New York Daily News

Kebabs to B.O., city’s scents & sensibilit­y

- BY JOANNA FANTOZZI NEW YORK DAILY NEWS “New York, Phew York,” is available online for $34 at scentsatio­ A portion of the proceeds go to The Center for Arts Education to promote arts programs in public schools.

Amidtown concierge has written an odorous ode to New York City’s distinct smells — and boy, does it stink!

From pastrami sandwiches to pizza to the unwashed guy you don’t want to sit next to on the subway, Amber Jones’ scratch-and-sniff book is chockfull of the city’s unique scents.

But here’s fair warning: “New York, Phew York” is not for the faint of stomach.

“I wanted an honest portrayal of New York, and unfortunat­ely it doesn’t smell like daffodils all the time,” says the Brooklyn-born first-time author.

Jones, who lives in Chelsea, admits it was difficult getting the offending scents published because nobody really wants to smell anything so bad.

After initiating a campaign on Kickstarte­r, an online fund-raising platform, she self-published the colorful work.

Illustrato­r Tim Probert uses a cartoony and breezy style that makes “New York, Phew York” appear to be targeted at kids — but the hardcover book appeals to readers of all ages who love New York.

Its 40 pages follow the adventures of a young boy as he vacations with his parents. The family explores many familiar and celebrated New York neighborho­ods.

“It’s a full-blown love letter to New York,” Jones says of the book. “It’s about trying, experienci­ng and smelling New York.”

“New York, Phew York” highlights the smells of many neighborho­ods, like marinara sauce in Little Italy, fresh fruit in Union Square and kebabs in the Theater District.

The author’s favorite scents from the book?

“It’s a toss-up between the shish kebab and the roasting nuts,” Jones says. “Roasting nuts have seriously the most memorable smell.”

The literary project was inspired by her experience­s as a concierge at The W New York in Times Square, where she still works. In the book, a hotel concierge helps the touring family find the best spots in New York.

“I really do love my job,” says Jones, who also thinks concierges are underestim­ated. “I love being responsibl­e for how people remember New York.”

Jones initially got the idea for her book as she was walking down the street one day with a friend.

She smelled pizza. Just a few seconds later, she got a whiff of horse manure.

“Nowhere else,” she says, “has the smells of New York City.”

The city’s scents are a quintessen­tial part of this town’s character, but they don’t often get recognitio­n, Jones says. And she acknowledg­es that scratch-and-sniff books themselves are practicall­y a thing of the past.

Still, this will not be Jones’ last foray into an odorous urban landscape. Her next project is a Los Angeles-centered book, called “Smell A.”

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