If you want to smell Chinatown, you could walk downtown toward the end of Bowery — or stop by Bond No. 9 to inhale the far more pleasant Chinatown perfume, with its hints of cardamom, gardenia, and peach blossoms. The decade-young brand, named after its flagship boutique’s address, offers scents named for NYC neighborhoods, including Riverside Drive and Astor Place, and some a little more distant, like Montauk and Fire Island. For a starting price of $500, you can create your own perfume, choosing ingredients like bergamot zest, patchouli, sea kale, vetiver, and agarwood (oud). The shop is hip-luxurious, with crème-colored carpeting, chandeliers surrounded by wiry black metal, and red pleather armchairs. Toward the back there’s a small library with Harney & Sons tea and books about perfumes, flowers, and New York curated by founder Laurice Rahmé. But with all the de-lovely olfactory interpretations of New York to whiff, and attentive staff offering samples that come wrapped like candy in shiny paper, you’ll have to make a concerted effort to make it all the way back there.
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