The Secret of MiN New York

Published August 25, 2011

Chad Murawczyk’s MiN New York combines a European apothecary’s communal approach to hygiene with an American speakeasy’s bon vivant atmosphere. Though cosmetics boutiques are typically Zen, this one greets customers with pop music, a dark wooden bar displaying boutique fragrances, and the proprietor, Murawczyk himself, waiting to explain the complex notes of each of his 21 perfume lines—as well as to offer samples from the 160-200 individual scents he carries. Cocktail glasses line the shelves behind the bar; one senses that Murawczyk, with his debonair, shoulder-length hair and leather jacket, might pour you a drink as he discusses the merits of upgrading your shaving ritual.

Pleasantries aside, Murawczyk carries several skincare lines and has even formulated his own called MiN New York. The 38-year-old Murawczyk co-founded the hair-care line American Crew before launching MiN New York in 2010 to favor what he calls “artisan brands,” whose owners are involved from the inception of an idea to the final product; examples include France’s Frapin, with ten employees, and Spain’s Alvarez Gomez, run by two brothers and their parents. This hands-on approach ensures true craftsmanship. Murawczyk thinks the niche grooming market (as opposed to the niche clothing or the niche makeup market) is underserved and poorly understood. In an effort to combat this, each time he encounters a potential product, he asks himself, “Does this product move me? Is there real reason to get behind this or is it a regurgitation of someone else’s thought?”

Murawczyk’s definition of skincare is expansive, including even a hair-loss-prevention system for men and women. MiN’s own skincare line has several stand-out products such as Solution 2, which uniquely combines alcohol and aspirin to prevent razor burn.

Chad forages all over the world—London, Paris, Milan, Rome, Madrid, Cuba, the Middle East, South Africa, and a few small unknown villages with reputations for multi-generational perfume mastery—to find boutique fragrances, skincare products, and antiques to fill his store.

MiN also offers a selection of concierge services for discerning, well-educated women and men, guiding them on everything from finding a signature scent to achieving a perfect shave. MiN also offers two annual “Ritual Classes” of approximately eight discovery sessions apiece. Each year’s series are different, to date including partnerships with the Aromatherapy Associates of England and elixirist Yusef Austin to explore novel uses of fragrances.

MiN’S SKINCARE PRODUCTS RANGE FROM $30—$290, FRAGRANCES $80-$350, AND RAZORS $30-$250. THEY CAN BE FOUND IN-STORE OR ONLINE AT MiNNEWYORK.COM.