One of the Best Cocktail Bars in the Country Just Released Luxury Fragrances Inspired by These U.S. Cities

Cocktail bar Death & Co has three locations — Denver, Los Angeles, and NYC — and each city inspired a fragrance in the new three-perfume portfolio.

Death & Co x de Kloka Fragrance Set
Photo:

Courtesy of de Kloka

There’s something about scents that can transport you right back to a place — and that’s exactly what cocktail institution Death & Co is hoping to inspire with its newest product, a trio of hand-blended fragrances. 

In a special collection launched by former bartender Jackie Brenner’s perfume company de Kloka, the bar has released gender-inclusive perfumes that reflect each of its three locations: the original New York City East Village haunt that opened on New Year’s Eve in 2006, which was then followed by a Denver lounge and restaurant in 2018, and a Los Angeles subterranean bar and restaurant in 2019.

“When guests visit Death & Co, we want them to feel as if they’re transported; fully immersed in their experience,” Death & Co founder and co-owner David Kaplan told Travel + Leisure exclusively. “Sensory memory is also often awakened by scent. So bottling that magic and creating something reflective of Death & Co through the lens of scent is something I’ve wanted to do for years. And Jackie, as someone who is adept in speaking the languages of both cocktails and perfumery, was the perfect partner to actualize this ambition.”

As a colleague and frequent guest of Death & Co’s locations, Brenner was enthused to work on such a unique collaboration — and took the matter into her own hands, literally. “These perfumes are made by hand (my hands!) in every step of the process,” she told T+L of the small-batch, botanical formulas. “From blending, to batching, bottling, packaging, I touch each bottle a minimum of 25 times before it reaches you. It is a labor of love and each perfume carries the energy of that devotion and love.” That care, she says, "mirrors the way that drinks are crafted at each of Death & Co's bars, with intentionality, care, and patience.” 

The New York fragrance is described as “earthy, rooty, and a little bitter," on Death & Co's website, likening classic cocktails, while Denver is more reminiscent of the Mile High City's mountain air with green pine dominating alongside earthy and fresh patchouli. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles variety mixes ginger and orange with yuzu and yellow mandarin to crank up the heat with a texture described as “velvety suede.” 

“It's hard to pick a favorite of the three,” Brenner said. “They are all so unique and hold space for different moods and experiences. When I want something bright and sexy, Los Angeles really fits the bill. Night out on the town? New York's spice, warmth, and animalic facets are the perfect accessory. When I need some fresh, earthy grounding, Denver really transports me to the mountain forest.”

The California-based perfumer admits she most often turns to the LA fragrance herself, but that she spent the most time perfecting New York. “It was the first perfume of the three that I worked on as I knew that it would be the aromatic anchor for the other two,” she said. “New York for me is a city full of possibility and diversity — you can be anyone and find everything there, so the scent options were overwhelming at first. Thinking back to the time I've spent in Death & Co East Village is what helped bring the composition into focus. The scent memories of brown and boozy classic cocktails, candlelight, leather booths, and lipstick all played a part.” The other two cities developed quite naturally after she had that one set.

Crafted with an organic sugarcane spirit and 100 percent natural ingredients, each 15-milliliter bottle is available for $90, or the entire set can be purchased for $250.  The new fragrances are just one of the many items offered online on the Death & Co Market, which also carries drinkware, games, apparel, and the brand's original cocktail recipe books, all capturing the bar’s distinct vibe. 

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