Something mysterious is about to open on the Shambles…
Step into The Society of Alchemists – a new shopping experience inspired by movies of the 80s and 90s such as Dark Crystal, Labyrinth and The NeverEnding Story.
The “brainchild” of Yorkshire Soap Company founders Marcus Doyle and Warren Booth, the shop will be “something new that could expand throughout the UK.”
The Society of Alchemists will open for business tomorrow (Thursday 3 November) from 10am. It takes over the former store of leather goods brand Zatchels.
“We wanted to create a new story that would work outside of the borders of Yorkshire,” said Marcus.
Marcus also owns the shop of curiosities The Imaginarium on Blake Street. “We decided to bring the two collections together.
“All those kinds of fantasy movies that were out there when I was growing up, we wanted to pull influences from.
“That created the story in the background. And that’s where the Society of Alchemists came from – a group of nomads travelling the world collecting ideas to bring back to York.”
The shop has “very theatrical elements” such as eyes following you around the store and a dragon created by a company in Halifax who is “keeper of the secrets”.
“We are setting our own path,” Marcus is keen to emphasise.
The shop will stock bath bombs, candles, diffusers, home fragrances, skincare, and perfumes.
The 20% Eau de Parfum perfumes “have got oils and blends that we’ve created.
“We’ve spent the last 12 months building these fragrances using UK fragrance houses that match the story,” explained Marcus.
The scents include Candied Toadstool, Alchemist’s Garden and Dragon’s Breath. There are also 16 core fragrances in the store that are set into their own three distinct collections.
Between 80 and 90% of the products sold in store are manufactured in York on James Street.
The shop has created nine to ten full and part time jobs, with an additional four jobs at their manufacturing site in York.
Around a quarter of a million pounds has been invested into the shop, and has been self-funded through the company. York is its first location and it hopes to expand to other cities in the UK such as Manchester and Chester.
The Society of Alchemists will be open Monday to Sunday, 10am-6pm.