These Fragrances Smell Like New York — But Only The Good Parts

In many ways, New York City lives up to its hype. The skyline is really that incredible, the bagels are that big, and if you make it here, you can make it anywhere. But what the glossy tourism brochures neglect to mention is that an alarming number of people throw up on the subway during rush hour, there are often more trash bags on the sidewalk than people, and it's physically impossible to leave Baxter Street not reeking of raw fish.
But hey, what are you to do if you're a perfumer tasked with creating a New York-inspired scent — mix notes of street gyro with urine? No, you take inspiration from the architecture, the $18 cocktails, the lights. And what you get then is something pretty spectacular and splurgeworthy, just like the City of Dreams.
Advertisement
1 of 6
You could visit New York and return home with a stupid, ill-fitting "I <3 NY" shirt you'll never wear except to paint the garage... or you could bring this candle back. Given the notes — cedar, vetiver, patchouli, incense, and tobacco — the scent is surprisingly subdued, much more Polo Bar than smoky campfire, and it'll give you 60 more hours of pleasure than any Empire State keychain ever could.

Diptyque New York Scented Candle, $70, available exclusively at New York Diptyque boutique locations.
2 of 6
You could say this scent is like standing in the streets the morning after a storm, right as the sun comes up, and you wouldn't be wrong — it's got that crisp, wet, almost metallic energy. But it's more like when you used to lick the side of the pool as a kid for the strangely satisfying, salty taste of chlorine on concrete.

Comme des Garçons Concrete, $165, available at Dover Street Market.
Advertisement
3 of 6
Not that there'd be anything wrong with a Brooklyn fragrance that smelled like warehouse parties and local brews, but this is not that. This is your Park Slope or Brooklyn Heights scent — think brownstones with flowers spilling out their window boxes, farmer's markets with fresh citrus, and independent bookstores.

Gallivant Brooklyn Eau de Parfum, $95, available at Lucky Scent.
4 of 6
Folks talk a big game about the city being the epicenter of the universe. Why would I ever leave when I can get ramen delivered to my door at 4 AM? Truth is, though, they're dying to escape — even if they'll never admit it. That's where the Hudson Valley comes in. Just a short trek out of Manhattan on the MetroNorth and suddenly you're surrounded by lush hiking trails and charming cabins with roaring fireplaces that smell exactly like this candle (which happens to have the best name ever, too).

Burkelman That Hudson Valley Candle, $38, available at Shop Burkelman.
5 of 6
If the women of Sex and the City reunited for one more night out on the town in 2017, they'd likely wear this sexy fragrance inspired by NYC's lit-up skyscrapers. It's at once sweet (that'd be the caramel note), spicy and invigorating (the coffee), and sophisticated (thanks to jasmine, patchouli, and sandalwood) — so the Charlotte in you will love it as much as the Samantha.

Bond No. 9 New York Nights, $260, available September 15 at Bond No. 9.
6 of 6
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there!
Advertisement