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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Perfume Review: Bond No 9 Bryant Park

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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this blog and how cute are you?! You are too chic for words, so I'll just sigh. I share your displeasure with fruity florals. I would go as far to say I detest fruit in perfume, though there are the "couture" exceptions...those odd notes that make a scent strangely beautiful. This sounds like an elegant, if not somewhat conventional scent. Thanks again for the lovely words. I really look forward to your posts.

11:10 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you for your kind words. Chic indeed. I look like a tourist, which is exactly what I was :-) Bryant Park is just as you said, elegant but not un-conventional. But one can't only have couture items, can one? We need Ready to Wear stuff too :-)

11:14 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mmmm, I love rhubarb. Rhubarb and raspberry crisp... yum.

God am I ever so sick of the PINKs, too. Nice to hear this avers from taking that path.

And of course, you are completely adorable - but we already knew that anyhow without a picture! :)

11:42 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Rhubarb and raspberry Rachel Ray would say, Yummo! But, I don't want to smell like that. And Bryant Park doesn't smell like that. Really, if it reminds me of anything, it is black tea with raspberry. Which is nice.

11:48 PM EST  
Blogger Erin said...

You *are* fabulous my dear - but somehow you don't look at all how I expected! I expected fabulous in a totally different way. I had *no* idea you were blonde - and have no idea why that throws me so much. Anyways, too cute...

11:57 PM EST  
Blogger Gaia said...

Rhubarb? Huh. I'll have to give it a chance, if only for the bottle. But I see a disappointment in my future.
NYC is kind of like my back yard, but I have to say that I don't always get the thing that has supposedly inspired the scents.

I won't be saying anything original by commenting that you look fabulous, but you most definitely do.

12:16 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My goodness! You are so beautiful! You are so confident and knowledgeable that I thought you must be older. Maybe I *hoped* you were older.

I went to college in New York, and if I ever visited Bryant Park, I didn't know I was doing it. My neighborhood was more the Upper West Side and Riverside Drive. I'm a little put out that the Riverside Drive scent is nice but not fabulous. (Not that I've tried it, but I remember your review.)

3:08 AM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

You're ... blond?!?!

I'm glad I was sitting down. ;-)

I was expecting ... you know. Dark and sultry. However, I visualize the Colombina Tiara and it would suit you perfectly.

Between you and Cait I'll have to hit the Bond counter. I'm not sure about these groovy bottles, though.

7:11 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was expecting a blondy - the clues are all in the blog images, after all. But you do come across as a sultry minx, it's true.

I must sample some Bonds other than the two I've sniffed.

Chic outfit btw.

oh, and just as a lemming reminder - Vetiver de Java, Vetiver de Java...

7:19 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with Leopoldo, I knew you were blond, based on the clues. I wish the picture was clearer, but I bet you're the spitting image of your beautiful mom.

As for Bryant Park...I've given up on the Bonds. I have tried quite a few I think, and none of them were for me, not even West Side and New Harlem, which are the two I kind of liked.

7:32 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Oh that is so funny! You and March both thought I was dark-haired. But as Leo says below, the blond girl was all over the blog, on the header and all :-) Thank you for your kind words!

8:31 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

The non-blonde,
When we live somewhere,it might be the most fabulous place on earth, but we live there our everyday lives and it is all so familiar, it is hard to understand sometimes the reason why The Tourists and such get all excited about it. :-)

8:34 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you! I might look young-ish, but I have a soul of a 1000 years old :-)
I can't remember reviewing Riverside Drive. I sort of remember the scent though, rather masculine, wasn't it?

8:36 AM EST  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

Oh, baby-
YOUSO hotttt !
Whatta bod !
Turn me "L", why don't you ?
[Dear God, forgive me, MUST be the migraine !]

Can't go to the Bond place, lol.
They've exhausted my good nature !

Way too much input.
I like raspberries and black tea as much as the next person, I guess.

BTW_ did your Babushka put cherry preserves in your tea, instead of sugar? A glass of tea?
I'll bet she did !
That's what you reminded me of...

8:36 AM EST  
Blogger lilybp said...

Well, like Lee, I knew you were blond (you've told us in so many ways:) And, of course, gorgeous as well as chic. But I wish I could see your face better (or is that by design? :)

Oh, and the perfume? How many times do I have to tell perfumers to be strong and just say "No" to fruit?!

8:38 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

You too? That is too funny. Dark and sultry indeed! Ha.
But you know, I was thinking about that only last night, and I thought I probably look like someone who wears La Chasse and Diorissimo and Floret...not like someone who loves to layer Yatagan with Messe de Minuit and adores skank and Kolnisch Juchten :-) Although I do wear Diorissimo and Floret too...

8:39 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Elementary, Watson, right? :-)
I spent last night looking for Vetyver de Java, HRMPH! So far, no success, but I don't give up easily.

8:41 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

The older I get the more i look like my mum, that is true. I started off as a splitting image of my dada (except for the hair) and sort of grew out of it :-)
What about Chinatown?

