I don’t know about you folks, but when I think of the “essence and spirit” of New York City “in an olfactory memento” … well, if it’s summer, I mostly think of quickly rotting trash. If we’re talking Queens, I’ll give you the smell of Indian spices in Jackson Heights. Brooklyn smells like the sea in some places, though that may just be the roving gangs of artisanal picklers. But never, never would I think of the scene that Gerald Ghislain and Magali Senequier chose for their Scent of Departure fragrance line:
A lovely sunny day in the Big Apple City. The air is filled with the scents of lilac and rose from the vast and majestic Central Park. You are walking along Times Square under the mild and fresh breeze from New York harbor. Enjoy this modern, crisp and invigorating fragrance with sparkling and sourish notes of apple.
Lilacs, rose, apple, and a “mild and fresh breeze.” Right. Have these guys actually been to New York, or did they just watch Sex and the City on repeat?
Anyway, if you want to smell like a fictional New York that smells like Martha’s Vineyard, the eau de toilette costs $45. There are also scents for other cities, like Toyko (lotus, freesia, and peony), Vienna (which includes chocolate and coffee — totally accurate), and L.A. (grapefruit and plum, although we’d suggest lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne). If you actually want to smell like New York, though, you can jump into a public Dumpster for free.