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Best place to get lucky: Rondo Distributing Co.

Staff Pick

All right, so you don't believe in magic potions. Not bright red "Jinx Killer," not a vaguely urine-colored "Hold Your Man Perfume," not clover green "Lucky Jocky Cologne." Neither do we, necessarily. But it doesn't make snapping up bottles of these concoctions - an adorable, vintage label affixed to each - any less tempting. We get ours at Rondo Distributing Co. on Mitchell Street, where it's been since the early '40s. The quirky Botánica is doing something right, even if it isn't blocking bad juju. Or maybe it is. Religious idols - the Virgin Mary, Jesus, some other Holy Fella - peer down from a shelf on the water-stained walls and overlook the cabinets and glass display cases overflowing with books of lucky numbers, lucky charms, incenses, and lots and lots of bottled so-and-so. Even though many are called "perfume" and "cologne," whatever you do, don't open a bottle to take a whiff. Smelling is strictly prohibited in Rondo. Maybe it's so you don't spill the stuff and stink up the joint. Or maybe it's because the stuff really works.

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