Carlos J. Powell wasn’t in the front position of the fragrance machine. Luxury brands didnt invite him to a party at their ateliers at Venice or to go climbed picking at dawn with influencers in Isparta, Turkey.

Mr. Powell, who lived in Sheepshead Bay and was known to his supporters on YouTube as Brooklyn Fragrance Lover, worked as a children’s shoe salesman in Lester’s Clothing and Shoes for 35 years before he was laid off early in the pandemic. He roomed with two cats, Claude and Jean (named after Jean Claude Ellena, a master perfumer), and his fragrance collection, with bottles numbering in the thousands.

A hard worker, spiffy dresser and preternaturally talented smeller, Mr. Powell was also the ur-New Yorker, living paycheck to paycheck and doing what he loved in his off hours. Unlike some of the market personalities who have proliferated on YouTube and TikTok, he was more fire than gloss, from the earworm-ish opening jingle that he composed for his videos to his uninhibited enthusiasm for the aromas he dissected and the mixture of people he dissected them with. His guests ran the gamut from famous “noses” and career chemists to nieces and colleagues from the Lester’s shoe section.

Brooklyn Fragrance Lover’s following of nearly 69,000 was a fraction of the 1.4 million subscribers to Jeremy Fragrance, the German-born Ken doll look-alike who vlogs in evening dress. Nor was Mr. Powell in league with Junior Barreiros, the upbeat Brazilian who testimonials fragrances in Portuguese for more than half a million. However, Mr. Powell was without rival in other ways, this five-foot-six Latino guy who loved Broadway musicals and Oreo cookies.

While Mr. Powell didn’t outwardly begrudge the fragrance world’s superficial values, he didn’t adopt its algorithm-dictated priorities. Browse his channel and youre more likely to land on a boisterous holiday song medley, with him accompanying friends on a keyboard or piano, or a goofy Niche or Designer game night. Videos with clickbait names like “12 Sexiest Men’s Fragrances” or “What Colognes Women Can’t Resist ” were rare and reluctant concessions.

The video that best encapsulates Mr. Powell’s spirit might be the 1 chronicling his night outside at the 2018 Fragrance Foundation Awards ceremony.

He was a nominee at the Consumer Choice Vlog category, for a movie that he had shot the night of the previous year’s ceremony, together with his dear friend and fellow vlogger Steven Gavrielatos.

A 10th grade English teacher who resides in Jersey City, Mr. Gavrielatos is the creator of this Redolessence fragrance review station on YouTube, which has 150,000 subscribers. Both appeared in many of every other’s movies, which they filmed in batches every week, often until 1 or 2 in the morning.

When their sessions took place at Mr. Gavrielatos’s home, Mr. Powell often slept over. In an industry in which the term “collaboration” is so often a cynical marketing ploy, the pair’s version of teamwork stood apart.

The awards night video opens in Mr. Powell’s apartment, where Claude the cat and a panoply of waving cat figurines keep our hero business. He spritzes on Tom Ford’s Amber Complete, slips on his Brooklyn baseball cap and Guys ’s Warehouse rental tux, and away he goes.

At the ceremony, Mr. Powell stands to the side of the red carpet. He greets Jeremy Fragrance, a fellow nominee, who seems keen to keep moving through the audience. Mr. Powell’s face lights up when he places the master perfumer Olivier Cresp. (Others available, such as Jane Krakowski and Naomi Campbell, have no such impact.)

We jump cut to the moment when the winner is declared. Jeremy Fragrance ascends the stage like a dastardly Disney prince. He thanks the space, then proceeds to lower to the ground and do 10 one-armed push-ups. The audience goes wild.

We were both feeling a wide range of emotions, Mr. Gavrielatos recalled. Carlos enjoyed Jeremy and always had an appreciation for his hustle. But that night he had been upset. He thought, ‘ This is my only opportunity. Jeremy’s subscriber count was growing 300 percent faster than either of ours were, and he was like, ‘If we don’t win this season, we’re not winning ever. ’”

Mr. Powell’s spirits had recovered by the end of the ceremony, when he was handed a bag of fragrances on his exit. His excitement got the best of him. He turned to Mr. Gavrielatos and suggested, “ would like to visit your place and take some videos? ’” It was a late night.

Mr. Powell dreamed of building up to 100,000 subscribers. His other dream was to release his own odor. He and Mr. Gavrielatos started to work on a fragrance line called Redbrook.

The brew was mixed at the Society of Scent, an indie company that favors the “slow scent ” movement and is in a former button factory in the South Bronx. Overseeing the potions lab is Jean-Claude Delville, the master perfumer behind the famous scents Cabotine de Gres and Clinique Happy. The company ’s creative director and founder, Frederic Jacques, spent over a year going back and forth with Mr. Powell and Mr. Gavrielatos, discussing ingredients and layout components, bottle shape and advertising copy. It is essential to get not only the notes but the narrative, he said.

There was a setback last fall, when Mr. Powell, 56, who had long struggled with diabetes and other health complications, is vlogged about a stay in the hospital for low potassium levels that had sent his body into shock.

Then, last month, after asking strange questions during a conversation with Mr. Gavrielatos’s wife, he stopped answering calls. Police sent to test on Mr. Powell found him unresponsive in his apartment; paramedics could not revive him. His stepbrother, Billy Davidson, Jr., said the cause of death was thought to be a heart attack.

