Independent perfumers are making a big splash in the fragrance world

Man showing how to make perfumes in studio.Hiram Green shows off some of the raw essences that go into his perfumes. He's at Twisted Lily, a fragrance boutique in Brooklyn.

​At Twisted Lily, a fragrance boutique in Brooklyn, I learn that things quickly get personal when you’re talking about perfume — like when co-owner Eric Weiser explains why I won’t like one of his favorite perfumes.

Player utilities“It has one word [in] the name, and it’s stercus," he says. Stercus, in case your Latin is rusty, means “feces.”

But I take a whiff — and it smells nice. Not fecal at all.

Stercus is just one of the words perfume fanatics use to describe something that smells really great. “Skunky, dirty, fecal, urine-y, barnyard-y,” Weiser says. "It can be a compliment to a perfumer.”

Asking personal questions of a perfumer is actually what brings me to Twisted Lily today. They’re unveiling a new scent by Hiram Green, a perfumer based in the Netherlands. Most of the perfumes sold here don’t come from Chanel or Christian Dior. They're handmade by individual perfumers, most of whom are self-taught — which I find striking.

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