Perfume Review: Bond No 9 Andy Warhol Lexington Avenue...and a prize draw
Lexington Avenue, the third perfume in Bond No 9's Andy Warhol series, was introduced in time for the artist's (a fellow Leo's) birthday. The name refers to Warhol's pre-Pop years in 1950s New York, during which he was making a name for himself as a commercial artist-illustrator and had quite a thing for shoes. His shoes were"portraits without a face", "objects of desire." (source) Bond No 9's new release is meant to "link two of the most ultra-feminine commodities a woman can own: fragrance and footwear". (source - Bond press release) The link would not be obvious unless you knew the background story about Warhol's Lexington years. What I mean is... one sort of expects that a fragrance that has something, even indirectly, to do with shoes and comes in a bottle decorated with shoes would smell of leather. Having said that, if Andy Warhol's larger than life illustrations came to life, they would not smell like any ordinary shoes but would instead indeed waft aromas of crème brûlée, cardamom and almonds.
The top notes of Lexington Ave. have a strangely churchy smell on my skin...dry-woody and vaguely incensey (blue cypress?). Add to that the sweet and piquant accord of fennel, cardamom and almonds, and what we have is an image of a sinful feast inside a place of worship. As the fragrance progresses, neither the balsamic/spiritual nor the gourmand/self-indulgent sides seem to be able to dominate each other, instead making each other much more interesting than they would were the perfume only woody or only gourmand... and making me think of that passage in The Master and Margarita in which Woland asks Matthew Levy, "what would your good do if evil did not exist, and what would the earth look like if shadows disappeared from it?"...
The base of Lexington Avenue is sandalwood-heavy, and, mixed with the aforementioned crème brûlée, iris and patchouli, the sweet wood creates a lacquered-box effect which makes the new Warhol fragrance somewhat reminiscent of Chinatown (as others have already noted). What I would have loved is even more patchouli to make the scent darker...but then of course I am patchouli-mad at the moment, and perhaps an overdose of this dark, earthy note would have tipped the good-evil balance and ruined the harmony (it also would have probably made Lex Ave too similar to Silver Factory, my favorite in the series). Lexington Ave will be a wonderful comfort scent during cold days, which are, let's face it, right around the corner, and I think I might need a bottle.
Andy Warhol Lexington Avenue will be available in September at Bond No 9 boutiques and Saks, $135.00-$195.00.
If you would like to enter the prize draw for samples of Lexington Ave, Union Sq (the 2nd Warhol scent) and Love in Black, please say so in you comment. Two winners will be chosen at random and announced on Monday.
Labels: Bond No 9