It was all very sudden, said Nina Pelton, a singer, a longtime friend and the voice on the Brooklyn Fragrance Lover jingle. “The morning I heard about it, my first thought was: Thank God he was home and with his cats. ”

Mr. Gavrielatos is moving ahead with their genderless potion, which is scheduled to come out on Sunday, March 21, timed for a holiday named National Fragrance Day, and perhaps more meaningfully, Mr. Powell’s birthday, March 19. Redbrook’s debut scent is known as the “Underground” edition, following the two-hour commute between their homes (and their south-of-the-radar status in the world of major Scent). The first run, of 1,000 bottles, sold out via pre-order before this week. A new batch is in production.

Identifying a formula that encapsulated their distinct aesthetics and tastes had been a challenge. They had their differences: Carlos was gay and in Brooklyn, Steven is an English teacher who lives in New Jersey with his wife and daughter, Mr. Jacques said. “Carlos was bling, Steven is more classic. ”

What most excited him about the pair, he said, was their shared passion and groundedness. Our world isnt fine it runs close to the fashion world, and theres an element of attitude more than kindness, Mr. Jacques said.

The friends were more interested in being knowledgeable than they were in being well known. The formulation Mr. Jacques and his clients landed on is less of a middle ground between their unique tastes than something new altogether. It’s also lovely, brighter and sunnier than what you might imagine if you heard that its principal notes are patchouli, pink pepper, ginger and vetiver, kin to trendy scents from D.S. and Durga and Le Labo.

Mr. Powell’s first passion was music. He taught himself how to play the piano, the accordion, and trumpet, according to Mr. Davidson, whose father, a wholesale shoe salesman, married Mr. Powell’s mother, Hilda, a hairdresser, when Mr. Powell was 12.

He got really into theatre as a little child, Mr. Davidson said. “Being a kid at the ’80s, in a heavily Italian neighborhood as a half-Dominican and half-British-Panamanian child, he had a lot to deal with. Mr. Powell attended summer camp at French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts in Delaware County, N.Y., where he met Ben Stiller, another camper, Mr. Davidson said, and advised of forming a ring, with Mr. Stiller plays the drums.

After completing his high school diploma at City As School, Mr. Powell landed a job at Lester’s in Coney Island ( afterwards, he moved to the Upper East Side store ). As a young adult in the early 1980s, he was focused on his group, UBoy, and investigating the club scene. He also dabbled in musical theater, writing music for Off Broadway companies.

More recently, he organized the Godspell 2016 Project, a reprise production featuring the original 1978 cast of Edward B. Shallow JHS 227’s staging of “Godspell. ”

Mr. Powell’s affinity for odor gradually tipped into an obsession. Initially, he traded in the patchouli oil he’d preferred as a teenager for the moss- and pine-heavy scents that reigned from the ’80s. He adored Pierre Cardin Pour Homme along with the first Polo, Mr. Gavrielatos said.

His passion has been fanned further in the early 2010s, when he fell in with a group of fatheads who called themselves The Goodsmellas. ” This society of men, several of whom worked in law enforcement, went on weekend sniffing expeditions, sampling fresh perfumes and taking in town ’s scents. The West Village fragrance boutique MiN NY served as their clubhouse, the way Supreme used to be for skaters. “We were normal men,” said Edward Libassi, who conducts the YouTube channel Frunkinator.

Most of these die-hard odor fans had their own YouTube accounts. Mr. Powell created a Facebook group called Peace, Love, and Perfume, which became a hub for industry players and odor obsessives. He started his own YouTube account in 2016 and worked his way up to posting three movies a week: short, sweet and adorably enthusiastic. He loved life, he loved to be happy, and he was very jovial but not juvenile, Mr. Libassi said.

The GoFundMe page that Mr. Gavrielatos set up to raise money for funeral arrangements has received donations totaling over $38,000. A stunned-looking Jeremy Fragrance posted his reply on YouTube: “that’s very, very shocking and very, pretty, pretty, pretty hardcore. ”

The master perfumer Christophe Laudamiel, the creator of Mr. Powells beloved Amber Complete by Tom Ford, delivered an Instagram eulogy to his friend: You weren’t only a spritzer, you’d show up at events, arrange videos with perfumers to get some real advice, and always bring some fantastic mood too, and revealed the secret formula in Mr. Powells honor. Thats a big no-no, and quite a big deal, Mr. Gavrielatos said.

Donna Quinones, who works at Lesters, remembered Mr. Powell as a lively colleague who enjoyed dressing up in Halloween costumes, is pulling pranks on his co-workers, and frequently is trying on new scents through the day. Whenever Carlos walked in, you smelled him, she said. “I’d say, ‘Oooh what are you wearing? That smells a little citrusy, or, that smells a little woodsy. ’ Most of all he loved the remarks. ”

Tiff Benson, a cologne blogger and one of Mr. Powell’s best friends, remembered their regular dinners and salsa dance sessions as a source of pleasure and support for Benson, who is Black. He knew who I was as a person, and thats super-rare especially in this sector which is so white and European and male, she said.

One of the reasons Mr. Powell championed underdogs, Ms. Benson reasoned, was that he was one.

A whole lot of the people he had been talking to on his videos were people nobody had heard of, she said. “The industry is so small, in the event you talked about a small brand, it might be life-changing, and he knew that. ”