In the last decade, MADISON absolute beauty has become one of Europe’s leading niche perfumeries. Showcasing hundreds of the most exquisite, thoughtfully curated products in fragrance and beauty, the company has become synonymous with quality and luxury, much like the Manhattan avenue after which it was named. But with shops in the capital cities of Romania, Hungary and Iceland, as well as a store online, MADISON’s clients need not even leave the Continent.
So why would MADISON get mixed up with one of the most universally craved-for commodities: coffee? Well, much like a favorite scent, it is a matter of personal taste – very good taste.
MADISON absolute beauty founders Radu Potolea and Madeleine Florescu have long appreciated a fine shot of espresso and, since 2011, have been sharing with their Bucharest clientele the high-quality small-batch beans of local specialty roaster Radu Ioan Mânea. MADISON coffee is thus the natural extension of Potolea and Florescu’s own passion.
That their employees are enthusiastic is no coincidence. This team of expert noses can identify the unique notes in their hundreds of inventory, and there’s no denying that their proficiency in and constant proximity to scent sways their palates. MADISON coffee must therefore do more than pass muster with olfactory masters. It cannot just delight them with depth of fragrance, but has to thrill them with the subtleties and complexities of flavor. Because the beans are limited in number, with shelf lives far shorter than the average perfume bottle, MADISON’s Morning After roast might be a nutty Kenyan one season and a citrus-rich Colombian the next. But the transience makes them all the more gratifying to try. To echo Yves Saint Laurent – who said, “Fashions fade, style is eternal” – batches fade, coffee is eternal.
Discerning drinkers from all corners of the globe have been enjoying this kind of consciously sourced, micro-roasted coffee that for years. Excitingly, Romania is now waking up to it, too. No brand, however, offers the full-package lavishness of MADISON, whose halo of high-end fragrance and beauty cannot help but illuminate the coffee. MADISON loyalists care deeply about what they put on their bodies, so it makes sense that they care about what they put in their bodies. With the later additions of makeup, skincare, jewelry and home accents to its retail offerings, MADISON has promoted the application of absolute beauty to all dimensions of sensorial existence. And with the arrival of MADISON coffee comes a series of similarly self-indulgent enlivening elixirs for the brain – five types of espresso – and, to facilitate their consumption, three of the best espresso machines on the planet: the Mirage, the Speedster and the Spirit by Kees van der Westen.
MADISON Coffee, Bucharest, Romania
Calea Dorobantilor Nr. 152, Sector 1, Bucuresti
MADISON Coffee, Budapest, Hungary
Andrassy ut, No. 26, 1061, Budapest