I've been eagerly awaiting the stateside arrival of & Other Stories, the Stockholm headquartered new retail brand under H&M Group, which recently opened its doors in New York's Soho neighborhood (575 Broadway). And guess what? The Stories E-shop also just started shipping internationally.
Helmed by the Swedish fashion juggernaut, Stories is a slightly higher-priced line, thoughtfully designed and crafted with finer materials (I love their shoes) and ingredients.
What's In Store: Luxury-esque Skin Care & Fragrance At Non-Luxury Prices
While I would barely glance at H&M cosmetics--sadly jumbled on the racks in their little individually wrapped cellophane pouches--the sophisticated beauty selections at Stories are packaged simply and beautifully.
I popped into the new Soho shop on its grand opening weekend to take a peek for myself. The shelves are stacked with a collection of bath products in eight different scents: you’ve got your body lotion, body wash, body scrub, hand soap, and hand lotion, all ranging from $8 to $15. Candles (6.7 ounces each) are $25 and come poured in ceramic jars; fragrance mists are $20; and a newly launched, in-store exclusive line of four eau de toilettes are $40 each. The shop also sells a range of nail colors that rival Color Club and other brands that specialize in off-kilter shades, but unfortunately those, like the EDTs, are only available in-store.
It’s not as cheap as H&M, but the prices are comparable to, say, Bath & Body Works. The scents are way nicer, though, and much worthier of a YouTube rant.
About Those Fragrances...
The most exciting thing about the Stories U.S. beauty launch, for me, would have to be the new fragrances. Housed in bottles reminiscent of an ink jar, with a simple black ribbon around the neck, scents include: Moroccan Tea, Punk Bouquet, Botanic Whisper, and Fig Fiction.
For the most part they all smell like they sound, save for Punk Bouquet, which is a heady, earthy floral with notes of almond, tangerine, tiger orchid, lotus flower, vanilla, and tree moss. It’s a bit of a rebellious floral scent--youthful, but not totally sweet, and a bit musky, like a teenager sneaking dabs of mom’s perfume and then spritzing body splash overtop for disguise.
Moroccan Tea and Fig Fiction are tied for my favorite. With a clean, citrusy scent, underscored by Cedarwood and Sandalwood, Moroccan Tea definitely reminds me of Calyx. It’s basically one of my favorite beverages reinterpreted as a fragrance, but it doesn’t make me smell like I spilled Moroccan iced tea all over myself.
Fig Fiction is a sophisticated fruity scent. Sweet at first, it settles nicely into a crisp, woody scent. I’m not a fruity perfume type of girl, but this is a grown-up version that wears like a novelty.
Up next for New York's & Other Stories U.S. flagship is a full range of makeup...no launch date as of yet, but it can't come soon enough for me. I’ve heard some good things about the makeup on European websites, so I’ll be eager to get my hands on some pieces in the future.
- Amongst other apparel brands with a makeup aisle, which are your favorites? (Top Shop is tops for me.)
- Any NYC locals already scope the Soho & Other Stories outpost out?