Perfume For Urbanists

‘I Hate Perfume’ is the name of an innovative line of fragrances, which is totally different from traditional perfumes. Perfume maker and natural nose Christopher Brosius hates perfume. Or, te be more precise, he hates traditional perfumes, which he calls an arrogant slap in the face from across the room. And he’s right. Nobody likes the breath taking smell of excessively used perfume on posh ladies sitting next to you in public transport. The new fragrance line of Christopher Brosius, who runs a niche perfumery in Brooklyn since 2004, completely breaks with all traditional perfume characteristics. Which means no flower odor, no blabla about amber and no alcohol as main ingredient.

In fact the ‘I Hate Perfume’ fragrances are inspired by situations and experiences, for example ‘being in a library’, ‘drinking tea in an old Russian caravan’, or ‘the kitchen in the summer’. Instead of using rose leafs or jasmine abstracts as a references, Brosius’ perfumes take special experiences as the main source of inspiration. Some of them are picked up in cities, some of them are picked up at the country side.

Specifically it’s interesting to observe that the urban condition here is not only considered as a stinking one. The city in Brosius’ perfumes is a spectacular collection of interesting different fragrances, which are sometimes even inspiring enough for translation into a perfume, such as ‘the experience of the winter of 1972’. However, I guess some typical urban fragrances will never make it to a perfume. A perfume inspired by the fragrance of the Amsterdam subway, or by passing by a McDonald’s restaurant, seems to be very unlikely to me.