What Does Williamsburg Smell Like? “A Surge of Creativity” and Ylang-Ylang

Yup, Thats Williamsburg mustache wax.
  • Yup, That’s Williamsburg mustache wax.

I’m not exactly sure what a “surge of creativity” smells like, but it sounds good. Earthy, probably. Loamy. Salty? What does any neighborhood really smell like, after all? I mean, I love the smell of sidewalks after a summer thunderstorm and I love/hate the smell of gingko trees blooming in the spring—they smell like semen, it’s complicated—but neither of those things are really neighborhood specific. But so probably my lack of expertise in the grooming field is why I didn’t start the new company Brooklyn Grooming, which knows exactly how neighborhoods like Williamsburg and Fort Greene smell.

I was directed to the Brooklyn Grooming website by The Awl, where editor Choire Sicha posed the valid question, “Do You Want to Smell Like Red Hook?” Which, well, that’s certainly a question that piques my interest.

Brooklyn Grooming does, in fact, promise to make you smell like Red Hook, whether with its pomade or facial serum or mustache wax, soon, YOU could smell like “an industrial area that houses a navy yard and a cruise terminal” which apparently means, cardamom. Red Hook smells like cardamom.

In my opinion, though, the most interesting of the scents is the one labeled “Commando,” which Brooklyn Grooming says is inspired by, “the act of not wearing underwear.” Now, Brooklyn Grooming says that this means that the Commando products are unscented, but I’ve gone without underwear multiple times in my life and I’ve, um, been around men who have gone sans pantalons as the French would never, ever say, as well, and I just want to say that “unscented” is not how I would describe what fills the air after you first pull your pants down.

I’m not saying it’s a bad smell. I’m just saying that there is a smell. And it’s not unlike wet pavement and gingko trees. Which is not, in my opinion, unpleasant at all.

Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen

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