Friday, January 30, 2009

Bond No. 9 Brooklyn

In all honesty, I've been to Manhattan and the Bronx and Queens, but I've never been to Brooklyn. I'm pretty sure it was the setting for "Welcome Back, Kotter." I also know that currently it's home to countless writers, actors, artists, and musicians. The Hold Steady hails from Brooklyn. Jonathan Safran Foer and Nicola Krauss live there, and Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams lived there at some point during their relationship. Pretty much, Brooklyn may turn out to be for the new century what Greenwich Village was to the last.

But how to bottle all of this and put it into a perfume? What's the scent of trendy (but, you know, hip, alternative) celebrity? Silver Factory painted a picture for me, of a person, time, and place, but I suppose I knew enough about Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick and the 1960s to be able to conjure up those images. Having never been to Brooklyn, living a life so far away from that scene, I have a hard time finding the appropriate metaphor, the vision to bring this to life for a reader.

Let's talk notes, shall we?

Top: grapefruit, cardamom
Heart: cypress wood, geranium leaves, juniper berries
Base: cedar wood, leather, guaiac wood

Citrus and I, we aren't really friends, but the hit of grapefruit suffused with cardamom at first hit make me wonder why I never thought to sprinkle my grapefruit with cardomom instead of sugar for all these years. As the scent mellows, the notes mingle, and nothing makes an overwhelming impression on its own. Instead, everything melds into an herbal woods, a soft, refreshing green, dry but warm. Bond No. 9 might have hoped to produce an edgy, hip scent, but they've done something else, in my opinion: they've created a classic.

This scent transcends the trendy and the unusual. I wouldn't call it traditional, but I do think it's timeless, and it's a true unisex. There's no hint of aftershave, and the woods are not too dry. The juniper lends a bit of a summery kick even, grounded by the cardamom. I've been wearing it for three days, and I cannot get my wrist away from my nose. I knew at first spray that something wonderful was about to hit my wrist. Even Bob cannot stop commenting on it.

Brooklyn launches in March, but I'd like to share some with two readers. If you're interested in trying Brooklyn (And you must be! You must try it!), let me know in the comments, and I'll do a drawing on Monday.

*image from Bond No. 9
**Full disclosure: I received my sample from the lovely people at Bond No. 9, and have given it a positive review without coercion. I always tell the truth...remember Union Square? Chinatown?