Super Tonic

There’s something about niche beauty brands that really appeals to me. Sometimes it’s their funky or unique packaging design. Sometimes it’s their irreverent attitude. Whatever the case, I like to support small businesses.

This weekend I picked up a bottle of Smell Good Daily Tonic ($28) by West 3rd Brand. Judging by the brand name, I imagined them to have a little operation in the West Village of New York City, but they’re actually based in California. Always on the lookout for a new fragrance, I couldn’t resist these chunky bottles that screamed “TONIC!” in large letters. The old-school label reminds me of apothecary products from the 19th century. It doesn’t rely on funky Illustrator-generated graphics to get your attention. The antique typography letters tell you everything you need to know: that this is a tonic to help you smell good – daily! I chose the TONIC! in Violetta Novella. Violet was a popular fragrance in the 19th century, and on first spray I feared I would smell like someone’s grandmother, and indeed it dried down to a good-old-fashioned powdery violet. But sometimes you just have to let a classic fragrance bloom in its purest form. Since these tonics are called “body spray,” I was expecting a light, sheer fragrance, like a body mist. But these tonics definitely come on strong. They are more of a cologne than a body spray, and certainly live up to their name of Smell Good Daily.

Smell Good Daily Tonic is available in fourteen fragrances. West 3rd Brand also make candles, room sprays, and eaux de toilette. If you can’t find them in a store near you, you can order them from their website. While you’re there, check out their found objects collection!

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