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TOURIST TRAPPINGS: Berlin’s heady summers and nonconformist style can’t really be bottled, but still, there are some liquid treats to bring home for a bit of the city’s spirit — inside and out.
Absolut Vodka has chosen Berlin for its first German city edition. Multimedia artist Zhivago Duncan gave the familiar bottle a street art spin, with a graphic of Berlin’s famous Alexanderplatz TV tower tagged with graffiti reading “Es ist nicht einfach immer ein Rebell zu sein” (“It’s not easy to always be a rebel”) paired with drippy pastel paint stripes. The limited-edition 0.7-liter Absolut Berlin is priced around 20 euros ($27) and can be found in liquor shops and grocery stores. Visitors take note: it’s not available at duty-free shops or travel retail.
For a waft of the past, try Frau Tonis. The local vintage-influenced perfumery Frau has a triptych of scents that evoke the Roaring Twenties in Berlin. There’s Linde Berlin 10 reveres the Linden, or Lime Trees That Perfume the City’s Boulevards; Violets 37, the fragrance worn by Twenties film legend Marlene Dietrich, and Bogota Berlin 18, which is inspired by the quirky and recently closed Hotel Bogata, which played host and muse to artists from Benny Goodman to Helmut Newton to Mario Testino. The boxed set of three 15-ml. perfumes is priced at 69 euros, or $94.
Like many great Berliners, Frank Leder hails from somewhere else. The Nuremberg-born fashion designer has made Berlin his home for the past decade, after studying at London’s Central Saint Martins. Leder’s artistic focus is “German-ness” and the country’s rites and rituals, but his cult-status designs are loved in Japan, and mostly sold there.
Luckily for locals, Leder has branched into making artisanal grooming products. His Tradition line comes in apothecary bottles finished with Bakelite caps, linen string, and paper tags. The Deutsche Eiche (German Oak) Bath Oil has a leaf and acorns preserved inside, while the layered potion inside the Ober Tertia Regenerating Bath evokes school chemistry experiments. The contents are produced in Austria by the makers of the Susanne Kaufmann line, priced from 18 to 45 euros ($24 to 61), and found at MDC Cosmetics and Gestalten Bikini Berlin.
13 Zimmerstrasse, 10969 (Mitte)
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
26 Knaackstrasse, 10405 (Prenzlauer Berg)
Hours: Monday to Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Thursday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
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