Decades-Old Smells of New York Are Now Chic

If you’re a nostalgic and probably long-in-the-tooth New Yorker, you might remember good times of yore by the smells they produced. These moments may include, say, disco dancing in West Side bars in the 1970s, the punk scene of St. Marks Place in 1985, or even the hardware shops of Bushwick circa 2003. If you’re not a person so gifted with an olfactive memory, downtown store Oak NYC has developed four candles to bring the aromas of old New York haunts right into your apartment.

A mix of body odor, liquor, leather and wood, each soy-blended candle ($68) references a former New York hot spot: Christopher and West Street in 1976, St. Marks and First Avenue in 1985, Prince and Mercer in 1997, and McKibben and Bogard in 2003. The reminiscent scents, whipped up and hand-poured by fragrance specialists at Brooklyn’s Joya Studio and expert perfumers Rayda Vega, come in a slender glass container that mimics religious candles found in delis and bodegas all over the city. It’s a fine line between sexy and stinky; we’re gonna go with sexy on this one.

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