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Monday, February 28, 2011

A New York state of mind: Bond No. 9's New York Oud and a prize draw

By Beth

I fell in love with New York City at a very young age. My parents traveled to New York at least 4 times a year and because I was the youngest I always got to go with them. My parents owned a spectacular jewelry and gift store in Cleveland , Ohio and we made these trips so that we could replenish our gift stocks. I loved those times…. we’d usually work all day, but sometimes we’d sneak away and the three of us would go walking around the city hand in hand for hours, maybe catch an exhibit at the Met and just completely enjoy the fashionably gritty vibe of one of the most original cities in the world .

After a bit of shopping and a trip to the original Godiva Chocolate store for me, we would climb into a cab and go off to have a marvelous dinner, a little dancing and sometimes a carriage ride through Central Park late into the evening. My mother who was really a New Yorker at heart always insisted that we dress for dinner and we rarely ate before 8:00. These were pretty heady experiences for a child but I was an 8 year old who longed to be Eloise at The Plaza and I loved every one of them. Fortunately for me she also insisted that we stay at The St. Regis Hotel, a masterpiece of the gilded age located since the turn of the century at Number 2, East 55th and 5th Avenue. The St. Regis was at that time the winter home of Salvador Dali and his fabulous ocelot. It was and is still impossibly gorgeous, but I’ve always been very sure that the presence of the magnificent surrealist was the main reason that she always chose to stay there.

Often I’d sit and wait for Dali to descend the grand staircase into the lobby. He had the most amazing flamboyant style which was so very appropriate for the beautiful surroundings that he was living in. You never knew when he was going to appear but when he did it was always worth the wait. He met my adoring gaze only once but in that moment my life changed forever. He was so completely in charge of his surroundings that the room would fall silent. He smelled of Arabian incense and exotic far away lands. I was enchanted by his lavish costumes and the ocelot beside him on his leash; elegant and almost obscenely beautiful. I still dream of that ocelot...I can still see his eyes. I have always wondered what it would feel like to walk the streets of New York City with a creature like that moving silently and stealthily alongside, a barely domesticated yet completely loyal companion.

Every thing about New York for me is a thoroughly incredible experience and when I am there I am acutely aware of every sight, every sound, every smell. No other city can move me to tears in an instant because I so adore it because NYC is a symphony of heady experiences all blended together in a way that’s completely confusing to my senses. Where else can you have your heart broken in an instant by the solitary glance of a strangely exotic man yet find yourself flirting with the beautiful boy who sold you a steaming bag full of fragrantly roasted chestnuts only moments later. Where else can you mournfully light candles at one of the most gorgeous cathedrals in the world and seconds later be happily trying on lipstick at Henri Bendels? New York City turns me inside out, rearranges all of my molecules and never sends me home the same woman that I was when I arrived.

I have searched for a very long time to find a perfume that could remind me of the New York of my past , present and future. That’s a difficult task for any fragrance, because my New York is made up of a million faceted impressions, many of them conflicting, all of them sensually charged, sparkling and potent. My New York City is a gregarious animal, completely playful by day, only to become passionate and erotically charged when night falls.

Then, there’s dusk in that magical city. I haven’t figured out exactly what happens during dusk in New York but it seems to be the switch that transforms the city from a bustling center of commerce to a decadent playground by night. MIx one perfect martini on the rooftop loft of the Gansevoort Hotel with one perfect man while watching the sun set over the stunning views of the Hudson river and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Not shaken…definitely stirred.
Then there’s that very romantic moment when we finally get back to the hotel and my husband smiles and slowly removes his tie. Tell me…how could one fragrance possibly capture all of those moments for me?

About 3 weeks ago I met Bond 9’s extraordinary new fragrance, the utterly fabulous New York Oud. Simply one of the sexiest Ouds that I’ve ever smelled, I knew instantly that I’d found it. New York Oud still amazes me every time I put it on. By day it’s direct, sophisticated and when I spray it lightly through my hair and along the hem of my skirt becomes a perfect accessory for whatever adventure lies ahead!

The initial blast of plum, saffron and orange provide some fun and if you can actually describe an Oud as refreshing, this one definitely is. It’s as easy to wear with classic Ralph Lauren as it is to enjoy with generous strands of pearls and your mothers vintage Chanel. It can be almost interpreted as down right ladylike. You’ll notice that I said “almost” because this Oud is only pretending to be very well behaved.

