A New York state of mind: Bond No. 9's New York Oud and a prize draw
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 www.bondno9.com and all of the Bond No. 9 boutiques.