I don't know if you know this about me, but I am a perfume nerd. I wear only a little bit at a time, and mostly for personal edification only, and generally I don't go for department store junk. But I am amazed what a perfumer can do, how the layers of a scent can unfold with weather and with time. For instance, my L'Air du Desert Marocain smells completely different in the summer (dry and spicy), fall (spicy and vanilla-y), and winter (weirdly masculine); I prefer it in the summer and fall, actually. Anyway, this fascination with olfactory subtlety gave me a good reason to venture out today, despite the sideways snow and all its ill effects. So, Eve, Aaron, and I finally visited Christopher Brosius's CB I Hate Perfume shop in Williamsburg.
I'll let you guys guess if this shop is:
C.) Well organized
D.) All of the above
The selection there is just amazing -- I don't know why I never made it there before, why I only read online about the scents, because no matter how good your imagination is, it can do no justice to actually smelling the peculiar, artful blends that Brosius creates. I'd experienced several of the ready-to-wear absolutes before, but the individual accords were all new to me, and they alone took us like an hour to get through. It seems to me that many of them are just Brosius playing with scent memories: there's Wet Stone, which smells like water but with a slightly harder, metallic-yet-earthy edge; there are many food scents, including Cheesecake, Mulled Wine, and Roast Beef (which was kinda gross, and totally accurate). And the smoke scents are just beautiful: Burning Leaves smells like smoldering maple, smoky yet somewhat sugary, just on the verge of caramelizing. One of the accords was labeled "You Know This..." which prompted us to pick it up and immediately try to guess. Eve called it out, but once she did, it became obvious what the scent evoked. Mr. Brosius himself was there, and so was his old dog, who gave the meanest grandpa face when he got back in from his short walk in the snow.
If you are looking for a weird gift to give someone for the holidays, and you know approximately what they're into, please visit CB. I walked away with three (pictured): English Novel, a blend of (I think) smoke, parchment, vanilla, and ink. It's similar to CB's In The Library, but I'd already had a sample of that. And I got two others, but they're gifts so I won't reveal them here.