Pick du Jour

  • Posted: January 16, 2014

    Mr. Chandler Burr.
    Mr. Chandler Burr.
    Photo courtesy of Chandler Burr.
    Mr. Chandler Burr.
    Logo of Aedes de Venustas, New York.
    Shop window, Aedes de Venustas, New York.
    Coney Island.
    Quentin Crisp, 1908 – 1999.

    Olfactive portrait of New York by Mr. Chandler Burr.

    Chandler Burr is a journalist, author, and curator of olfactory art. He created the New York Times perfume critic’s position, which he occupied from 2006 – 2010. In 2010 Chandler left the Times to establish the world’s first department of olfactory art at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. His first novel was published in 2009. Chandler conducts a series of perfume dinners around the world. He lives in New York City.

    What is your personal secret “olfactive spot” in New York?

    Coney Island.

    What would be the main ingredient for an iconic “Eau de New York”?

    The smell of New York State granite.

    Why are you in New York?

    “I live in New York for the same reason everyone does—to be able to rule the world should the opportunity arise.” Quentin Crisp

    Your perfume advice to New Yorkers?

    Apart from the aesthetics and style of your perfumes, which are up to each of us and not subject to objective debate, you want the highest quality raw materials. That generally correlates with price but not always. The quality of the materials in Pleasures and Light Blue, to name merely two, is as high as in most niches that cost three times more. Don’t be a snob. It wastes your time and it’s tiresome for the rest of us.

    What is your favorite place in New York to discover and shop fragrance?

    Aedes de Venustas.

    Please share with us your best New York perfume anecdote!

    About ten years ago I was at G bar on West 19th and met a very hot young Argentine guy. He took me outside — it was summer — and we started making out, but after about two seconds I pulled my head back a bit and said, “Are you wearing For Him by Narciso Rodriguez?” He looked startled. He said, “Yes.” I said, “It’s awesome”, and started kissing him again. He was game enough, but I know it freaked him out a little.

  • This perfume story was brought to you in collaboration with Elements Showcase New York, 2014.

  • Aedes de Venustas, Chandler Burr, Coney Island, Dolce & Gabbana, Estée Lauder, For Him / Narciso Rodriguez, Light Blue / Dolce & Gabbana, Museum of Arts and Design New York, Narciso Rodriguez, New York, New York Times, Olfactive Portrait, Pleasures / Estée Lauder, Quentin Crisp, The Big Apple