Bryant Park will be introduced to fashionistas in February, at the New York Fashion Week (held in Bryant Park)…but parfumistas are way ahead of the game, and have already tried the new scent by Bond No 9. Inspired by the park in Manhattan, this is a “fashion-oriented eau de parfum” with notes of lily of the valley, rhubarb, pink pepper, rose, patchouli, raspberry and amber. Although not necessarily a “high fashion” kind of scent (it doesn’t have that oddness and borderline unwearability that makes a perfume truly couture), Bryant Park is certainly trendy, and I can definitely see long-legged beauties with oversized bags and big sunglasses wafting its sillage backstage in the mega-tents. It smells young, hip and very pretty.
I approached the fragrance with caution; not being a fan of fruity notes in perfume, I was frankly scared by the mention of rhubarb and raspberry. I hoped that my skin would miraculously absorb all the fruits and my nose would only smell rose and patchouli. The miracle did not happen; of all the notes, raspberry was the most prominent, and if I had to label Bryant Park, I would certainly file it in the Fruity category. Having said that, I surprised myself by liked the fragrance quite a lot. It lacks the qualities I dislike in fruity and fruity floral perfumes. It is not sweet and it is not overwhelmingly PINK. The strong and chilly lily of the valley note, paired with the tangy rhubarb, prevents the scent from becoming sugary right from the start. Patchouli, although not in the least aggressive here, adds depth and a little bit of darkness and stops the raspberry and the rose from going all girly-swirly, cutesy and Barbie-esque. The scent is youthful, not childish. The drydown of Bryant Park smells to me like strong black tea infused with raspberry. It is delicious in a dry and abstract sort of way, and I found it to be very enjoyable.
It took me a long time to finally see New York. I smelled all other Bond No 9 scents before I had a chance to visit the locations that inspired them. Thus I was probably especially predisposed to like Bryant Park, because in its case I have seen the place before I sniffed the scent…and I have a photo to prove it. (Hi, everybody!)
Bryant Park will officially launch on March 1st. It will be available at Bond No. 9 boutiques and at selected branches of Saks, $40.00---$185.00.