As promised, my review of Merz Apothecary!
I found out about Merz when my dad bought me some Outremer perfumes from their online store, Smallflower. I reviewed Tosca, one of their many hard-to-find products, and Merz Apothecary left an awesome comment. When I went to Chicago I was thrilled to have the change to visit their shop downtown.
Merz Apothecary is a wonderland of unusual things from all different places. The first thing that caught my eye was a pineapple and ginger room spray. Everything was beautifully laid out and accessible. They have a rack of Demeter perfumes:
including the hard-to-find Chamomile Tea.
They have DS and Durga, L’Artisan Parfumeur, Diptyque, and a whole rack of Outremer:
Outremer makes beautiful, $22 perfumes with art-deco labels. It makes one-note wonders like Vanille, Oceane, and The Tea. I have The Tea and I love it. It’s more complex than you’d expect. It also makes scents based on beach resorts, combinations of scents (I love Lavande de Cassis) and a series of scents based on different decades. 1957 comes in a purple-labeled bottle with a car on it, and it smells like mureberry, which is earthy and tangy at the same time. 1962 comes in a yellow-labeled hazy dreams bottle with a Beatles-looking picture on it. Most of their scents are good, but I already have four so I didn’t buy any.
I also found this unusual French roll-on tropical perfume:
Merz Apothecary also carries plenty of top-of-the-line soaps. A lot of them are Swedish, like the egg-based and chamomile face soap Eiwit Zeep, and this God Jul Christmas soap:
that smells like cloves and yuletide, as promised.
Prominently featured are these adorable animal soaps, including See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil:
and so on. I didn’t purchase any of them because they are too cute to use and would just end up being a display.
Go towards the back of the store in the Loop and you’ll find a ton of shaving products, natural toothpaste, and other unusual things like this bar shampoo:
Best of all, the salespeople are friendly and they know what they’re talking about. Merz Apothecary was started in 1875 in the North End of Chicago (I didn’t get to their original store in Lincoln Park) by a Swiss-German pharmacist named Peter Merz. The Merz family eventually sold it to a young pharmacist named Abdul Qaiyum, whose son Anthony runs the stores now. Read more here.
I bought a bar of Swedish sunflower soap called Solros Tval, and this Burt’s Bees carrot night cream:
I want to beat the clock on caring for my skin!
Here I am outside Merz:
I highly recommend going to Merz if you visit Chicago. It’s one of the oldest cosmetic stores around and they still do a great job distinguishing themselves from the mass market.