Back in November we heard a story on NPR about Christopher Brosius, a perfumier in Brooklyn with a shop called CB I Hate Perfume, who makes a scent called "In the Library". According to Brosius in that interview "In the Library" smells just like a library. Being the perceptive gent he is, John took mental note, and lo and behold "In the Library" was under the tree this Christmas.
Let me say I quite like "In the Library", but I wasn't so sure it smelled much like a library. Based on the radio interview I was expecting something quite literal. When I first smelled it I thought it was rather powdery. After I wore it for a while, not only did I find that I liked it in general, but it does kind of remind one of a library. I can't quite explain it, but there is something about it that is libraryish. Albeit one with lots of Moroccan leather bindings.
When ordering "In the Library" John noticed they had one called "A Room With A View". Again being the perceptive gent that he is John got me a small vial of "A Room With A View" as well. Redolent of violets and the Tuscan earth, it takes its cue from the scene in the book where George Emerson first kisses Lucy Honeychurch in a field of violets outside of Florence. The violets are absent in the film version but if you have seen the wonderful Merchant Ivory film, you know exactly which scene I refer to. And let me tell you the scent version of "A Room With A View" is a revelation. Yes it smells like violets, but it also has an earthy and grassy quality that makes it so much nicer and more complex than any violet perfume you have ever smelled before.
Also in the package was a spray that supposedly keeps the bugs away. Being winter I can't test that out right now, but it sure smells good. It reminds me of the early days of Aveda when they were doing a lot of personal aromas (or as they called them PureFumes).
CB I Hate Perfume has many other scents that sound absolutely fascinating. And based on what I have smelled so far they must be good. How about one called "At the Beach 1966" which has Coppertone as one of its base notes?!
The thing that is so wonderful about Brosius' work is that his scents tell a story, but the result is beautiful and beguiling rather than gimicky. In a world full of really bad, synthetic smelling scents, CB I Hate Perfume is like an olfactory oasis.