I personally felt there was more art and soul to their creations and characters. It was definitely a risk to focus on niche perfumes, but ultimately I decided that would be our direction for fragrances. This is not to say that I turn my nose away from more commercial perfumes, but when I discovered niche scents for the first time, I was captivated by the complexity and uniqueness from many mass norms.
What I also appreciate about Niche fragrances is that fragrances aren’t necessarily created to please the masses. It’s emotionally driven and with that, people may have strong likes or dislikes to certain scents, but it’s rarely neutral and out of all the clients, my fragrance clients are the most passionate about what they get and how they feel about products! I love that! Contd……..
It’s been such a joy to meet the fragrance community in Seattle and those I’ve met online. In fact, because I have created a store for my clients’ needs, their feedback is very important in our family of lines moving forward.”
Brendan, thank you so much for this time with me. The store is beautiful!
“Thank you Robert, it’s been fun. Now….would you like to test the new Jul Et Mad?”
Brendan is a hell of a nice guy. If you’re in Seattle do yourself a favor and check out the store. Tell him Robert sent you!
House Of Vartan, 325 N.E. Thornton Place,
Seattle WA 98125 (206) 588-2041
You can also find House Of Vartan on social media on Facebook and Instagram.
Open every day.