Blackbird fragrance brand CB: I Hate Perfume just received a great write up from the Wall Street Journal online. Read on for some great insights into the perfumer's history, aesthetic, and inspirations, and click over to the CB: I Hate Perfume page on BlackbirdBallard.com to check out what's new.

From Online.WSJ.com:

Sniffing Out New Scents In Brooklyn's Williamsburg by Paul Glader

Inside a converted garage in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Christopher Brosius runs a factory devoted to the olfactory of the everyday, from roast beef to libraries.

His perfume company has an unlikely name—CB: I Hate Perfume—but its target consumer is precisely the type who wouldn't be drawn to fancy fragrances with celebrity names. Mr. Brosius's first breakthrough was a scent called "Dirt." It combined his memories of digging vegetables, herbs and flowers on his family's Pennsylvania farm. Another early innovation was called "Snow," which went on to win many awards.

"In this country, a lot of people wear perfume for everyone else," said Mr. Brosius, 47 years old. "People wear my perfume for themselves first. Everyone else comes second."

CB now makes 36 blended perfumes that range in price from $65 to $275 for bottles ranging from 2 milliliters to 150 milliliters (about 0.0676 ounce to 5 ounces). "November," for example, is supposed to evoke the smell of pumpkin pie, bonfire, fallen apples, wood smoke, dried grass, fallen leaves, wet branches, damp moss, chanterelle mushrooms and a hint of pine forest.

Raised near Lancaster, Pa., Mr. Brosius came to New York in 1980 to study architecture at Columbia University. Bored with the idea of being an architect, he worked odd jobs in the 1980s including driving a taxi cab, which was where he discovered that he "hated perfume" and had a hypersensitive sense of smell. People "would get into my car in the evening wearing some horrible scent that made me sick," he said.

He studied fashion at Parsons the New School for Design and took a job in the cosmetics department at Barney's, which led to a job at Kiehl's, where he learned to make perfume. He started his first company in 1992; CB began in 2004.

"He has his own philosophy about fragrances," says Mary Ellen Lapsansky, vice president of the Fragrance Foundation in New York, which has 175 member perfumers and retailers in the roughly $6 billion fine-fragrance industry, including Estée Lauder, Avon and Macy's. "He has a great nose, a great vision." She said niche perfumers such as Mr. Brosius push the industry forward.

Mr. Brosius's storefront features dozens of fragrances and extracts lined on white, boxy shelves that people can sniff or test. Some shoppers just gawk at the unusual titles: #276 Old Leather, Russian Caravan Tea, Memory of Kindness, In The Library, Gathering Apples, #342 Grass and Burning Leaves ("the smoke of burning maple leaves—pure & simple").

Bushwick residents Jean Torres, 32, and Micheline Saucier, 30, stopped by the store with their 1-year-old daughter on a recent Saturday and sampled several perfumes for Mr. Saucier before settling on Wet Stone and November. "I find a lot of perfumes really coying. I get a headache. I have a really sensitive sense of smell," said Ms. Saucier. "I don't want to smell like a teenager and I don't want to smell like an old lady."

Another shopper said, "Burning leaves? Who wants to smell like that?" Mr. Brosius admits that his scents like "Roast Beef" are not for everyone and work better when blended to form a more interesting perfume.

For a few years, Mr. Brosius took requests to make custom-blended perfumes that cost $2,500 or more. One client, a female engineer, wanted a perfume built from her favorite smells: the hot back of a computer, the smell of paper from chemistry class and fresh dill. Another woman wanted a perfume that smelled like California's Napa Valley. Mr. Brosius traveled there to collect and replicate scent notes.

"I give them what they're looking for. They, in turn, give me new ideas," he says. Now, he says he makes custom scents for only a few "really good clients" who understand his process, rather than for those who just want a "a vanity thing."

Regardless of demand, he says he wants to keep his perfume staff at five or fewer. "This is, really, a luxury business," he said "Part of that means remaining small."

The recession dented his sales last year, but now he says growth is back on the rise, and he is considering a move to a larger factory and, perhaps, a storefront in Manhattan. He's also thinking of launching a clothing line.