Inquiring Minds

Kindred scents in Paris.

Scent is a finicky thing. Nicolas Cloutier, a Quebec City transplant now living in Paris, knows that personal fragrance is not something to be sniffed at. With a marketing degree from HEC Montréal in his pocket and his heart on his sleeve, the 37-year-old entrepreneur opened Nose, a one-of-a-kind perfume concept store.

Emerald Isle opulence.

No more than a discreet brass plaque and a buzzer at the wrought-iron gate indicates the entrance to Ballyfin, an Irish country house hotel, secreted away from the world by tall stone walls.

Collect and gather.

In the landmarked Brewster Carriage House, a 19th-century coach makers’ building in Manhattan, the hush of exclusivity surrounds tabletop and art objects, furniture, textiles, carpets, and lighting culled from workshops the world over, some with pedigrees reaching back to the 17th century.

Retail therapy.

“People tend to think of Los Angeles style as either red carpet or Uggs and sweatpants,” says Brooke Taylor Corcia, founder of the Dreslyn. “But there’s a fantastic, creative scene out here, and it wasn’t being represented in the online marketplace.”

Keys to the kingdom.

The sound emanating from within C. Bechstein’s piano factory in the sleepy German town of Seifhennersdorf, Saxony, is a cacophony of keys being tested, the guttural sawing of wood, and, at one workbench, a radio softly playing American pop music.

The ozone layer shows signs of recovery.

And now for some good news: the ozone layer might actually be repairing itself.

On view at the Musée d'Orsay.

Originally fragmented into city-states that began coming together in 1861, Italy is a surprisingly young nation.

Green tea mecca.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: For the Japanese, the drinking of green tea, in the proper way, is a Zen experience. Fukujuen Kyoto Flagship Store, a six-storey emporium in Kyoto, Japan, is dedicated to green tea in its many forms.