Suzanne Wangman on Global Beauty

My work writing about the beauty industry has taken me all around the world visiting science labs, fragrance manufacturers, make-up designers, runway shows.

In the old days, when I was sent to Paris or New York to do a story, I’d spend all my spare time looking for the little salons and boutiques selling the beauty products I’d only ever seen in foreign magazines. I often asked marketing and business people in the industry ‘why we didn’t have these brands in Australia?’ and the answer was always the same: our population was just too small.

Then Mecca came along. I’ve been a fan since the first store opened in Melbourne. Not only did they bring in the indie brands so lacking here at the time, but they also created the chic environments of the specialist stores you find in the other capital cities of the world.

During September, Mecca Cosmetica is celebrating Global Beauty; all those beautiful niche brands you once had to travel for.

When I travel now, I still visit the boutiques I know and love. I want to share a few of them with you.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian

This is the front window of one of my favourite perfume stores in Paris. This sculpture, showing the city, is made from sheet metal. It’s incredibly intricate and beautiful. I always think of it when I smell Francis’ divine perfumes. Located right next to the Tuilleries, his store is in the old perfume area of Paris.

Try his latest, Aqua Vitae edt – the perfect summer splash.


A coffee and a cruise down Boulevard Saint Germain is the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon in Paris. I love visiting Diptyque. The candles, the perfumes, the room sprays. (Major disappointment last time I was there to discover they had discontinued my all-time favourite candle Oeillet. What were they thinking!!) But I’ll definitely be back.

Try the Baies Noire (berries) candle.


For total Nars immersion, this is the place to go. The guy who designs all of Francois’ packaging, Fabien Baron, designed the make-up studio and it is just so chic and modern.

Tell us what you think?