scent memories

Andrew Goetz Thinks Happiness Smells Like Roasted Chicken

Matthew Malin and Andrew Goetz. Photo: Courtesy of Malin + Goetz

Call it the Proust effect: Memories are often triggered by smells. Scientific studies confirm that out of all the senses, smell offers the best recall. In Scent Memories, the Cut asks people about the scents they associate with different times in their lives. Next up is Andrew Goetz: one half of the duo behind the eponymous label MALIN+GOETZ. He and partner Matthew Malin have created a long line of “simple skin care solutions” since opening their first store in 2004. Their most recent release is a fragrance, Stem, which honors the idea of a “deconstructed garden” with notes like mandarin leaves, jasmine buds, and musk. The Cut spoke with Goetz about Champagne, the Mediterranean, and his rescue pug.

My first scent memory is: Baby powder. I always remember that being a really prevalent smell in my childhood, even with my younger siblings. My mother would always douse us in it, God knows what form of cancer we’ve probably gotten from it, but it was always a fond memory.

Happiness smells like: Roasted chicken. I know that sounds very unsexy, but I love making a roast chicken because it’s so easy and simple. It’s great to cook and share with people, and I love the way it perfumes the entire house. It’s pretty basic, but that’s happiness to me.

Love smells like: Matthew Malin, of course! [Laughs.] I don’t know if Matthew would answer the same way, but I hope he would. Well, I hope he doesn’t say also say “Matthew Malin,” but you know what I mean!

Friendship smells like: A garden. I love cutting flowers up in the country and putting together bouquets, it’s so simple. It’s not only olfactory, it’s also very visual. It’s so nice to grow and arrange a bouquet and bring it to a friend.

Heartbreak smells like: Amsterdam on a rainy day. I lived in Amsterdam for many, many years and it was very difficult for me to come back to New York.

Vacation smells like: The Mediterranean. Whether it’s the South of France or the Italian Riviera it’s a place where I can totally forget everything and lose myself. The saline aspect of the sea fuses with the mountain air and it’s absolutely heaven for me.

Sunday morning smells like: Newsprint fused with the aroma of a café latte. There’s something very magical about the smell of newsprint. I have a very specific ritual on Sunday morning: I get the Sunday New York Times and I make a big pot of coffee. Spring, summer, fall, winter, it’s the first thing I do when I wake up.

Monday morning smells like: Anxiety! [Laughs.] I don’t know why. Every Monday is exactly the same, I don’t know how it happens, somehow the emails have piled up, and I just wake up and I’m immediately stressed out.

My home smells like: It’s a combination of Malin, Goetz, and Mr. Greenberg, our rescue pug. And he does have his very own dog shampoo, but you know how they say the cobbler’s kids always go barefoot? He doesn’t get cleaned as often as he ought to. But regardless his scent definitely permeates our home and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

A pleasant surprise smells like: A bottle of Champagne. It’s unexpected, and it’s celebratory, and even if you’re not even really celebrating something it just feels so much more extravagant — maybe it’s because of the bubbles?

If I could have one smell on my hands forever, it would be: I have this weird obsession with marzipan and there’s something about the subtle nuttiness of the almond mixed with the sweetness of the sugar that is just amazing. If the world could smell like marzipan, we’d be in a better place.

I smell like: I’m a little bit spicy, a little bit on the periphery of naughty, and hopefully a little bit of humor comes through as well.

Andrew Goetz Thinks Happiness Smells Like Roasted Chicken