I first met Christopher Brosius sometime in the mid-1990s, when he was promoting his small perfume brand Demeter on the main floor of Henri Bendel. It was the first time I had ever met a perfumer, and I was fascinated by his approach: he was offering a signature scent called Demeter that smelled unlike any other fragrance I’d ever smelled, as well as single-note scents of Lavender, Geranium, and so on. The fragrances were natural-smelling, back-to-the-basics, and utterly wearable.
I followed Demeter’s progress and expansion with great interest, seeking out its uncanny bottled evocations of Tomato and Lettuce and other smells I’d never thought of wearing before. One day in the later 90s I bought two fragrances in one day, an unprecedented splurge, just because I couldn’t decide between them. (They were Fig Tree and Olive Leaf.)
Time passed: fast forward to Brosius’s eventual sale of and departure from Demeter and to his creation of the new Brooklyn-based CB I Hate Perfume line in 2004. Every time I visit the company’s boutique and workshop, I feel like I’m discovering Brosius’s work all over again. (You can read my post about the shop here on Now Smell This.)
Whether you’re new to the concept of CB I Hate Perfume or you share my long-time pleasure in Brosius’s philosophy of fragrance, you’ll enjoy watching this short video.
In this four-minute portrait by filmmaker Aaron Peasley, Brosius recites part of his “manifesto,” discusses some of I Hate Perfume’s classic “experience” scents like In the Library and At the Beach 1966 (one of my favorites!), and gives us a brief preview of one of his newest creations.
Invisible Monster, CB I Hate Perfume’s next release, is inspired by Brosius’s childhood memory of an afternoon of boating with his family, when he and his cousin were “pretending that we were in an episode of ‘Jonny Quest’—the smell of the river and the banks—those things are very, very important to me.”
Watch, and enjoy—and do share the name of your favorite CB I Hate Perfume fragrance, if you have one!
Thanks to Aaron Peasley for bringing this short film to my attention.
Images: product photo via the CB I Hate Perfume website; still from “Jonny Quest: The Invisible Monster,” originally aired January 28, 1965.