However you’ll need to be prepared because by nightfall it will have morphed into a smoky panther of a perfume that is prepared to stalk, hunt and capture. By the time that the last ray of sun will have disappeared over the NYC skyline, the patchouli, Oud , orris and sumptuous roses will have come out to dance and seduce with sheer erotic abandon. By the time you get past midnight the very last part of this unusual perfume will have emerged. It is romantic and soft with a buttery quality than makes my heart melt and my husband just a little bit weak in the knees. It is honey and musk with a bit of vetiver to add a touch of raw earthiness to what will certainly become a night to remember. The spell lingers til morning , still romantic and softly honeyed by the light of the day. I don’t know how they did it, but the alchemists at Bond 9 are brilliant and I’ll never be without a bottle of New York Oud. They have captured the New York of my past, captivated me with thoughts of the present and filled me with a sense of adventure for what is yet to come. Who knows? That may even include an ocelot…….

I have four fabulous samples to give away courtesy of Raphaella, mistress of the Bond No. 9 Blog. Just let me know in your comments that I’ve wet your appetite and you’d like to be entered into the drawing! The draw is now closed.

New York Oud is available at and all of the Bond No. 9 boutiques.

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Blogger Spike said...

What an incredible post. So evocative. As a born and bred New Yorker (Long Island to be precise) I have always had the same fascination with New York City. The spirit is just intoxicating and your post really did an amazing job of putting the feelings into words, Beth.

I've been dying to try New York Oud since I first read the press release earlier this year, but I still have't gotten around to sampling it. I'd love to finally take the plunge and see if the final product lives up to the name.

12:08 AM EST  
Blogger Pamster said...

Oh man! How lucky for you to have such incredible memories! Dali and his ocelot... I'd have to stay at that hotel just to see that also.
I love to visit New York every chance I get and adore the city. And I'm also very partial to oud, and Bond No. 9's Chinatown, so this sounds like a match made in heaven for me. Please enter me in the draw!

12:12 AM EST  
Anonymous Mina J said...

I would love to try this! Please enter me in the draw, and thank you.

12:18 AM EST  
Blogger DWR said...

Please enter me -- I would love to try this one.

12:34 AM EST  
Blogger Irina said...

splendid post- thank you
please, enter me the draw- so interested by such a versatile and evocative fragrance

12:50 AM EST  
Anonymous Lavanya said...

my comment got eaten up..

Loved your post, as usual.

New York Oud sounds gawjusimusthaveitbeautiful..:)
But then, I am always in the mood for oudh and roses.

Would love to be entered in the draw!

1:18 AM EST  
Anonymous Joan said...

Yep, gorgeous. I love those dusky plum notes. I haven't smelled much oud, especially not oud mixed with flowers and fruit, but I'm a big Bond No. 9 fan and would love to try this one out!

1:33 AM EST  
Anonymous Thomas said...

You have definitely wet my appetite for this one. I'm not usually a fan of the Bond scents (overpriced for what they are) but this sounds like one I should try. I would love to be entered into the draw.

1:55 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please enter me, this sounds like THE Bond!

2:22 AM EST  
Blogger Tama said...

I caught a little whiff of this the other day and would love to explore more!!

Never been to New York. Some day....

2:51 AM EST  
Anonymous hongkongmom said...

Absolutely, definitely, totally, havetotrythis.
Beautiful post..I CAN see this in my mind!!!!New York, Dali and the magnificent ocelot..... and a perfume that is comparible to it....thanks so much

3:10 AM EST  
Blogger Clair de Lune said...

The bond-rapsodie in 9 seems to me like a continuing story that only can be told when you ware it - proud and instinctively. I can't hardly wait at that very moment. Because I feel it will capture for me all times and places in the world where I've been en that I remember as unfold treasures of beauty, passion and love for the untamed part of us.

3:24 AM EST  
Anonymous Ariane said...

please,enter me in the draw-your writing is just glorious!!Almost feel like ordering it unsniffed.

3:47 AM EST  
Blogger rosarita said...

Yes, please! Thanks for the fabulous post.

4:38 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A combination of romantic and panther like sounds divine to me like New York was for me in 1989 being sweet 19....
A kind request to enter me in this draw

5:29 AM EST  
Blogger Isa said...

My favorite Bond No.9 fragrances are the fresh Hamptons and the romantic Chelsea Flowers, but there are lots that I haven't tried yet.

Your wonderful post makes me want to give a try to New York Oud. It seems to be one of the best perfumes of the house.

Please, enter me in the draw :) Thank you!

6:37 AM EST  
Blogger Deanna said...

I would definitely like to give this a try! :)

6:40 AM EST  
Blogger queen_cupcake said...

I so enjoyed reading your post--what wonderful memories. You have really captured NYC's mystique.

