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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Perfume Review: Bond No 9 Andy Warhol Silver Factory

By Tom

One of the things I used to do as a teen was subscribe to "Interview" magazine. "Interview" back in the day was started by Andy Warhol as "The Crystal Ball Of Pop", and when I was getting it in the early 80's was a large-format magazine printed on non-glossy paper with gorgeous covers that looked like a cross between air-brushing and graffiti; impossibly handsome pictures of the impossibly handsome stars of the day. Diana Ross, Richard Gere, Goldie Hawn; glossy ads and fluffy interviews that practically screamed to my teenage eyes "MOVE TO NEW YORK!!".

So I did. I've covered that time in what some would speak of as exhausting detail in my blog, so I won't go into it here. Suffice it to say that the Studio 54 years were dead, even if Andy was not. The Factory was still in the space it moved to in 1968, but certainly was not the nexus of cool it was in the day. Union Square was ripe for renewal, indeed the old Factory space is now a Barnes & Noble, which they will tell you about, entirely unaware of the irony. I used to see Andy on occasion, wandering around SoHo or out at clubs, looking frail and rather old to my young eyes, but still Andy Warhol, platinum wig and all; still fabulous.

I was almost not looking forward to trying this one- I am not mad about Bond No. 9 in general; so far there hasn't been one that I've wanted to pop for a full bottle. This one may have changed my mind. Silver Factory starts off very cold: almost as chilly as Gris Clair's camphored lavender. There's a knife edge of metal to it, a tinfoil bite that I wonder if it's supposed to literally remind one of the walls of the Factory. It is, however in no way austere in the way that Gris Clair is, the Lutens' lavender makes you think of a high-mountain meadow with it's dark stone church incense note. Silver Factory is foil covered walls and incense bought on 14th street, a party to load up on whatever one was going to load up on before hitting the clubs. There are discernible flowers in there: there's jasmine and iris and violets running in and out, like flower children fighting for the make-up mirror and quite (yes, for me, the skank-killer) a bit of dirt. There's a buzzy happiness about all that incense and flowery piquancy that I find quite delightful; it also at least in the first hour seems to be quite the sillage-monster, so boys go steadily in the application. I also recommend dabbing this one on as I did, at least for guys. I can't imagine the cloud you'd be trailing spraying this on. Having written that, once that first hour elapses some of the party-animal note dry down and it becomes very wearable, as March writes, you won't feel like go-go boots or Joe Dallesandro will be a necessary accessory to pull this one off.

Oh, and this is easily the coolest bottle that's come out lately. The Campbell Soup looking logo on Bond's signature star-shaped bottle is a winner. It's $230 for 100ML, and it may be necessary in my life soon.

Note to Bond No. 9: you have at Saks Beverly Hills two of the most charming SA's I've ever met at that store. Have them cloned. Now.


Blogger elle said...

Great review. Silver Factory just makes me smile - grin from ear to ear. It's wonderfully, unexpectedly (not a Bond fan) interesting and fun. Could easily have been a CdG. Oh, and maybe Little Joe isn't a necessary accessory for pulling this one off...but what a nice idea to have him as one while wearing this. :-)

9:55 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I'd take Joe. Circa the Factory or circa "Cotton Club"

Silver Factory might be my Christmas present to myself...

10:16 PM EST  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

I loved this one! I tried it at our local SFA last month, the SA was very generous with her sample. I have always been a Warhol fan and Silver Factory really transported me back in time, actually, I was practically seeing trails as I sniffed it :)
I too liked it's mercurial coolness, it felt wet and indeed silvery. The incense was really provocative and I loved loved loved the bottle. I really agree with you about Bond 9, I haven't bought any yet ,not even Harlem which I liked alot. Silver Factory on the other hand.....I love everything about it!

11:19 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I think this a big winner in the line- as elle writes, it's a grin from ear to ear..

