New perfume Road by Karangahape aims to bottle the scent of Auckland's most iconic strip

Road by Karangahape perfume against campaign shot
The unique scent will only be available for a limited time. Photo credit: Supplied

You can now smell like one of Auckland's most iconic roads - yes, you read that right - with a new perfume bottling the scent of Karangahape Road for the famous strips' most ardent fans. 

With notes of "sweaty pits", "hair clippings" and "cloying must of preloved clothing" (not quite the usual bouquet of bergamot, jasmine and sandalwood), the new scent Road by Karangahape is a collaboration between local apothecary Of Body and the K Road Business Association. 

Capturing "Karangahape Road in a bottle", the perfume aims to "distil the experience of being on Auckland's most infamous street", making it a nostalgic, evocative scent for locals and Kiwi expats alike wanting to wear the scent of home.

Road by Karangahape campaign imagery
The campaign features K Road's small business owners. Photo credit: Supplied

"All great perfumes contain 'bad smells' and 'good smells', and K Road contains those things in droves. What makes a perfume interesting is contrast, the pairing of potentially off-putting notes with the pleasant ones, and the finding that balance," Nathan Taare, chief scentsmith at Of Body, said in a statement on Monday.

"This is a special occasion perfume, an ode to home, and familiar chaos. It's a surprising, magnetic smell, that will compel deep nostalgia in anyone within the wearer's radius."

Over the next six weeks, 150 bottles of Road will be available to purchase at participating small businesses along the infamous strip, with a price tag of $100.  All revenue will go directly to the housing support charity Lifewise, which also runs K Road's not-for-profit cafe, Merge. New retailers will be released each day via K Road's Instagram and no, online orders are not allowed.

The fragrance's high-fashion-with-a-twist campaign will also be visible across Auckland for the next six weeks. Produced by Motion Sickness and shot by photographer Hōne Naera-Scott, the campaign may feature some familiar faces: all the models are members of K Road's thriving business community.

From the barista who makes your morning coffee to the guy serving your fungal cream prescription, the models range from up-and-coming artists renting the space above Lambs Pharmacy, to the owner of Miller's Coffee to the chefs at Coco's Cantina.

"With notes of wet pavement, whispers of nightclub sweat, a flash of green heat combined with a touch of smoke and mirrors, ROAD captures the sensory rush of Aotearoa's most iconic street," Karangahape Road's Instagram said on Monday morning.

"A homage to the ostentatious world of luxury aromas comes a campaign that features the local celebrities behind the businesses you know and love."

All 150 bottles are uniquely stamped with a chunk of K Road - a small slab of concrete stolen from the ongoing Central Rail Link Karanga-a-Hape construction project.