Jessica Gallucci visits an odd perfume shop:

...loud perfumes are disgusting, yet they are fashionable in America because we like to flaunt the brands we wear. [Perfumer Christopher Brosius] explains that major cosmetic companies are aware of this, and it has long been standard practice to vary a perfume's formula to appeal to taste in the markets it's destined for: the American version will be quite bold, but the Japanese version may be even softer than the French one. "Nobody will confirm that for you," Christopher says, "but it's true".

When my parents visited New York, I gave them a tour of my favourite scents in the shop. This took some time: the accords include clever riffs on the smell of rubber, from the intoxicating Inner Tube to a just-short-of-noxious Rubber Cement. Equally impressive is Wet Pavement, which strikes me as wearable, even pretty. Burning Leaves is startlingly alluring, and Ink smells so authentic that I held up the bottle to show my mother that the fluid was clear and not an indelible blue. Roast Beef is predictably revolting, but still a must-smell. My mother lingered over In the Library, a blend that Christopher describes as "First Edition, Russian and Moroccan Leather, Binding Cloth and a hint of Wood Polish".

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.