Filed Under:

Mmm, Is That Roast Beef You Smell? No, It's Perfume

Play associated audio

Would you wear a perfume that made you smell like "A Day at the Beach?" How about "Baby's Butt?" If so, scent inventor Christopher Brosius can help. His Brooklyn boutique is at the vanguard of the anti-perfume movement, as you might suspect by its name: I Hate Perfume.

"I'm not out to sell millions of bottles," Brosius tells weekends on All Things Considered guest host Jacki Lyden. "My work is really about things that really do smell wonderful, but don't have a lot of the properties that commercial perfumes do."

Brosius has created perfumes independently since 1992, when he made his first scent for himself. It got many compliments like, "Why do you smell so good?" but it took 135 variations to get it just right. Now he sells "a much more refined, sophisticated version" of that scent, called CB93 — after himself, of course.

"It was my interpretation of what the very first, original eau de cologne was designed to do," he says. "Something that smelled very fresh, very clean, but was good for the skin and very calming and relaxing at the same time."

Brosius' current collection of perfumes is diverse and eclectic. "Memory of Kindness" smells of tomato vines and was inspired by a childhood memory. The celebrity-inspired "2nd (Alan) Cumming" is, like all Brosius' scents, unisex. "I let people choose what they want," he says.

A perfume that smells like roast beef gets some of the most comments. "Food scents are incredibly tough," Brosius says. "When it was finished, I thought, 'Oh my God, this is exactly what I had in mind. But who in their right mind wants to smell this way?'"

Very few people, as it turns out. Only three so far. "I'm the first to admit that it is not a scent for everybody," he says.

In contrast, his most popular scent is called "In the Library." It smells like old, dusty books.

"'Oh wow, you smell terrific' is really the best kind of compliment," Brosius says. If that comes from someone close to you, he says, "My mission is done."

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

'Rolling The R's' Is A Story About Coming Of Age And Coming Out

Rolling the R's tells the stories of restless teenagers in the disco era in a gritty neighborhood in Hawaii. Author R. Zamora Linmark discusses the book's impact, 20 years after it first came out.
NPR

'Sweetbitter' Is A Savory Saga Of Restaurant Life And Love

Oysters, cocaine, fine wine, love triangles: Stephanie Danler's debut novel Sweetbitter follows a year in the life of a young woman working at a top-tier Manhattan restaurant.
NPR

Trump Rolls Into Washington For Biker Rally

The presumptive Republican nominee for president addressed Rolling Thunder, the annual gathering of motorcyclists, on Sunday. The group seeks to raise awareness of veterans' issues.
NPR

After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, She Channeled Her Ups And Downs Into Texts

NPR's Scott Simon talks with Natalie Sun about her project, textingwithcancer.com. The website won a Webby award, and documents her pessimism and optimism while undergoing chemotherapy.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.