12:28 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've convinced me about this one. I (like most of us perfumistas it seems) am not too impressed with the Bond oeuvre. I do love West Side and Bryant Park. I would love to smell this one on someone around me...any trips planned to Kansas City? I love incense sillage.
Thanks for the fab review.

12:32 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always get sentimental when reading about the 80s - and even more, when speaking about "flowerpower" (I have such a wannabe hippy soul...). And I missed your NY times on your blog somehow, so I definitely have to look for them tonight (now I'm in the office and it looks like a long working day...).
And finally, so far I've never been tempted by a Bond n.9 scent, but now I am - thanks for the suggestive review, Tom !

3:49 AM EST  
Blogger rosarita said...

Great review! I'm looking forward to trying this. New Haarlem is the only Bond so far that I liked enough to *need* a decant of. I really like the cool, edgy incense in YSL Nu, and the description of the incense in Silver Factory is intriguing and non-churchy, too. Once again, a bubble of gratitude for the Perfumed Court! My sample order keeps expanding.

5:04 AM EST  
Blogger lilybp said...

I'm clearly missing something. I got a sample--and thought it was just OK. Also, it seemed kinda light on me; I was considering spraying. But maybe it's my nose that's missing something b/c my haircutter asked me what I was wearing and seemed to like it.

6:56 AM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

Love your review, it really captured it.

I agree and think this will be the one that Bond will be remembered for most ten years from now

7:09 AM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

Agree with Elle -- this could have been a CdG; like you I am surprised to see this coming from Bond, which makes perfectly likeable scents that I don't own or wear...

Smiling, you and I must be very close in age. I really enjoyed your trip down memory lane. I was too broke to afford a subscription to Interview, I used to sit in our college library (which had a subscription) and devour it, often along with a bag of tootsie rolls. How tragically hip we were, listening to Bauhaus and New Order etc.... and how young and innocent and bittersweet it seems now. I wonder if hippies from the 60s feel the same way?

7:41 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great review. Trying to remember what I read back in that day. Think East Village Eye? I was more Mudd Club than Studio & yes, it was more over than not by the time I got there.

I'm not a Bond fan either & the idea of incense & tin foil makes me feel a sneeze coming on but ... well, it sounds at least worth a sniff ... for educational purposes of course.

8:30 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is funny about Bond fragrances. I have always been underimpressed, but others seem to notice when a sample lingers. Most recently, I stopped in the Noho store to get a sample of Silver Factory, and spritzed on Nuits de Noho. Several people stopped and asked me about the fragrance that night. And yes, I bought it.
To be hip in the late sixties in NY meant that one read the East Village Other and even the Voice. One of course listened to the Velvet Underground, went to the Fillmore East. But, and most important then, one was very political, passionate, in a way that Warhol scorned.

8:57 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved you review. Bond's a bit like little Joe - everybody ha to pay and pay. Guess I'll be coughing up some time soon, at least for a decant so I can sniff it.

10:57 AM EST  
Blogger Ducks said...

Hi Tom, what an intriguing review! All righty, you've pushed me off the fence. Although cold and metal aren't usually my cup of tea (Earl Grey or spicy Rooibos tea, hot, would be closer to my usual haunts) ... onto the list it goes.

11:12 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh boy we're really milking the poetry on this one being that it outright stinks... i think an eight dollar bottle of tabu would suffice

i keep reading/hearing it's a different new york... that it's pretty much becoming one boring bank vault of steel and glass... add to that this $230 bottle of obnoxious "trash"

perfection... !

11:14 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


It surprised me, in a totally good way. I'm afraid that the Andy name didn't make me think it would be a great perfume.

11:21 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

lady jane-

I never thought I'd be wistful for the 80's, but there you are..

I think I linked to the page about my life in NYC from the review, of course my code-writing is not great so it might not work..

11:23 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Even if you do have a Saks within a mile of you I still have to write hats off to TPC. Sometimes I just don't even want to go into the stores (oh, like say, this entire month...)

