When I was little, nothing at the grocery store was more intriguing than the Brach’s candy bins. If a white paper sack got filled with candy and came home with us, I was beside myself. In particular, I loved the cinnamon hard candy. I remember the cloying, spicy sweet smell as I unwrapped it, the tingling sensation on my tongue, the hot fumes that passed over the candy and down my throat when I breathed in through my mouth. I spent much of the time flipping the cinnamon disk over and over on my tongue, trying to manage the spice and get more of the sugar.
Wearing Bond No. 9 Chinatown, I get that same spicy sweet sensation. When I breathe in, the sensation of spice is so strong and yet cloyingly sweet that I expect the taste of sugar on my tongue. My nose and the back of my throat burn slightly, and then there’s the headache. Several of you have left comments to the effect that you sometimes feel as though you are being bludgeoned by a tuberose. I think I get it now. For the sensation of wearing this fragrance is a little like this: I’m eating about three of those Brach’s cinnamon candies and being bludgeoned to death by a tuberose.
The notes are:
Top: Peach blossom and bergamot
Heart: Gardenia, tuberose, peony, orange blossom
Base: Patchouli, cedarwood, vanilla, sandalwood, cardamom, guaiac wood
Seriously, I thought I just got off on the wrong foot with this scent the first time around. I thought that over-application was the problem, so I washed it off. And I thought what was left at that time was not half-bad, even pretty. But I was wrong. It’s cloyingly sweet and sticky. Let’s dissect it: Right way, I should have known I’d have a problem because there’s peach blossom in there. Anything peach and I—we just don’t get along, unless it’s in cobbler or pie form. And then there’s the tuberose, so heavy that you can forget any of those other floral notes, except maybe the gardenia. But the peony and the orange blossom…hello? Hello? Not in my vial.
And patchouli? No…cardamom and vanilla, spiced up by cedarwood (which I usually love), and then getting pushed around by the tuberose. They’ve taken the patchouli and sandalwood, tied them up, and locked them in a closet, along with the bergamot, peony, and orange blossom. I think the peach blossom is the ring leader, if you want to know the truth.
I know, I know: a gajillion awards, everybody loves it, it’s so wonderful. Hm. And I wanted it to be wonderful on me, because come on, look at that bottle! Gorgeous! By all rights it should be spicy and interesting, not sticky candy! Why do I smell cinnamon? Why does this fragrance smell as hot pink as the bottle it comes in?
Pardon my rant, but no. I just saved myself $110.00. Maybe I’ll get an empty bottle on eBay. But me and Chinatown: we’re finished!
*photo from LusciousCargo