Your Signature Scent: Eau de Roast Beef? Perfumist Makes Memories in a Bottle

PHOTO: Christopher Brosius is a perfumist who makes custom scents at his "I Hate Perfume" labs in Brooklyn for clients willing to pay thousands to have a personal perfume.PlayABC News
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Christopher Brosius is a perfumist unlike any other, making custom scents at his "I Hate Perfume" labs for clients willing to pay thousands to have a personal perfume.

"My perfumes are really for the person who is wearing them, in that respect, they are the opposite of perfume," Brosius said.

Brosius searches the world for unusual scents, and don't expect to purchase a bottle of rose perfume from him -- more like eau de leather baseball glove, roast beef or even "a clean baby's bottom."

"It's just like you've cleaned the kid and changed the diaper and powdered him or her down and it's the wrong end," he said.

Most of Brosius' clients seek smells that remind them of a personal or past experience, like grandma's kitchen or something they are passionate about.

"A client who is an electrical engineer came to me with a very specific list of things that she loved," he explained, "She narrowed it down to things like burnt wood, various smokes, burnt rubber, burnt wire and fresh dill."

Tell Us: What Would Your Signature Scent Be?

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Smelling like your favorite memory doesn't come cheap -- a customized scent by Brosius will cost at least $2,500 per bottle, and will take months to make, even years, to develop.

"I work with certain things that cost tens of thousands a kilo. In one case I have one rare wood that costs over 100,000 a kilo," he said.

Brosius' shops have scents by series, including a sweets series (chocolate icing, birthday cake, bubble gum), a food series (that's where the roast beef scent comes in, along with some French bread), a skin series (wet sheep on a farm) and a leather series (leather baseball glove, in the library and leather coat).

When "Nightline" visited his lab in Brooklyn, we put our nose to the test, and the scents really do smell exactly their concepts. His newest aroma smells like, well, a better version of you.

"It's called where we are, there is no here," Brosius said, "The idea behind that is to have almost no smell. It is this really lovely olfactory aura."

From Beyonce to Taylor Swift to the Beckams, celebrity-brand perfumes are saturating the fragrance market. Just one spray brings the promise of smelling like your favorite star.

These scents are a roughly $1 billion business, according to the National Retail Federation. Coty, the world's leading seller of fragrances, said celebrity scents are now 40 percent of its sales. Elizabeth Taylor set the stage in 1991 with White Diamonds, but the genre didn't explode until 2002 with the release of Jennifer Lopez's Glo.

"We were shocked," said senior vice president of Global Marketing for Coty Beauty Steve Mormoris of launching Glo. "The first year, it was triple our forecast. It became a $200 million business in one year."

Britney Spears' scent Curious launched in 2004 and achieved $100 million in sales in its first year alone.

According to the Fragrance Foundation, celebrities can expect to make between 5 percent and 10 percent of the sales for licensing their names to scents, in addition to an up-front payment between $3 million and $5 million.

Hell Berry's New Fragrance: 'Reveal'

Halle Berry is just one of the latest celebrities to launch a new scent -- her third. It's called Reveal, and Berry said she spent months developing it to have just the right combination of notes, otherwise known as ingredients.

"Every fragrance that has my name is something I have tested, sort of labored over," she said. "I've smelled it 500 different times with this little note added, that little note added, we changed it. My fragrance is a part of me."

Berry said her other fragrance, Pure Orchid, actually draws its scent from the real rare flower, but also has "fruity notes" added to it. Perfumist Rodrigo Flores-Roux helped Berry create her Pure Orchid scent at the Givoudan Fragrance Lab in New York City, where there are 2,000 smells lingering at any given time.

"A perfume can have 50 to 100 ingredients, so it's a complex recipe," Flores-Roux said. "[For Pure Orchid], we went to the jungles of Peru, up into the mountains that go down into the Amazon, and we actually encountered a beautiful orchid. We did not touch the flower. Through a very, very complex methodology we made the 'alfactive' -- the ascent formula of the air around it."

Fragrances are way for someone to have an intimate connection to you, Berry said, even if you're a celebrity, but be careful not to overdo it.

"I tell people don't put it around your neck and around your face so that way you don't leave it on other people," Berry said. "Put it on the back of your arms. Put it in your midsection or in your inner thighs, but not around your face."