I grew up in a small town near Buffalo, NY in the 60s. Only 500 miles from NYC but a galaxy away...and by then it was already fading from its former glory as a Great Lakes dynamo into just another notch in the Rust Belt. But when I was eight years old, my 20 year old sister married and moved to NYC. How I looked forward to our annual visits at Thanksgiving time! New York City was an oasis of culture and rich experience--immense, strange and totally wonderful. Those visits really opened up my little head and had a great influence on me from then on.

I would really love to try New York Oud.

8:42 AM EST  
Blogger ~elise said...

Oh yes! I'd love to try this! I'm an Aoud fan!

9:16 AM EST  
Blogger cbstarker said...

I don't know anyone that doesn't realize the magic of NYC. Disney eat your heart out! I'm a huge fan of Bond. No. 9 and I especially love their Swarovski Limited Edition, which is a rose-oud and one of the finest ouds out there in my opinion. I've been eying this new one, too - New York Oud. Your description DID whet my appetite and I would LOVE to try this one. I also enjoyed your stories of NYC - I just don't get the opportunities to go there like I used to.

9:25 AM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

Sounds Fabulous!! Plz enter me in the draw. Thnx!!

9:47 AM EST  
Blogger Momlady said...

Thank you for the lovely post. Please add me to your drawing.

9:52 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sounds like dusk...promises of mystery and beauty..would love a sample.

9:57 AM EST  
Blogger Alice said...

An ocelot was the pet of an eccentric doctor in my East Texas hometown. We would ride our bikes down his street in hopes of seeing the ocelot, who escaped on more than one occasion. Your post brought back that long-buried memory...I would love to try the New York Oud. You've made it sound wonderful! Thanks for the chance to try it!

10:04 AM EST  
Anonymous Tricia said...

with praise like that, who could possibly resist?

10:27 AM EST  
Anonymous Janice said...

What a fabulous memory--I can just picture that little girl waiting in the lobby, and Dali and the ocelot making their entrance. I love several of the Bonds and have been wanting to try this one--thanks for the chance to enter the draw!

10:53 AM EST  
Blogger Cerise said...

If I'm not too late replying, I would love to be entered in your drawing.

Although I grew up in a small town in Illinois, in NYC I feel "home". A few years ago I walked 166 blocks in one day (probably not that unusual), just exploring neighborhoods in Manhattan. It's absolutely true, what is said about the energy of the city, and it's an energy one enters into and becomes part of rather than something from which one feels separate. In any event, I can't wait to try this new oud!

11:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please consider me for a prize draw. I'd love to be introduced to a formulation of oud to make me fall head-over-heels...

11:09 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nevermind...please withdraw my request to be in the drawing. It happens that I won one last week and didn't realize it. It's no fair for someone to risk winning twice in a week!

All the best,


11:15 AM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

I would love to try this. Your memories of your NY experience sound so fun and my husband and I hope to go sometime in the next couple months. This has been a fun winter in Ohio, hasn't it?

12:09 PM EST  
Anonymous dleep said...

Oh, wow! Great article and now I must try it. I would love to have a sample. Thank you.

12:11 PM EST  
Blogger Elisa said...

You certainly make it sound awesome. I too get a thrill every time I'm in New York.

12:20 PM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

Please enter me in draw. Thank you!

12:23 PM EST  
Blogger stagnantki said...

Sounds divine...please count me in. Thank you.

1:11 PM EST  
Blogger Balutakat said...

I too have had a lifelong fascination with the incomparable Dali. Please enter me in the draw.

1:18 PM EST  
Blogger Amy K said...

My appetite has been whetted (sharpened). I haven't been to New York since I was a teenager and certainly never experienced it like you have, but your post makes me want to hop on a plane right now! I would love to smell this.

1:46 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful evocation of your childhood memory! And how I too would have loved to have seen Dali and his ocelot. I am certainly intrigued by NY Oud, and would love to sniff it!

2:03 PM EST  
Blogger Tammy said...

No need to enter me, as I have already won a sample of this, but I did want to say how much I enjoyed your review! You make me feel as though I need to visit NYC after all.

3:28 PM EST  
Blogger Katherine said...

Sounds fabulous! Please enter me in the draw, thank you. :)

3:36 PM EST  
Blogger Ellen said...

Yikes! I e-mailed Beth by mistake, my apologies, but now I see that this is where I leave a comment to be entered in the drawing for the Bond No. 9 New York Oud. I love oud in all its forms, and would be excited to try this version!

Thanks for having the drawing.

3:41 PM EST  
Blogger odonata9 said...

I am so envious of your Dali connection! Would love to try this fragrance.

3:51 PM EST  
Anonymous mocards said...

I waited all day to read your beautiful article so that I might visualize your memories and enjoy reading at my leisure. You were very lucky to have been a regular visitor to NYC in your youth. I was there only twice and fell so deeply in love with this magical city.
Thank you for another lovely piece.

