Tag Archives: Bond No. 9

Decants – optimism and irony

I know I’ve been MIA for a really long time (I’d rather not think about how long) and I can’t say I’m back, even though I would love to, but I will certainly try to be back. 🙂

So, in my wish to get back to writing about perfumes and just generally enjoying them more, I did a switch the other day, finally bringing out my spring and summer bottles and decants – only to have weather suddenly change back to winter. It seems to be getting back into spring luckily though.

But that’s not the point of this post.

Going through my decants, I realized I have some unnamed ones. And I am the person who didn’t label them after decanting them. The optimistic past me thought my nose and brain were so good I would remember what I decanted. But the optimistic me forgot how bad I am at remembering names. And I suck at remembering names – ask anyone who knows me.

The irony of me thinking I would remember what I decanted years after the fact, knowing how unable I am to remember names wasn’t lost on me.

So, imagine my surprise when I smelled a decant and knew that I could remember this perfume because it was so very familiar to me. But the name just wouldn’t come no matter how much I smelled my arm. And it was a perfume I really loved at one point in my perfume story.

So I let myself not think about it anymore and went on with chores.

Honestly, I love lightbulb moments and I wish I’d have more of them. My nose and my braing finally made the connection half an hour later.

It was Chinatown by Bond No 9.

A brand and a perfume I totally forgot about. I don’t read blogs much anymore but it feels like no one ever talks about Bond No 9 anymore (and I know the brand is probably responsible for that).

The thing is, I don’t really care what kind of brand is behind that perfume because I realized I still love it and think it’s absolutely wonderful in all its sweet, gourmand glory. I guess it evokes the initial gidiness of learning about a new obsession of mine (perfume), at a time when my life was much more carefree and optimistic. And now I think about it, it was quite a long time ago. 🙂

I don’t want to lose my newly found perfume optimism, but I feel old when I think about stuff like my old carefree days. 🙂 Luckily, it just makes me laugh at myself. Besides, I am not that young anymore – and the irony is not lost on me here too, because I feel younger in my mind than I did in my 20s. Probably because I don’t take things so seriously anymore even though I feel more serious. glass

I realized I never actually reviewed Chinatown. It won’t happen today either but I would actually love to talk about it a bit more.

So here’s me hoping the perfume that originally got me into loving niche is the one that brings me back into enjoying perfumes and writing about them again.

Sample of the day: Bond no. 9 So New York

Ok, who puts these notes as the main notes of a perfume?! Mirabelle, espresso accord and cocoa powder? (Btw, I had to google Mirabelle, I didn’t know that was a plum)

I mean, I find it a bit stupid as I was smelling it without checking the notes and at some point I was wondering if what I was smelling was flowers – rose and peony and a little more googling turned out Aus Liebe zum Duft and their more real list: bergamot, warm milk?!, patchouli, lily of the valley, peony, musk and precious woods.

Although honestly, the notes didn’t help much.

My initial thought was that it smelled a bit like Chinatown (the sweet fruity warm opening) and Lexington Avenue (the nutty sweet coffee and I thought I detected some smoke) but in a more subdued fashion. Could be the fact that I dabbed this and not sprayed it like I do with the other two but it still struck me as a lighter combination of these two.

Which brings me to the question – does New York smell of sweet fruit, coffee and cigarette smoke? As those seem to be a recurring theme in Bond’s NY perfumes.

I already described practically the whole opening, but if I were to ignore my associations, I’d say it smells like plums dipped in chocolate with some booziness added to that chocolate. Yummy!

 After some time the florals take over. I still can’t believe I pegged peony without looking at the notes. 🙂 Although lily of the valley completely escaped me before and after knowing the notes. The whole perfume is  kind of a strange mix of the notes I described, which work together rather well until the drydown and the musk. Unfortunately, it’s the kind of synthetic musk I think of as the clean musk that overtakes my nose and won’t let me smell anything and that is what happened here.

I know many people enjoy that type of smell but for me it ruined this perfume. I was bound to love a light type of mix of two of my favourite Bonds.


