Monday, June 10, 2013

Bond No 9 Chinatown

Friday afternoon, a very exciting package appeared on my doorstep and I have been in love with the contents of the little box ever since.  Earlier this year, I promised myself that if I survive my spring semester (and the 175 page paper that I had to write) that I would purchase a special perfume for myself and I set the money aside from my tax return as soon as it came.  After the semester was over, it took my about three weeks to decide what fragrance that I wanted and what one would be a special purchase for me.  I decided on a fragrance from the line Bond No 9 very quickly, I have to order these fragrances from Nordstrom or Saks Fifth Avenue's websites and throughout the spring, I ordered small samples of the fragrances from Amazon so that I could try several of them out and learn which ones were worthy of the full bottle purchase.  The leaders for me were Chinatown and Madison Square Park, fragrances that had both been suggested to me on the Makeup Alley Fragrance Board.  In fact, they were both recommended to me, one to wear in the warm weather and then the other to wear in the cold weather.  It was a hard decision but I ordered the bottle of Chinatown as the weather will be getting colder by the time that I have the open space on my bureau for the bottle itself.

Chinatown is one of the older Bond No 9 fragrances and came out right as the brand earning its place in the niche fragrance market.  This fragrance is one of the top rated fragrances and it considered to be one of the iconic Bond No 9 fragrances.  I first read a rave review of this fragrance in "Perfumes: The Guide" by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez and this is one of the very few fragrances that earned 5 out of 5 stars by the authors.  Another factor that tipped the scales in Chinatown's favor...

We will start with the fragrance description from the Nordstrom website and then go into the comments from "Perfumes: The Guide".  The Nordstrom website states, "Superpower meets Supercity. The emerging superpower energy with the avant-garde cachet of downtown New York. A sultry, mouth-watering, equal-opportunity East-meets-West bouquet."  The notes of the fragrance are: Peach Blossoms, Gardenia, Tuberose, Patchouli, Cardamom.

Onto the review from Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez.  "The endearingly plucky firm of Bond No 9 has produced its first and so far only masterpiece.  Composed by the young Aurelien Guichard (son of the great Jean of Roure, now Givaudan), it is one of those fragrances that smells so immediately, compellingly, irresistibly great that the only sane response is love at first sniff.  Chinatown is at once oddly familiar and very surprising, as if the lyrics in a favorite love song had been rearranged to make a new poem, just as affecting but unplanned by the original author.  On the one hand, Chinatown harks back to classic, haughty green chypres like Cabochard, Givenchy III, and the first Scherrer.  On the other hand, it has an odd, almost medicinal note reminiscent of the mouthwatering dried-fruit smell of Prunol, a base original composed by Edmond Roudnitska for the defunct firm of De Laire.  The combination strikes a precarious but totally convincing balance between remoteness and affability that suggests a personality at once full of charm and dangerous to know.  Some people find it too sweet.  To my nose it smells liked a corner of a small French grocery in summer, in the exact spot where the smell of floor wax meets that of ripe peaches.  A treasure in a beautiful bottle."

This is a very complex fragrance and I can't give any better review than the one that was included in "Perfumes: The Guide", I have never smelled this fragrance on anyone else that I have come into contact with and doubt that I will find many ladies in my area that wear it.  On me, this fragrance has a peach note that is evident right when it is applied and then softens down into the white floral notes.  I normally don't love white floral fragrance but this scent is unique and there is something special about the blend that makes me love it more and more.  The Patchouli note is very light on my skin and more serves to keep the florals alive throughout the day.  This fragrance lasts all day on my skin and wears well into the night, I can smell the quality difference between the fragrances in this line and some of the ones that I buy at Sephora.

Chinatown has a cult following for a good is very unique and a beautiful fragrance.  I will be counting this fragrance among my favorites for years to come.  I find this fragrance is more appropriate for fall and winter as the white floral notes are stronger on me then I like to wear in the warm weather.  I get many compliments on this fragrance and I will continue to use it and try more fragrances from this niche perfume house.

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

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