Scent of a City: Worst Perfume Idea Ever?

Amy Keyishian

Bond No.9
Smells Like David Lee Roth Getting Arrested
Holy marketing department! Something sure stank up my inbox today. Know what it was? An announcement for the latest batch of perfumes by Bond No. 9 from their “Scents of New York” line. Each scent is named for a neighborhood. In New York. Apparently, the company adds a new set of scents every year.

To this, I say: Have you ever been to New York? Who approved this idea? And most of all, seriously?

When I first moved to the city, I was warned that the hardest part was surviving August. The garbage men always go on strike then, because that’s when it’s the hottest, so it’ll smell the worst, so people with cave in fastest. When August rolled around, I found this all to be distressingly, lividly true.

If I’m going to be honest, I’d have to admit that even the putrid grime lining my nostrils felt glamorous those first couple of years. But I’m not going to wear “Eau de Garbage Strike” perfume. Particularly not if it costs $230.

Here are some of the neighborhoods covered by Bond No. 9 and my predictions for what they ought to smell like, in my experience:

Washington Square: Skunky pot smoke, pizza, and sweaty NYU students.
Astor Place: Grande-lattes from dueling Starbucks across the street from each other, plus the heady aroma of sweat and bourbon wafting from drunk people spinning a giant cube.
Brooklyn: Hmm. High notes of Coney Island surf, a generous helping of hipster desperation, a hint of noodle kugel, and spray paint.
Nouveau Bowery: Sleeping-wino (feet, Ripple) overlaid with oblivious yuppie (dry cleaning fumes, cash).
New York Fling: Stale cigarettes, Amaretto, and spermicidal lubricant. Oh, and regret.
Wall Street: Smells like an odd burning at the back of the throat.
Bryant Park: Tuna melt of lunching secretary.
New Haarlem: Nervous sweat of white people looking for Sylvia’s Soul Food, which looked easy to find in the guidebook.
Fire Island: Um … I’m sorry, this is a family publication.

Now, if I were asked to contribute to this line, here are the scents I’d like to sport:
The West Village: Like Obsession for Men, but trashier.
The Lower East Side: Notes of knishes, sushi, and overpriced beer.
The Brooklyn Bridge: I don't know what this'd smell like, but halfway through putting it on, you'd realize it takes a lot longer than you thought, but you can’t turn back now so you change into sneakers.
Park Slope, Brooklyn: Aaah. All-natural diapers and gourmet olives.
Queens: A confusion of scents from all over Asia and the Middle East. Bonus: It repels hipsters!

What would your neighborhood smell like? Do these scents tempt you?

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