Pic taken from Bond No. 9 site.

I have a problem

I realized it only today. I know that the Chicken Freak wrote some posts about de-cluttering and how to get rid of stuff, and now it seems I will have to give this some thought. As in how to apply it in my own life. I’ve been swapping for over a year now and I have so many samples and quite a lot of decants. That wouldn’t be a problem usually, but since I really like most of the decants I have, I tend not to use them. Which kind of makes no sense because what’s the point in liking them and keeping them on the shelf?! The problem is what if I use them up and decide I need a bottle? I can’t buy so many and I like having such a wide choice swapped decants give me. Anyway, today I decided I will no longer keep them so I wore my New Harleem decant 2 days in a row. It is one of my favorite Bond No. 9 scents (along with Chinatown and Lexington avenue).

So I’m going to talk about it today.

Notes: bergamot, cedarwood, coffee, vanilla, patchouli, lavender.

The notes really cannot prepare you for what you smell when you spray New Harleem on. To me, it starts with slightly citrusy burnt coffee caramel feel. I mean that in the best possible way, it does smell like coffee caramel but like the caramel was slightly burnt (I guess that comes from the patchouli). On me this caramel burnt feel is more prominent than on my boyfriend (I told him to try it since it is not listed as a feminine scent).

I’m looking at my notes now and realize that I haven’t mentioned cedarwood in them. Hmm, I was focusing more on the coffee/patchouli/lavender idea, cedarwood just went past me. The thing is, whenever I real lavender as one of the notes, I get scared. Lavender is such a strong and distinct smell that I’m scared will take over everything else. It never happens here, after the initial coffe/caramel feel subsides, it takes a while for lavender to become noticeable and it is never too much. Just right to give this relatively rich and sweet concoction and interesting twist. New Harleem lasts quite long and it took some hours before I finally got vanilla (still slightly tempered by coffee). But don’t let that coffee fool you – it is never too much. Now i think of it, I don’t remember smelling anything similar to this. Does anyone know of anything that comes close to this – I would like to smell some more variants of these notes.

Objective thinking – can I do it?

Helg of the Perfume Shrine had a really good post yesterday on Perfume appreciation and objective beauty (mostly concerning perfume). It is really interesting and quite educating but most importantly it discusses if and how to objectively assess perfumes, i.e. their beauty using several criteria. I think she has some valid points but that is not what is on my mind now.

For a while now I’ve been thinking that not only am I a lousy critic, I don’t really think I could every successfully be one. Everything criticism can be applied to is a work of effort on someone’s part. How could I ever be able to say that it isn’t just good enough, beautifil enough or anything of the sort when I keep thinking in the back of my mind – I would never be able to create something of the sort, he/she really did his/her best and gave it wholehearted effort?

I know that even when people do their best and pour their souls into their work, the result might not really be good, or even remotely good. But still I cannot find it in me to criticize and say, OK, you should have done this in such a manner and if you did it like this, it would have turned out better. Maybe I’m missing the whole criticism point (wouldn’t ne the first time I’m in the dark regarding a topic).

Anyway, Helg’s post came at exactly the right time because yesterday morning I tested Bond No. 9 Madison Soiree. What I got from it straight away was it was exactly the perfume someone who wants to look chic, expensive and unattainable would want to smell like. By that I mean a woman. After a while, she would also remain fresh/clean smelling while still being all those initial things. Anyway, I think that the perfume is really a great creation, and I also think that it is made exactly for the right type of target audience:

“A direct hit of authentic ladies-who-lunch fragrance. Ultra-feminine elegance and unmistakable posh meet unabashed sultriness in this day-into-late-night-blooming floral bouquet.”

By Bond no. 9 site.

Notes are: gardenia, jasmine, oakmoss.

I won’t go into the 3 notes I didn’t distinguish. 🙂 From the beginning it was obvious this wasn’t the perfume for me, in the way it is publicised, in the way it smells and in the end, obviously not meant to be taken apart by me. I still think it is beautifully done though. Just not my kind of beautiful.

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