Once in a while every avid shopper will come across a store that's absolutely unique. I love it when that happens. It counterbalances the ridiculous amounts of H&Ms in our shopping streets. (I lost count in Brussels - I think it's about 5 in the Nieuwstraat/Rue Neuve alone?) Too bad that these shops are usually a tad more expensive than our Swedish friends - and in this case, a LOT more expensive. However, there's good news: everything in Beau is on sale. I had passed by the exquisite looking shop in the Dansaertstraat quite a few times, never daring to enter. It looked superexclusive, for instance, you had to ring a bell to get in. I'd never ever went into a store where you needed to ring a bill. They're usually out of my price range anyway. I made an exception for Beau, though, because something sparkly had caught my eye in the window display: Byredo perfumes. On sale! I had been craving Blanche for a while, so I asked my very stylish friend Sarah to come along and off we went.
The first thing that struck me was the feeling of exploration. Moving from one wonderful object to the next felt like wandering through a very chique flea market. I must have smelled all of the perfumes (a nice selection of Byredo and Frederic Malle), fingered all of the jewelry and cast a lot of longing looks in the general direction of the hats (a few pieces of Stephen Jones and Philip Treacy if I remember correctly). In the end I bought Blanche. The packaging is just as nice as the smell itself:
I'd like to go back and buy La Tulipe (the perfumes are even cheaper now, 30% off), but sadly a certain someone will have an absolute fit if I come home with yet another perfume. We'll see. Anyway, it looks like Thierry Struvay, the owner of Beau, is down to his last items. The sad thing is, everything's on sale because Beau is closing. Such a pity. But if you've always wanted to own something by Alexis Mabille, this is your chance. So go check it out, before this gem is out of business. And when you're at the counter, take a peek at the unbelievable bookcase in the space behind it. I've never seen such a highly covetable collection of art and fashion books. Considering these, it's no wonder that the owner was able to conceive such a wonderful, visionary store. So go and enjoy it while you still can!
Edit: Sadly, Beau closed its doors a short while after this was written.