Before I joined Penylan Surgery I used to hate picking up prescriptions. All the waiting around really bugged me - how long does it take to grab a box out of a drawer and put it in a bag? Apparently it takes a long time, but now the closest chemist to my surgery is Central Pharmacy, I don't mind waiting.
I don't know what dispensing medicines entails and why it takes as long as it does, but when you're waiting for your prescription in Central Pharmacy it doesn't matter. In any other pharmacy you'd be wandering around aimlessly, trying not to look suspicious as you shuffle around not buying anything. But Central Pharmacy has a wall next to the dispensing counter filled with expensive, foreign creams and shampoos and makeup that after 3 years I still find something new and exciting to look at. As well as this wall of St Tropez and L'Occitane, the other half of the pharmacy is dedicated to perfume. This is one of the only places in Cardiff that stocks such a huge variety of posh toiletries and cosmetics and is definitely the place to go for a luxury gift or to treat yourself.
Until recently Central Pharmacy was the only place in Cardiff which stocked the specialist brand Vichy (though Boots has now got in on the action), so over the years I have made many a trip across Cardiff to this pharmacy.
Vichy is not the only luxury brand they have on offer. There is a good selection of Clarins and Dior make up and on the toiletries front they stock Crabtree and Evelyn.
Central Pharmacy is particularly good if you're after perfume as their selection is most extensive and covers most high-end brands.
The prices in store are not cheap though, so if you're purely after basic toiletries this is not the place to go. If it's specialist products you require, this pharmacy is a great alternative to town, and I find the staff really know what they're talking about and are willing to give you their time.
Central Pharmacy is an up-market, clean and very well stocked Pharmacy.
The Pharmacy has a Clarins Gold Salon upstairs and features a Clarins, Dior and Guerlian beauty stand, on the ground floor. The selection of makeup available is wide and lavish. I found it hard to believe that the local pharmacy could be so ornamental in it's stock choice, but nether-the-less, it was a fantastic discovery. A little further along Wellfield Road is a Boots and a Superdrug, both of which stock the mainstream makeup-brands. None as exclusive as Central Pharmacy.
This trend continues its in choice of perfume stock, Chanel and Jean Paul Gaultier to nam a few and the bottles, lotions and potions, line the glassy walls of the building.
There is, of course, a pharmacy within this sumptuous, beautifying, hub. To my joy, I found a rare brand of eczema treatment available on demand, that I had previously been informed was only now available on prescription.
The Pharmacy has sweet under-lit purple signage and the staff are plentiful and on hand to help. Some are obviously Clarin's specialist as they don the uniform.
Visit if you need some special makeup, have poorly skin or fancy some beauty therapy.
The Central Pharmacy is that big, posh looking store right on the end of Wellfield Road, opposite the church. The building that looks less like a pharmacy and more like a cosmetic shop filled with expensive French perfumes.
In truth, the pharmacy is placed in a fantastic area, being so close to the Pen-y-lan Surgery that is just across the road. This allows prescriptions to be grabbed, filled out and handed in with one quick jaunt to that side of Cardiff.
Whilst the pharmacy is great, the cosmetics range is why most people attend the Central Pharmacy. Their range of products is almost staggering in its variety and ridiculousness. The fact that they have an entire shelf dedicated to beard and moustache wax should clue you in on how much stuff there actually is in this store. Coupled with this, they have an extensive range of perfumes and the staff are always ready to help out a clueless man who's shopping for his lady.
So I only really went in here to get out of the rain. I've not really paid it any attention before - just another pharmacy/chemist like all the others around the area.
However, once I got inside it felt like I'd been teleported to an airport duty free! I have never seen (or smelt) so much perfume in all my life!
It is quite a vast shop and three out of four walls are covered with glass cases, floor to ceiling, full of brightly coloured and sumptuous looking boxes and bottles. In amongst the perfume is also some top of the range makeup.
The fourth wall is a pharmacy. A counter, some shelves with a couple of plasters and stuff - general pharmacy stuff. It all looks very plush, but is clearly playing second fiddle to the olfactory emporium.
What does puzzle me is why, with a shop this dedicated to perfume why it isn't made more clear outside. Surely Central Perfumery would make more sense. This just adds to the Christmas shopping potential of Wellfield Road. Everyone likes a bit of perfume or aftershave under their tree!
The pharmacy has a Clarins Gold Salon upstairs. The staff are extremly friendly and helpful. The salon is clean and has a nice atmosphere. Treat yourself to a facial and you will want to go back. It is expensive compared to some other salons but you get what you pay for - look out for the offers they sometimes advertise.
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