One Thousand Scents

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Unfinished Business: Bond No. 9 Bryant Park

A month ago I wrote that I had signed up for Google Adsense, that they put little ads at the top of my blog for a theoretical payment at some point down the road depending on how many people clicked on the ads, and that I didn't expect to ever see any money from it. And then a week ago I got an e-mail from the Google Adsense people saying they were about to send me a cheque if I gave them my banking information.

Wouldn't you be suspicious? I would! So I left it to stew for the day (I had to go to work) and then I poked around a little, and unless someone has constructed a very convincing but poorly thought out phishing scheme, it looks like the real deal. I didn't disclose my banking information, of course: I asked them to send me a cheque instead. We'll see how that turns out.

And just over a month ago, I wrote that I had gotten an e-mail from Bond No. 9, since I am on their mailing list, asking if I would like samples of their three newest scents; I said yes, but I didn't expect to actually receive them, because I have not uniformly adored all the Bond scents as I'm sure they would like me to. (Fashion magazines are in the business of flogging whatever samples they receive from advertisers, and have an active disincentive to ever say anything bad about anything. Bloggers, on the other hand, have the freedom to say what they think. Money changes everything.)

I haven't gotten them, either: I might, but I doubt it, which is a shame, because I would like to try them, and I was also hoping to maybe score a sample of their newest scent (they sure do crank them out!), New York Amber, which has a gorgeous bottle

and a thoroughly appealing-sounding list of notes (even if it does contain a typo, "magestic rose").

But that's probably not going to happen, especially if they should happen to read this.

Bond No. 9's Bryant Park isn't great, but it sure is fun. It is completely dominated by two fruit notes, rhubarb and raspberry. The rhubarb is pointy and astringent, as rhubarb will be, and amplified by citrus, probably bergamot: it actually suggests Mugler's B*Men a bit, except that there appears to be a dose of that inescapable modern air-conditioner freshness as well. The raspberry is dry and tart, not at all sweet or jammy, and this is a bit of a surprise.

Underneath it is a bit of floral, a smidgen of rose but mostly lily of the valley, and some very clean modern patchouli. It doesn't seem to have an ending point, no real finish: there's a sort of a base that is neither here nor there — amber, I guess — but the whole show is about the raspberry and the rhubarb, which stick around for a surprisingly long time (they're still noticeable 12 hours later — modern aromachemistry is a wonderful thing) and then just trail off.

I give Bond No. 9 credit for making a fruity floral that isn't sticky-sweet, but still, it's a fruity floral that isn't exponentially better than so many others on the market (although a lot of people on Makeup Alley just adore it), and I don't know how they can charge $160 for it. Some of their scents are absolutely worth their indie-niche prices: I would probably have to retry them to make sure they haven't been reformulated, but Great Jones is retro-terrific, if I didn't already have a bunch of coffee scents I would have a bottle of New Haarlem in a heartbeat, and I adored Lexington Avenue when it was launched. Bryant Park, though: is it really worth that kind of money? Really?



  • Maybe it's just me, but I've always thought of B*Men as a fall fragrance. Now that the weather has turned, I'm wearing it regularly.

    I don't know what note is making me think this, mind you; it's not as if I think, "Ah yes, fall always smells of ambergris." But the accord is inescapably autumnal.

    By Blogger D.J., at 9:33 PM  

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