I Hate Perfume

New York perfumer Christopher Brosius, the olfactory visionary behind fragrance house CB I Hate Perfume, discusses his unorthodox approach to scent and his cult conceptual fragrances.

Released on 6/13/2013

Credits

Starring: Christopher Brosius

Transcript

00:03
I hate perfume.
00:05
Perfume is too often an ethereal corset trapping everyone
00:08
in the same unnatural shape.
00:11
A lazy, and inelegant concession to fashionable ego.
00:15
An arrogant slap in the face from across the room.
00:19
People who smell like everyone else disgust me.
00:25
Everything that we think, everything that we feel
00:29
really generates from a very ancient ability to smell.
00:35
Organisms could sort out immediately,
00:38
and at a long distance, what was going
00:40
to be good for them and what was going to be dangerous.
00:44
So, smell is really a function of survival.
00:48
I Hate Perfume really did come from my experience
00:52
as a cab driver.
00:54
It was back in the age of the power perfume.
00:57
So, women would frequently get into
01:00
the back of the cab after leaving work,
01:02
and they were going out for the evening,
01:04
and they had drenched themselves in some horrible crap.
01:09
And I said, This is not what perfume is supposed to be.
01:14
It's supposed to be elegant and alluring and intriguing.
01:17
It is not supposed to be an offensive weapon.
01:23
I have done a series of perfumes that
01:26
are based on very particular moments from my own life.
01:30
In the Library is one of my most popular perfumes.
01:33
Books have always been very, very important to me
01:36
and I still love and collect them.
01:39
It's based on a note to match one of my favorite novels.
01:47
People will think, Who wants
01:48
to smell like a musty old book?
01:51
Get over the object and really focus on how it smells.
01:57
Beautiful Laundrette is an interesting smell.
01:59
And I think because of the sort of puritanical background
02:03
of this country, advertising has always focused
02:06
on pushing people to make sure their houses,
02:09
their clothes, their furniture, their cars,
02:12
their breath, their hair, their skin is clean.
02:15
So Beautiful Laundrette was really about
02:18
the smell of clean laundry with
02:22
a little bit of what it's like to walk past
02:25
a laundromat and get just a whiff
02:27
of the exhaust from the dryers, the water that's in there.
02:33
Well At the Beach, 1966 is one of the most popular.
02:37
For me, that perfume was really about
02:39
the moment when, as a very small child,
02:41
I was first conscious of seeing the ocean.
02:45
The smell of old Coppertone sunscreen
02:48
and the sand, and the sea, and playing in the water.
02:56
The process of creating a perfume for me
03:00
is paradoxically simple and also very complex
03:03
at the same time.
03:05
One of the new perfumes that I'm working on now
03:07
is all about the smell of a particular moment
03:12
on the river with my family when we were boating
03:16
and I was just sort of pretending with my cousins
03:18
that we were in an episode of Jonny Quest.
03:21
The smell of the river and the banks.
03:25
Those things are very, very important to me.
03:29
People ask me, How do you know when it smells good?
03:32
And I'm like, Well, I do.
03:36
It's in the same way that a painter
03:37
knows when the painting is finished.
03:40
Bingo!
03:42
[Man] Got it?
03:42
(mumbles)
03:43
Mhmm.
03:46
Pretty doesn't interest me.
03:47
Nice is really not enough.
03:49
I think people should take the whole trip.
03:51
They should explore as much as they can about themselves
03:53
and perfume is a very interesting way to do that.
03:56
(classical orchestral music)