What if you could bottle up each Brooklyn neighborhood scent in a beautifully fragranced bath bomb? What would that even smell like? After all, Brooklyn doesn’t necessarily always smell so good, and the idea of soaking in a lukewarm bath reminiscent of the Gowanus Canal is repulsive, but hear us out because a company called Brooklyn Flavors has a bath bomb that actually rivals the beloved Lush versions. Plus, not only does Brooklyn Flavors attempt to capture the olfactory essence of Brooklyn neighborhoods, these bath time fizzies are also perfect for those who suffer from eczema or dry skin, aka almost all of us in the winter.
“We did [this] because what’s so special about Brooklyn, we thought, is that it has so much flavor. It’s a mosaic of cultures and colors, you know, different people from across the globe,” Brooklyn Flavors owner Sophia Sylvester says.”So we decided to give [the products] some neighborhood names to make us different as well. We made a niche for ourselves.”
The scents don’t take a comical approach to the smells that one might encounter in Brooklyn; you won’t find a sultry blend of rotting street trash on a summer morning. Rather, Flatbush is represented via a juicy mango, papaya, jasmine, peach and coconut blend in the Church Avenue bath bomb, while Fort Greene is a “citrusy” blend of fresh fruit and mint.
“People come in looking for their neighborhood,” Sylvester says. “They love the scents. They even tell me that ‘you hit the mark. It’s really what the neighborhood would smell like.’ Some people get upset because we don’t have their neighborhood. Everyone wants a piece of Brooklyn.”
And while we reject any attempt to reduce the borough into a singular style, look, or scent, we can’t deny that the method behind creating each scent is pretty sound. Sylvester bypassed the superficial pairing of her favorite ingredients with whatever was most aesthetically pleasing, and conducted demographic research of the residents that live in the neighborhood—past and present—to create each scent. So that Caribbean vibe from the Church Avenue scent? It perfectly embodies the West Indian population that lives in the neighborhood.
And thus the fragrance for Clinton Hill, with its elegant brownstones and tree-lined streets giving off that Sesame Street-for-the-affluent vibe, is actually a fruity blend of pears, raspberries and strawberries, and not, you know, predominately vanilla.
Who would’ve thought?
Brooklyn Flavors will soon be adding Williamsburg, Bushwick and Greenpoint to their scent rooster. Visit the store at 820 Washington Avenue in Prospect Heights.