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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Perfume Review: Bond No. 9 Saks DNA

Review by Tom

The house Bond No. 9 is an interesting one, with such lovelies as New Haarlem, with it's rich coffee goodness, West Broadway with it's musky Mate and Bryant Park's oddly delicious Raspberries and lilies. So I was very interested in smelling the signature scents they cooked up for Saks Fifth Avenue stores. So on the day of the first rain we have had in LA in months I decided to waste some quality time at Saks and give them a good sniff.

DNA for her is a soft white floral, starting with jasmine and tuberose. These are whispers of those heady flowers; I have to agree with SweetDiva when she writes that it reminds her of an evening in summer, even though we are on opposite sides of the continent I get the same sense of of it. It feels like a summer evening here: a cool twilight after a hot summer day, the scent of white flowers on a light breeze and the green-ness of vetiver to keep it from getting too over-the-top. I am happy to be able to write that of the spate of new "house fragrances" by perfumers for department stores wanting them, this is so far the best of the lot: it's softly beautiful, just ever-so-slightly weird enough that it's still definably niche but not so aggressively niche (or for a white flower scent, aggressive, period) that you won't be afraid to wear it to the office.

I wish I could write happier things about DNA for Him, however I can't. After an initial blast of bergamot (which, much as I like I think we should declare it illegal as an opening note for any new scents until, say Fall 2009) it goes into a pleasant aquatic. Well, pleasant if you are a fan of aquatic, which I am decidedly not. Sak's site mentions "fiery chilies, seductive incense and soothing guaiac wood" notes being in there. I did get a bit of woodiness but missed out on anything "fiery" or "seductive" and frankly was in no way soothed. Forced to choose, I would much rather get Barneys new Co-Op scent Outrageous! for both the price and the scent are for me better.

Both of these scents are available at Saks Fifth Avenue, $185 for 3.3 ounces in those lovely star-shaped bottles with a kaleidoscopic version of the Saks logo.


Blogger Gaia said...

Tom, add New Haarlem to the list of fragrances you and I like. I'm not even going to bother with DNA for him. All I ha to hear was "aquatic". SO not my thing. Do you think I can safely try the girl version without a floral vine crawling out of the bottle and trying to kill me and my not so girly skin/nose?

11:24 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

I think you might like it- it's the white floral for people who think they hate white florals. Try it and blog about it!

11:29 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Outrageous would be a prefereable scent for you. That's saying something. Jeepers.


11:31 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Well, Outrageous! wasn't terrible, it just wasn't that interesting. Bond just made one that was even less interesting. Too bad, since the femme scent is really nice, and it's not like they didn't have the opportunity..

11:57 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad I don't have to find the energy to track these down for a sniff.

I'm happy with the one or two new releases and that'll do me for 2007, thank you very much.

4:49 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

That's a shame about DNA for Him. The Saks description sounded so incredibly appealing. Oh, and I'll sign that bergamot petition. Love it, but...enough! DNA for her sounds like yet another of those scents I'd like, but not remotely love.

7:04 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

Hmmmm. . . Last time I was in Saks I tried DNA For Him and really didn't like it. Guess I should have tried Her. Oh, well--next time. The one I am really eager to smell is the Warhol Silver Factory.

7:18 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not a white floral person at all, especially since I am constantly told that's what my 6 ft tall blonde self should be wearin'...! But this is so damn good! It has a ton of coconut, if you don't like that note you should skip it. I will say it is Bond's best scent since Chinatown, and that's saying alot. I wish more people would go out and smell it. Although, it's very much a spring/summer scent to my nose. Or special occasion scent. I will be wearing it proudly this weekend at my best friend's wedding, and she loved it so much she'll be wearing it too :-)

7:26 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

So far West Side and West Broadway are the two Bond No 9s I like. I'll have to find a way to find a way to Saks and see if this might join their ranks. I smelled For Her on someone and wasn't that impressed, but that doesn't mean anything, of course.

7:59 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

These both ended unhappily for me. The mens... bleah. The women's was nice enough, but I can't even remember it now?

Now, that WArhol thing is a completely different, more interesting animal. :)

8:36 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll sign that bergamot petition with you guys. I really don't like the stuff, not even in tea, and it seems every time I turn around there it is. Of course, it does allow me to eliminate bunches of stuff without a second thought so maybe that's good? Easier on the wallet.

11:29 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

lee- I know what you mean.

11:33 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I liked the womans so much more than the mans simply because they dared to release a white flower scent without a hint af any sugar, bugglegum or melon to muck it up.

11:34 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

lily- next time you're in Saks give it a sniff. I'd love to read what you think about it

11:35 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Coconut? Wow, I didn't get any of that at all! I think I woudl have liked it even better with that in the mix- it would bring a bit of the tropics in.

11:37 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I'd love to read what you think about it- certainly if you get coconut in it.

Now my skin eats coconut. Whoopee.

11:38 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I am looking forward to trying the Warhol myself.

11:39 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I LIKE bergamot, it just seems to be the default setting for mens colognes, as if they couldn't think of anything else. I wish they'd had a little more stones and started out with something more, or added in something to take it up a notch.

11:42 AM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

I didn't like Saks for her, but thought it was an almost amazing fit with how I see the "loyal Saks customer". Interesting to try it next to the Andy Warhol scent: I'd say Bond knows their customer base pretty darned well.

12:13 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

I guess they do, and I guess that's true of the men's scent too. Just seems kind of dull to go to a house that could deliver brilliant and ask them to deliver respectively, "nice" and "Meh". Like asking Julia Chils to whip up twinkies for you. They might be really good twinkies, but twinkies they still are

12:22 PM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

I think the sorta Deco-esque bottle is fab. Some of the design ideas work better than others on those star-shaped bottles, and this one works.

The Bond I'm really anxious for is the Silver Factory one.

12:51 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


The bottle does look gorgeous, especially the white-on-black

1:29 PM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

I was speed-reading through your answer to Divalino and thought you said "... and add in some scotch." And my first thought was -- now THAT would be an interesting fragrances. Something along the lines of Cumming...

2:13 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom, you and I share the same taste in Bond fragrances. I enjoyed Saks for Her, but I still think Bryant Park is at the top for me...except for Silver Factory! Thanks for the mention, too! *blushes*

2:58 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Scotch makes everything better

3:29 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


We do agree- and I am also really wanting to test that Warhol one..

3:31 PM EDT  
Blogger ForTheLoveOfPerfume said...

Tom, thank you for this review! I was not remotely interested in this new offering from Bond No. 9 until your words describing it as an inoffensive white floral. Off to Saks I'll go today. Thanks! (Glad you got some rain, by the way!)

10:50 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone try My DNA Fragrance? A fragrance made from your own DNA for an exclusive fragrance your own.

4:08 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved abercrombie/fitch "woods". It is gone forever. Does anybody know of anything close in Bond orwhatever. i think woods had some patchouli...which mey be a deal breaker for you, but worked with my ph.

8:25 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wanted a new scent to wear on my wedding day, and stumbled upon DNA for Her. I don't even shop at Saks, but I found myself drawn to the Bond counter and the kaleidescope of perfume bottles. After sampling a few fragrances, I chose chose DNA for her. I get compliments from everyone when I wear it. I wore it on my honeymoon, and now my husband is instantly transported back to the beach in Mexico every time he catches a whiff of it.

5:57 PM EDT  

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