A whiff of roast beef, anyone?
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Most people expect an infusion of flowers, citrus fruits and musk when shopping for new and alluring perfume scents. But now a shop in New York is creating perfumes that have very different aromas to those that are usually found on the high street. I Hate Perfume, in Brooklyn, has been open for six years and sells scents including roast beef, runner bean and gun smoke. Christopher Brosius, who has been creating the perfumes for two decades, says that there is no beauty or subtlety to the usual scents and that they are ‘offensive’. ‘I love the smell of fresh runner beans, when you first cut them’ he says. ‘Minutes later the smell has gone.’ He says that when he worked as a taxi driver in New York in the 1980s he would finish his shift with a headache because of the strong perfumes that his female customers would wear. Brosius mixes the perfumes in his shop, using pipettes and around 2000 different chemicals. He describes his business as being ‘very eighteenth century’. Many of his perfumes have dirt as their base scent. His other olfactory creations include soaked earth, snow, sticky toffee pudding and old fur coat. They are described as ‘memorable, wearable, and not shocking.’ Requests for scents capturing the essence of blood, pus, gangrene, cannabis and a human corpse have been refused by Brosius as being a step too far. He will discuss his wok and the I Hate Perfume business on BBC4 tonight at 9pm, in the documentary ‘Perfume’. For the programme, Brosius will attempt to recreate 1930s London –using the scent of books, whisky, musty carpets, leather armchairs, gentlemen’s clubs and rain.