Christopher Brosius Ltd

Christopher Brosius Ltd

Photo: CB Experience

Neighborhood: Williamsburg
Type of Place: Perfume

I'll admit, what caught my eye here from the street was the dog: a huge, gorgeous, sleepy-looking creature (some kind of Mastiff, I believe) lounging in the middle of the floor. "Come pet me" vibes were shooting my way, so I ducked in and did so. While Mr. Mastiff rolled over for a tummy rub, I looked around and discovered a spare and elegant shop featuring the fragrance creations of Christopher Brosius. I'd thought that the space looked like a gallery; and in a sense it is one, except the works of art offered here come in bottles rather than frames.

Fragrance designer Brosius, I learned, is no fan of mass-produced scents and considers it foolish to "smell like everyone else." In the 80s he drove a cab in NYC, and long nights in a car with various over-sprayed patrons led to his motto of "I Hate Perfume." Personal, carefully made, and unique fragrances, however, bring him joy. "Scent is always individual," he explains on his website. "Your sense of smell is one of the most unique things about you – more individual than your fingerprints, than the shape of your ear, than the pattern of your retina. Your sense of smell is one of the most important factors that defines you as YOU. The way you respond to any scent is unlike anyone else’s – no one remembers what you do, no one feels what you feel. There is a reason you remember certain scents so fondly – it’s the way nature designed you. Scent is the record of your own special life – it’s your experience. My mission is to capture that experience."

The fragrances in the shop are grouped into categories and are largely derived from Brosius' life and memories. I dug in and started sniffing, From the "Secret History" series (prices for all scents vary depending on size of bottle and type of blend, from about $12 to about $70), I adored "At the Beach" and "I Am a Dandelion" ("Though there are certainly prettier flowers, the simple dandelion remains my own favorite," Brosius writes). In the "Green" series, I loved "Spring Leaf" (who would not want the scent of early spring in a bottle?!), and in the "Limited Edition" series, I latched onto "Just Breathe." ("There is only so much you can do in a 24-hour period," Brosius reminds us. "There is a big difference between expanding your boundaries and driving yourself nuts...I designed this scent to calm, balance and center you whenever you need just that.") "Pink Grapefruit" was gorgeous in the "Zest" group, and the "Home" series turned up perhaps my favorite Brosius creation of all (at least from this visit): "Gathering Apples," a scent I have actually been searching for over the years but never managed to find, until now.

Notice a sweet and gorgeous dog, discover a unique and delicious shop: It's wonderful where a day can take you if you're willing to go with it. Happy summer, happy exploring; and remember to keep all your senses engaged. Brosius' creations will surely help along those lines.   - Pamela Grossman; July 7, 2010

Christopher Brosius Ltd
93 Wythe Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11211