Equal parts old-world library and upscale boutique, downtown Marathon's newest shop is a feast for the senses. Press Gurwitz Perfumerie, quite apropos, calls the Marathon's old apothecary shop at 6 East Main Street home. The storefront's bold mountain-themed window display instantly catches the eye. Inside, the showroom is an eclectic mix of vintage furniture, luxe bath and body products, antiques and tapestries. The unique space is meant to make everyone feel comfortable discovering their own signature fragrance. Gorgeous soaps, perfumes, candles and bath salts line the wall in sents ranging from floral and delicate to woody and smokey. We spoke with VP and Director of Operations Victor Rakovich regarding his newest endeavor, Press Gurwitz Perfumerie, ahead of their grand opening on April 15-16.
What inspired you to open Press Gurwitz Perfumerie?
David’s Apothecary store in Schitt’s Creek. We decided to launch the Press Gurwitz brand during the last season of the famous show in 2019. The opportunities during the pandemic were limited. The other alternative was to apply for unemployment. We decided to open a Perfumerie instead.
What inspired the name Press Gurwitz Perfumerie?
Pressgurwitz is a family name, like Schitt or Folker. Our ancestors were alchemists in Bohemia, making and selling perfumes and tinctures for secret societies. Back then, to survive and prosper, they operated in secret. Today, it is still a family business, thus, a family name to honor the tradition.
Why choose downtown Marathon for your shopfront?
I went to see a psychic on a full moon, and she predicted that I should look in the ads on February 5 for a newly listed property. She said I had to bathe in roses and sleep in white silk pajamas until then. On February 5, I saw the only new listing, and it was the building on Main St in Marathon. It was an old pharmacy store. It was perfect.
If your shop was a song, what would it be and why?
It will be a song everyone likes to listen to because the shop will be around for a long time. So how to make everyone like the song? We will have them write the words and sign them together.
I know you just opened, but are any exciting projects (or future projects) in the works?
We are exhibiting at the world’s biggest beauty industry conference: Cosmprof, in Bologan, Italy, on March 16-18. We are planning to open a Perfumerie in Amsterdam. We negotiate with retailers from around the world to carry our product lines. Very exciting stuff in the works!
What item do you have in your shop that is a staple in your home?
All shampoos & shower gels. I like to keep it simple.
What is your favorite locally made item (perhaps one you sell)?
That’s a hard one. Many worthy items out there! The last batches of bath salts and aroma diffusers have special powers to do magic at home.
What is Cortland County’s best-kept secret?
Our VIP customer loyalty program will allow our customers to get their favorite perfumes at unbelievable discounts!
Describe Cortland County in three words.
Freedom and Soul.
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