After the scent-smelling session, we drive his Chrysler to a strip mall full of chain stores a couple miles away; it’s only Thursday, but he makes an exception.He’s dressed in sweatpants, a Polo cap, and white Air Jordan slides with socks.Some of his hobbies include painting, giving himself facials, and hand-making dog toys out of socks and yarn.
He’s got 25 in total, arranged carefully on top of a wooden dresser in his Daytona Beach, Florida, bedroom. I say sure, and he starts ripping a piece of paper into small strips, placing them in a row on the dresser. Branden, 25, lives in a one-bedroom in a quiet gated complex 15 minutes from the Daytona shoreline.The spread — which includes colognes, perfumes, and at least one unisex scent — is expensive, each glass bottle cast in its own sultry shape. He shares the apartment with his long-term partner, Xavier, a long-limbed drug and alcohol counselor and graduate student he met on BGC, a pre-Grindr gay dating app geared toward black men. Hanging by the door, there’s a framed painting of a rainy Paris street. “Everything in my house I bought with my porn money,” Branden tells me.