4:19 PM EST  
Blogger The Gastronomic Goddess said...

Yowza! What a great post! Getting to see Dali must have been quite the thrill. NYC always conjures up so many emotions and fantasies, and I would love to be considered in the drawing for the NY Oud sample! :)

5:27 PM EST  
Blogger Ashley said...

I would love to try this! Please enter me in the drawing!

6:55 PM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

I too would love to be entered into the drawing! :)

7:04 PM EST  
Blogger Janet said...

Beautiful post! What a lucky girl you were. The love for your parents shine through.

Please enter me in the draw. It sounds fabulous.

7:36 PM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

What an evocative post! You've captured everything I love about NYC as well.
I would love to try New York Oud so please enter me into the drawing.

7:41 PM EST  
Anonymous Cynthia said...

Another wonderful post. It's easy to see from this childhood description how you grew up to be who you are today. The New York Oud sounds wonderful as well. I must admit, I haven't tried ANY of the ouds that have appeared in the last couple of years. I'm way behind. Maybe I was just waiting for this one.

7:45 PM EST  
Blogger Vireo Perfumes said...

Beautifully written. I think you just gave anyone who has been to New York a burning desire to revisit it. What a gift if the fragrance was the olfactory plane ticket . I often wonder about the people behind the perfume making in big fragrance houses. Do they feel as much emotion in the creation as the people wearing it? Sometimes just picture lab coats and dollar signs. When I read a blog so powerfully written my mind is put a bit more at ease.
Maybe I am a bit wary of the over abundance of synthetics being able to tell a story of depth and emotion in a person.
Which also makes me wonder how much nodays are houses using naturals? Whenever say Oud are they using real Oud? I guess I can only use my nose buds and find out.

Please enter me in the drawing thank you, Kait

8:13 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOWZERS! What a fantastic post! The music, the writing, I can almost smell the city and this 'fume on sexy! That's when music was good, before Billy started marrying teenagers!! I've got to smell this scent, I need another bond to love!! Please enter me and please keep writing on this blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

9:54 PM EST  
Blogger Kay Tyler said...

That was an amazing post - I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would love to be entered into this draw. Back when I had just turned 17 (I'm 31 now) I went to visit my brother who had been away from home for approximately 7 years. I ended up staying (with 2 more quick visits home to Australia) for the next 3 years. Those were very surreal years filled with passion, excitement and a whole lot of pain. I'm so intrigued to experience a fragrance that may possibly transport me back to a place that now exists solely in my distorted memories...
Great, great writing by you. People say it all the time in the comments section but I'll say it again...truly evocative and inspirational writing.

1:19 AM EST  
Blogger Flora said...

No need to enter me, but now I really want to go to New York! Wow, you make it sound like the best place to be and that perfume must be amazing. I would have loved to see Salvador Dali in the flesh, not to mention the ocelot - here, kitty-kitty! :-)

1:48 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your fabulous memories of your trips to New York.
Even more evocative is your description of how NewYork Oud develops over the course of the day and evening. It sounds so captivating.
Do please enter me into the draw.


2:07 AM EST  
Blogger Tara said...

Sounds like this could be the oud to convert me! Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks.

5:18 AM EST  
Anonymous Geordan said...

I would so love to try this! Saffron is one of my favorite notes. I'm hit-or-miss with oud, but think this might work for me.


10:00 AM EST  
Blogger parisa said...

I would love to enter the draw for NY Oud. I have high hopes for this new release, might be the right Oudh for me.

10:06 AM EST  
Anonymous hotlanta linda said...

The Oud sounds like the best way to warm-up during the opening chilly mornings of early Spring!! Thank you for having the draw and for putting my name in the hat!

2:12 PM EST  
Anonymous maggiecat said...

You've made me want to try this perfume and I'm not even terribly partial to ouds and their ilk! You've also made me think that I must get to NYC, and soon! Thanks for the lovely post.

2:39 PM EST  
Blogger Tasha said...

Sounds soooo gorgeous! I'm so hoping to try this... Please enter me into the draw, and thanks for the opportunity!

4:21 PM EST  
Blogger woodgirl said...

This sounds incredible. Please enter me in the draw, thanks.

7:17 PM EST  
Blogger saralevy said...

Lovely post. I would love to try this one. Thanks!

9:53 PM EST  
Blogger Liz said...

What a stunning review. I felt as if I were in New York with you at age 8 - you really made it come alive!

Please enter me in the draw. :)

10:11 PM EST  
Blogger christine said...

In the mood for Oud! Please enter me in the draw.


3:26 PM EST  

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