8:42 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

LOL You are the sweetest!! You know what my babushka did put into my tea? Homemade raspberry preserve! And that is exactly what came to my mind when I tried Bryant Park. :-)

8:50 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Sort of by design, I just wanted to prove that I Was There. I've been to bryant Park, I liked it, now I am inclined to like the scent too...despite the fruit so irresistible to perfume makers.

8:51 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marina,it's funny how we resemble our mothers more as we age, isn't it? As for Chinatown, I wish it worked for me since it's the most interesting scent in the line, but it actually smells quite bad on me. :(

9:23 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Funny and a little scary, right? :-)
Well, here is hoping Bond comes up with a powdery scent with lots of wonderful opoponax and amber! *wink wink*

9:26 AM EST  
Blogger priscilla said...

Look how cute you are! I was a bit afraid of the notes in this one, but if you say it's okay...I'll have to try it. I'm wearing West Side today. I'm way behind. ;-)

9:36 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

It's's not a SCARY fruity scent :-) How do you like West Side?

9:40 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

I think you look very New York in your black and grey outfit! I lived there a long time, so I feel I have the right to judge.

None too sure about the rhubard still, though.

4:07 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I am very flattered. :-) As a non-NY-er and a foreigner...I think it is very cool to look like a NewYorker :-)

4:10 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I hope the rumor is true! I'd love to try that one too.
I don't know about must have though. I wasn't madly in love with West Side on the first sniff, but it grew on me an enormous lot and now it's one of my favorite releases from 2006. I think there is a big audience for Bryant Park, and, as far as these kinds of (fruity) scents go, it is really well done.

4:21 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

M, you look absolutely lovely! I think you shouldn't be hiding so much. *evil smile*
as for the Bryant Park, I think I better not try it in order not to add *another* expensive Bond to my WL ;).
and I'm curious, which perfume do you consider to have "that oddness and borderline unwearability that makes a perfume truly couture"?

4:34 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you, you are so kind :-)
The scent that immediately springs to mind is Tubereuse Criminelle. Lutens in general. But old, classic Guerlains, Carons and Diors are truly couture too.

4:36 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, I too imagined you dark-haired, in fact, raven-black-haired. Now I realize how silly I was, with all those blonde girl images.

You mentioned Riverside Drive in a round-up of men's fragrances.

I got my West Side sample today! It is very, very nice, a comfortable scent to wear any day of the year. I also recently tried Park Avenue and liked it as well. Bond No. 9's Web site describes it as "The light floral scent of infuriatingly discreet good taste." When I read that out to my DH, he said unguardedly, "That's like you!" Hmmm.

4:59 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I can't belieeeve it! :-)

Was it the draw package? I am so glad if so. What did you thnnk of the other two?

I would love to be told by my DH (or anyone, really) that I have infuriatingly discreet good taste :-) But I have a feeling that won't happen to my seemingly raven-haired self :-D

5:04 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it was the West Side sample from the drawing. Thank you! I haven't tested Bois d'Armenie and Cuir Ottoman yet because I'm happy wearing West Side this afternoon and my nose gets easily confused. Maybe I'll give in and test another tonight. They're the very sort of scent I can't resist.

I must admit to feeling flattered by the "infuriatingly discreet" bit.

7:02 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I am so glad the package arrived!!

7:16 PM EST  
Blogger elle said...

Raspberries. Sigh. Love to eat them. NOT want them in my scents. I'm w/ Judith - Just say NO to fruits in scents.

8:15 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I agree. NO to fruit. But this one is better than anything else I can think of that has raspberry.

8:18 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ditto, Maria B. I was expecting you were older and very noir in a jean harlow kind of way with a satin gown and long cigarette holder. :-)

happy new year! thank you for making my lunch hour something to look forward to.

9:31 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Ha!...I wish :-)
Happy new year to you too and thank you so much for your kind words!

9:58 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I wrote a long rant of a comment replying to Judith below. Basically, I am way mroe mad at eBay. They have to make the changes of the policies of any sort very clear and very apparent. GRRR.

9:59 PM EST  
Blogger Erin said...

c: I remembered the cartoon on Aromascope and here I thought *you* were the raven-haired femme fatale and *Ina* was the blonde bombshell. Well, I can see now that this was very obtuse of me. It totally changes my world view, here, now I have to picture Ina as dark, too. Now I'm thinking of the Posse drawings and I'm praying March really is Veronica, since Patty appears to be the blonde betty. (By the way, I'm dark and look like I'm twelve years old.)

10:05 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I kind of felt you were dark and very delicate :-) March IS the raven-haired beauty, Patty is the blond bombshell. Ina is dark and gorgeous. Before she showed me her pretty face I for some reason also thought Ina was blond. Moreover, in my head I was picturing her looking like Maria Sharapova. Don't know why :-D

10:09 PM EST  
Blogger Caitlin Shortell said...

I landed in the middle of an adorable girl fest here and Marina you are the adorablest. I am really curious about this scent because I tend to be a bit fruitier than your average brooding perfumista. I have a thing for raspberry tea. I need that bottle, too. Bottle hound that I am.

5:28 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the lovely information. And an important note, you look so gorgeous.

5:41 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

"than your average brooding perfumista"- haaa! I think you will like the scent then, definitely. :-)

8:53 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you very much! :-)

8:53 AM EST  

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