Interior designer Michael Bargo on the singular perfume he buys in Paris

In the dizzying era of multi-step skincare routines and micro-drop makeup launches, The one is a space where minimalists can talk about the unique beauty product that has found a long-standing place in their carefully curated routines.

The Manhattan loft of Michael Bargo, the interior designer of choice for Mark Ronson and Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen of The Row, is unlike any other: a Polaroid Andy Warhol by Dennis Hopper hangs above a bulbous lamp and a Noguchi light sculpture; elsewhere, Dana Arbib’s one-of-a-kind glass vases rest on a 1930s cabinet from Françoise Lafon’s collection. Such curatorial impulses are not only evident in his rotating collection of rare accents, but, in fact, in every corner of his Financial District apartment and gallery by appointment, his wardrobe of Bode buttonholes and Prada to its vanity where striking cosmetics are neatly arranged on Josef Hoffmann and Hermès wicker trays.

“I buy products based on looks alone,” Bargo says, pointing to Dr. Barbara Sturm’s glass skin savers; Santa Maria Novella’s cyan-colored body oil, which he swears by after showering; and a palette of perfumes whose bottles are as captivating as their blends. Among the olfactory wealth on display – Lys Méditerranée by Frédéric Malle, Eau Triple Tuberose Mexicaine by Buly – perhaps his most expensive cologne is the one he discovered while strolling around Place Vendôme in Paris.

“I saw the tiny gold letters on the door and thought I was going to walk in and see some wild and fancy jewelry,” Bargo recalled of the moment he walked into JAR’s velvet-walled boutique. To his surprise, he was greeted instead by a handful of vials filled with perfume. (Although it wasn’t entirely irrelevant: perfumery founder Joel Arthur Rosenthal also happens to be one of the world’s most famous jewelers.) After careful consideration, Bargo settled on Storm, an inimitable musky scent, which he now achieves only two or three times a year. “There are times when you want to feel a little higher,” Bargo muses. “It’s really special, like wearing a black tie.”

Photo: Courtesy of Michael Bargo

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