11:26 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


you never know, skin chemistry does the most bizarre things- I normally castrate all the skank out of scents and this one had some definate dirty bits to it.

11:27 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Thank you!

I agree with you about the Bond series. I hope the newer ones with the Warhol name are equally as good

11:28 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I forced my parents into getting Interview, and yes "tragically hip" is the term.

New Order? I still have "Substance" on my iPod!

And Bauhaus and Joy Division and Echo and the Bunnymen...

...I really do have some stuff from this millennium as well. Really I do!

11:33 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I was reading Interview when I was in New England. By the time I got to NY it over and I was into clubs like Area and Pyramid. I couldn't afford to be fabulous

11:39 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I think I'd have liked the village back then. Politically the 80's were just depressing...

of course this decade isn't a cakewalk either

11:47 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Bond ain't cheap. I wish they did sold the little ones individually..

11:49 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


It's not normally on mine at all either...

11:50 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Don't be so reticent! Tell us what you really think!

11:52 AM EST  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

I really love this.
It's beautifully made, flatters me, and is a work of pop art...

But I won't be buying it.
Sometimes, the only way you can protest, is with your dollar.

Due to 'Lashon Hara'- aka, the Evil Tongue- I'm bound not to go further.

I give all credit to all involved- I'd never withold that, from anyone.
It's a super , bangup job.
But sadly, there is an unpleasant history of behavior that distresses me profoundly.

And I choose not to endorse that behavior, so I'm punishing myself by not buying it.
I doubt my decision matters a rat's tuchus; but I feel better, ethically.

I am a jerk; I admit it.
[Didn't know I was that old-school, didja ? Surprised?]

No judgements here, though.
Of anyone.
Ain't my place to judge- only to act according to my conscience.
What a royal pain in the ass I am.

3:09 PM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

Okay, I have to ask ... did you have one of those asymmetrical haircuts? Or a flat-top? Possibly with the ends lightened?

I wish I had some *hair* pics of me, just for the humor value! Scowling at the camera, no doubt.

4:11 PM EST  
Blogger Ducks said...

Just a note to Chayaruchama... oh, good, there's someone else who punishes oneself with one's ethics and votes with the almighty dollar! I sometimes wonder if it's just me. =)

4:47 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I don't know what you're referring to, but I think sticking by one's guns is best. There is a store in Los Angeles (you'd know the name) in which a friend was treated very badly and I have never once set foot in the place again I also refuse to wear, review or even think about the designers scents, either.

7:12 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


no asymmetrical bob for me!

I had that buzz-cut and platinum thing that was popular about 5 years ago, way back in 1985. The buzz-cut was from seeing "Blade Runner" too many times and the dye-job was from getting drunk and playing with Jolene Creme Bleach..

7:15 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


there are a few of us.

7:16 PM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

Oooooh, that is such a great movie! I hear the new director's cut is amazing, it was playing at an art house here briefly but I missed it :-( contemplating buying it on DVD. I would have loved to see it again on a huge screen. In terms of visuals, it was mesmerizing.

9:19 PM EST  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

Old fogey here was a BIIIG Joe D. fan...
My favorite line, of all time, was Joe [ I THINK in Dracula, or some other tripe], in verdant Brooklynese, saying :
"I wonda wat ha sistah does in bed at night. I'd like to f@!k da hell outta ha !"
Pure poetry, as only Joe could deliver it- sixpack,STD's, and all.
Loved that boy.

10:24 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

march- I stupidly missed the re-issue as well. I hope they show it again- it really needs the big screen.

It was shown as a midnight movie in a theater on 2nd ave in the eighties and I think I saw it about 25 times, dragging friends and acquaintances to it. I'll get the DVD as soon as the X-mas presetn buying season is over..

11:08 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Those Warhol movies were so much fun. I wonder why more of them aren't available as say, early John Waters?

11:10 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the worst Bond Perfume that they have come out with. I recommend that you avoid the Andy Warhol perfumes. Pretty bottles but lousy scents.

2:09 AM EDT  

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