Bond No. 9 is the parent house to what is perhaps one of my most loathed fragrances: Chinatown. I'm sure some of you out there will never forgive me for hating it the way I do, but there it is. But I'm not here to talk about that today. I'm here to talk about a Bond I actually like.
Truth be told, I've enjoyed all the other Bond fragrances I've tried: Fire Island (fun, but no keeper), West Side (pretty rose), and West Broadway (soft and incense-y and if memory serves, my favorite of the bunch). Truthfully, though, I have no right to go calling any Bond No. 9 fragrance a "favorite." I have a whole stash of other Bonds to try, and as I've matured as a perfume fan, I've found it's better to not to rush into these things. Why? Because I'll go around saying things like, "West Broadway's my favorite!" and then I'll try something else, like Bryant Park. (Of course, I think I tried not to rush into things when I reviewed West Side, too, and then went on to gush about it. Let that be a little history lesson for us all.)
I would have to be a sucker for Bryant Park right off the bat, though, because it has two of my favorite notes, rose and lily of the valley, along with patchouli, raspberry, rhubarb, pink pepper, and amber. I really love that the pepper in this is so evident, how it gives the patchouli a sophisticated edge, compliments the bit of sharpness the rhubarb offers, freshens the tart raspberry. I love it with the rose, the way I wanted to love it in The Different Company's Rose Poivree. In that scent I found the pepper so overwhelming, it was like a practical joke where someone handed me a freshly cut bloom they'd tainted with black pepper and laughed as I inhaled, expecting lush rose only to....ACHOO! find pepper.
I like this one better than the other rose in the family, West Side, which is quite pretty but has none of the character of Bryant Park. Maybe I'm not a Charlotte after all. Maybe I am a Carrie!
But I won't say it's my favorite. Not yet, anyway.
(Oh, but if you love this one, just a little reminder that Fragrances & More has free shipping on all their Bond No. 9 orders, and they have such nice people there!)
*photo from Fragrances&More