They call him ‘Mr. Smell Good’ and he sells soap, not dope

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Omar T. Murray, better known as “Mr. Smell Good,” has been a fixture in Newark for almost a decade.

Murray began selling soap and aromatic oils from a wagon on the streets of the Brick City and now he owns two brick-and-mortar stores as well. He says that his unusual nickname came from a complete stranger.

“Just out of the blue, I was crossing Broad and Market on a busy street and an elder lady, probably in her 60s or 0s, she flagged me down. ‘Mr. Smell Good. Mr. Smell Good.’ I’m like, who is she talking to? And the crowd was like, ‘You!’” Murray says.

Murray says he is the proud graduate of Newark’s East Side High School and St. Rocco’s Grammar School. His Mr. Smell Good Look Good shops sell hundreds of varieties of aromatic oils for folks to wear, burn or consume. The shop sports the sign “I Sell Soap Not Dope!” There is a steady flow of customers who want to smell good and look good.

“The brand is expanding,” Murray says.

But his path to success wasn't always a straight one. When he was younger, Murray did two stints in prison for drug charges. He says that while he was behind bars, he devoured books and discovered Islam. He says that it gave him the direction he needed.

When he got out he started selling aromatic oils and soaps from a wagon at the busy intersection of Broad and Market. He says that he sold out of 700 $1 dollar bottles on his first day.

Mr. Smell Good and his cart became a fixture in Downtown Newark.

“From 6 a.m. until 8 p.m.,” he says.

His shops are located in Newark and Irvington.

And as for that woman who gave him his nickname?

“She took off. I never seen the lady a day in my life again. Maybe she was an angel from God. It definitely worked,” he says.

Mr. Smell Good has been at it since 2011. His second store in Irvington opened just the past summer and he says he'll be expanding to sell on the internet soon.

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