Post from Manhattan Minds, an inspired blog on New York City Art, Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle by the Founder, Mona Maine de Biran...
If you’re a fan of all things perfume, you’ve no doubt heard of Brooklyn Fragrance Lover – also known as Carlos J. Powell. He has more than 6,500 followers on his Brooklyn Fragrance Lover Facebook page and a cult following on his popular YouTube channel where some of his uploads have garnished more than 100,000 views. That’s a sum which, by fragrance community (aka FragComm) standards, is HUGE!
Carlos has been blogging for over a decade and is known and widely respected for his in-depth, enthusiastic and equitable reviews of all sorts of perfumes and fun giveaways of full size bottles. No perfume is too mainstream or too obscure for him to analyze and share his thoughts.
I’ve been an avid follower of Carlos’ blogs and vlogs for a while. As a fragrance aficionado myself, I was immediately impressed with his level of expertise, egalitarian sophistication and amicable presentation style. It’s Carlos’ undisguised zeal for fragrance that draws people in.
“Wear what makes you happy,” Carlos advises.
His video reviews are filled with pure passion as he sprays, breathes in deeply and describes the notes of each perfume in a way that makes viewers swear they’re smelling it too. He uses words such as “woody, subtle gardenia, smoky, fresh, fruity, dirty, dark, happy…” to describe not just the physical smell but the feeling associated with each scent.
When I am shopping for fragrance, I’m not looking to buy just a smell. I’m looking to buy a feeling, a way of being and state of mind. Describing THAT is the service Carlos so excellently provides.
That’s why it was such a treat to meet him in person. Carlos and I met at the Bar Room at the MoMa in New York City recently. I ordered a mimosa in KIERIN NYC “Sunday Brunch” style, not just because it’s my go-to beverage midday (anytime of day, truth be told) but because it’s one of Carlos’ new fragrance loves.
For those who don’t know, Sunday brunch is a quintessential NYC experience of getting together with your friends and “city family” to socialize and share in each other’s lives. The experience isn’t limited to just Sundays, however. It’s a vibe and event that can happen any day of the week. Like this Monday when Carlos and I had an impassioned conversation which was every bit as uplifting, cozy, cheerful and relaxed as a Sunday Brunch.
We talked about our shared fragrance obsession and he shared some insights into his hard-working background and the responsibilities that go along with owning a social platform.
I was pleased to find Carlos, like me, is adamant about sharing “good-vibes only”. He explained the logic behind his (mostly) positive reviews and how it helps keep his love for the fragrance world intact. I couldn’t agree more with his approach. Despite sometimes heavy pressure from viewer demands, Carlos has refused to pander to the fascination for negative reviews.
After all, isn’t there enough negativity in the world? I think so.
As viewers and consumers, we all have choices in who to follow. Who will we consider as an ‘influencer’ of our veiws, and turn to for reviews? If your mode is fear and finding faults is your bag, then there are plenty of people who deliver that kind of content. But, as a noble spirit who has experienced more than anyone’s due of life’s difficulty, Carlos has taken a stand. He won’t be one of them.
When Carlos comes across a scent he doesn’t like, he just won’t talk about it. It’s up to you, as a follower, to engage and connect the dots.
One of Carlos’ most popular reviews is of the new Creed Aventus Cologne, a fragrance he enjoys a lot, which he posted about a couple of weeks ago and which has already garnished more than 26,000 views and spurring hundreds of comments. Another review he did recently, Carlos pulled in his friend Olya to join him in a review of JUSBOX Perfumes scent Feel ‘N’ Chill. He and Olya agreed the music-inspired perfume is a great summer scent they enjoy.
Following Carlos’ YouTube Channel is like joining a Member’s Club Only party but having a seat at the table with one of the Board Directors of the Club.
Carlos is always introducing you to someone who you should know, if you love the fragrance world. They all know him and he seems to know, just about, everyone. A refreshing aspect of his channel and style is that it is not a “me-fest”. He enjoys sharing his scents— and stage— with others, too. In fact, some of his fan favorite videos are joint productions. Carlos appears as a guest on other channels about as often as he hosts other vloggers on his own channel.
For example, in December 2018, Carlos hosted a review on his channel of a new NY-centric house he enjoys, Kierin NYC, with his friend Emitsu Geez of Simply Put Scents; and, in a reversal of roles six months later on June 9, 2019, Carlos appeared as a guest on Steven Gavrielatos of Redolessence’s channel. They reviewed the same house for the very reason that its one they both enjoyed.
“Follow your nose. Only you can tell what smells good to you,” says Carlos.
As fellow New Yorkers, Carlos and I bonded over our similar dispositions for exploring and thinking outside the box, including our support for the individual and unisex scents. During our visit, another thing we avidly agree on is that fragrance is a highly individualistic experience and every scent can be for any person. Perfumes shouldn’t be designed nor described as a woman’s scent or a man’s scent. Some women enjoy wearing a sandalwood scent, while some men like a floral hint in their cologne.
So, if you’re looking for a down-to-earth, high-energy, passionate, highly-knowledgeable fragrance guru to follow who won’t put scent into a stereotypical box of guy/girl but will review it free of bias, this is your guy. You can find him on his blog site: Brooklyn Fragrance Lover and on his YouTube channel by the same name: Brooklyn Fragrance Lover.
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Author: Mona Maine de Biran
Manhattan Minds is an inspired blog on New York City Art, Beauty, Fashion and Lifestyle. You are invited to share your comments on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Reddit, StumbleUpon and LinkedIn and a link to this article using the easy icons below.
Brooklyn Fragrance Lover on YouTube