Reading: A Flower Blossoms in Charlotte

The Find

A Flower Blossoms in Charlotte

The hottest little boutique in the South launches an exceptional fragrance

By Katie Weisman

4-piece Capitol A Flower set
A Flower Capitol, Charlotte, NC

Capitol, the luxury fashion store in Charlotte, NC, is one of the most important fashion boutiques you’ve never heard of. Top designers are honored to be chosen for its racks, and discerning clients, often more daring fashion-wise than their Northern counterparts, flock to Capitol for their wardrobes. To help fête its 20th anniversary this year, Capitol’s founder Laura Vinroot-Poole just launched the limited-edition perfume A Flower with renowned British nose Lyn Harris of Perfumer H.

“People have their impressions of what the South is about. But the South is far more layered than people assume, and our clients aren’t simple, sweet Southern belles,” wrote Vinroot-Poole in an email during a flight to Paris for fashion week. “It was exciting to verbalize who we are to Lyn and then watch the fragrance manifest into something so beautiful and nuanced that truly feels, and smells, like Capitol.”

A Flower is composed of Sicilian lemon, Italian bergamot, black currant bud, green leaf, rose, violet leaf, orange flower, jasmine, iris, ylang-ylang, black pepper, myrrh, tobacco, vanilla bourbon, and white musk, among other notes. The blend recalls botanical scents that emerge on a hot summer day.

“The notes of tobacco and white musk particularly resonated with me because they perfectly encapsulate the feeling of a summer in the South — from the smells in the air (tobacco) to the humidity (musk),” Vinroot-Poole noted.

Laura Vinroot-Poole, the founder of Capitol, Charlotte, N.C.

Forty handblown sapphire-blue glass bottles containing A Flower went on sale for $695 at Capitol on September 1, as a set with a travel-size factory bottle, two pocketbook-size atomizers in a wool case, a miniature funnel, and a pipette dropper.

The exclusive limited quantity was chosen to honor customers who have supported the store for the past 20 years, Vinroot-Poole explained. Two decades ago when Vinroot-Poole and her architect husband Perry Poole moved back to her hometown, there was no place to shop in Charlotte, yet there was demand for fine fashion. Vinroot-Poole’s mother and her mother’s friends would make two trips a year to New York or Atlanta to do their seasonal shopping. At the same time, Vinroot-Poole thought with entities such as NASCAR and Bank of America headquartered in The Queen City, there was a big enough population to sustain a fashion store, and Capitol was born. Capitol nearly went out of business due to the 2008 financial crisis (of which Bank of America was a major culprit); scores of Vinroot-Poole’s clients were impacted. She was forced to lay off staff, but the store survived, thanks also to generous payback terms from loyal vendors. Vinroot-Poole responded to the downturn by making Capitol the full-service store it is today, where store stylists travel with clients to dress them for occasions or arrange their local closets by complete outfit (accessories included) and/or upcoming activity, among other services.

Charlotte not in your plans? No problem. You can shop on Capitol’s website or on houseacct.com, an app that Vinroot-Poole launched during the recession featuring fashion from Capitol and over 450 other boutiques.

A Flower available online and Capitol will ship anything anywhere. Just call them at 704-366-0388 or visit their website and order here. You’d better hurry though – there are only about 30 bottles left.

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