Bond no 9 Chez Bond, 2003

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Perfumer not identified.

How does the expression go? First impressions are lasting impressions? Something like that.

In 2003 Bond’s launch strategy included a few easy, recognizable perfumes. Perfumes Bond gambled on tapping into a built-in audience appeal. Previously, the niche perfume tactic was to launch with one or two perfumes and build a line over time, but Bond were one of the early brands to launch with a complete line. Their novelty appears to have been focussed more on marketing strategy than artistry and creativity.

To be generous, Chez Bond’s fruity-aquatic fougère drove down the middle of the road and was the safe bet that might have allowed Bond to include some more daring perfumes in their launch. And to be fair, Bond weren’t nearly the first to adopt this strategy. This genre had been so long copied that Bond’s reanimating of it was so late to the table that it didn’t seem so much derivative as cliché. Unfortunately, to be frank, Chez Bond was so derivative of Cool Water and Creed Green Irish Tweed that it’s equally laughable and cynical.

Chez Bond streamlined the key points of Cool Water. Downplaying Cool Water’s tart apple note, Chez Bond’s sweetness shines candy-bright. Taking away the metallic quality of the aquatic note and emphasizing woodiness over aromatic notes, Chez Bond is simpler. Where Cool Water was bright, Chez Bond is simply translucent. Compared to the others fruity-aquatic fougères, Chez Bond seem like a Cool Water-flavored Jolly Rancher.

The Bond no 9 brand hit the streets in 2003 with a gussied up version of a 1988 designer perfume. Bond’s intent to sell an old perfume at a ballsy mark-up reveals an early predilection toward recognition and ubiquity over creativity. As time passed and the better iconic New York names became harder to come by, Bond veered away from strictly derivative perfumes like Chez Bond and instead cloned version after version of what became know as their own style of sweet, woody neo-gourmand perfumes. How does that other expression go? Out of the frying pan…?


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