Summer’s on the way out, and the city’s most recognizable odors are fading along with it. The “Smelliest Block in New York” — a wee stretch of Broome Street between Eldridge and Allen — is bound to smell just a little bit less like “flushed-out catacomb.” And over in Brooklyn, the pungent Newton Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant won’t be tainting any more backyard barbecues.
Before the waft of “high meat and old squeegees” is squashed by Old Man Winter, we asked up-and-coming Williamsburg perfumer Julia Zangrilli, mastermind behind Nova, to work some of her aromatic alchemy and put these odoriferous destinations in a bottle, so you can take one last whiff of them at the Bedford + Bowery Bazaar on Saturday.
As it turns out, you might actually want to take in one of these scents. That’s because when Zangrilli visited the water treatment plant in Greenpoint, she downplayed the smell of human waste and sun-baked tires and decided to “make something beautiful” based on the desolate Nature Walk that brightens up the grounds of the complex. Her scent draws from the “lush plants, berry’d bushes and a single lucky rose” that she stumbled on. Following her own artistic nose, Zangrilli took further inspiration from the distant skyline, which she translated into “metallic” or “urban” notes.
As for the Lower East Side scent, that one hues a little closer to decaying rat, detergent, dog, sweet BBQ and “standard stink,” among other things.
When you’re done clicking through the slideshow above to see how the scents were made, experience them for yourself at the B + B Bazaar Saturday. The LES scent will likely remain a prototype, but e-mail Nova to order a bottle of the Greenpoint scent, which will be on sale through September.