The Queen of Queens (Perfume Thoughts” Queens, Bond no 9)

375x500.27427I lived in New York for almost thirty years and I was only in Queens maybe a dozen times at the most. I didn’t dislike the place. I just never had much reason to explore that borough.  I know Bond no 9 have named most of their perfumes from all the chi chi neighborhoods of New York but I guess they are running out of places since they now have named one after Queens, but then again most of Queens have now been gentrified – it’s not as working class it used to be.

So on to the scent. This was recommended to me by a Saks SA because he knew I like white florals, and indeed Queens opens with a big burst of coconut-y tuberose – the big tropical kind. It is edged out by osmanthus and champaca and the effect to me is a bit Asian (maybe because a lot of Asians settled in Queens? Haha, I doubt)  The effect is light over all, with the tuberose going front and center as it goes to the heart of the scent. Blackberries get mixed in, making this a fruity-floral, although it skews more flowers than anything else (or the berries are just not projecting as well on me) When I first tried this on at the store, I was enamoured by it a lot, but now that I am wearing it full stop from a sample, I am less so. But I still like it, and while one might think this screams ‘Summer,’ it strikes more as a cold winter perfume – it’s effect is more warm than cold.

And Liberty And Perfume For All (Perfume Thoughts: Bond No 9 I Love NY For All)

My brother has started collecting Bond no 9 perfumes, so I have had a chance to sniff a lot of them lately.  One that recently caught my attention is the I Love NY line, which originally came as a trio: the pink bottle for her, the blue bottle for him, and the black bottle “for all” I really do not believe in genderizing perfume: it’s all marketing and hype.  Of the three, what appealed to me most was the black one, the one that’s for all.  The initial burst is fantastic: a creamy hazelnut cacao confection that should sound sweet, but really is on the dry side, perhaps because there’s a little bit of pepper there too. The cream note kind of gives me pause, but it reminds me of a perfume that’s underrated: Jean Paul Gaultier’s Kokorico. The materials used for I Love NY For All is better – there’s longevity here that’s not projected, but exists. the middle notes (on me) get darker, which is weird, as everything normally turns sweet on me. The creamy caco note gets stronger, and I bet a coffee lover would love this perfume. The patchouli-ish clean musk-y dry down seems a bit generic, for sure, but I am already impressed so now I am jonezing a full bottle of this.

Pink In The Park (Scent Thoughts: Bond No 9 Madison Square Park)

When I left New York,  the idea of Bond no 9’s scents – celebrating New York City neighborhoods  started to appeal to me. I have always had mixed feelings about the house, feeling them over priced for what they are. But, these are well-done scents, if a bit too conventional and safe at times. I sprayed Madison Square Park on my palm today, and I feel liek suddenly I am in love. And I ask myself why – it’s a fruity floral, a pretty basic one at that. Opening with a big burst of “red leaf rose,” it’s green and smells of crushed leaves, and I loved it. A rose slowly creeps in. It evoked walking through Madison Square Park in a way, as you first see the grass on the grounds, and discovering a patch of roses inside. Then some  berries – raspberry? something red – bursts in and it’s well blended enough to have a great mix of fruits and florals. The scent reminds me of a well-balanced bouquet – there’s equal parts of any ingredient, that the freesia doesn’t get lost with the vetiver root, or tomato leaf. And it’s good i guess that not one note really stands, and what you see is a beautiful painting. I am kind of loving it, to be honest. It brought a little smile on my face, and I can’t remember the lasttime a fruity floral did that. Maybe because I have smelled all these cheap incarnations that I have forgotten that there is beauty in the genre. I think this perfume perfectly represents the park on 32nd Street, which, incidentally, borders the New York perfume district. Oh, the memories.