Bond no 9 Madison Soirée, 2003

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(the Lauder Family from Women’s Wear Daily)

Perfumer Robertet.

Madison Soirée is a tribute to the late Estée Lauder. See? They even named it Soirée with an accent aigu like Estée!

Lauder invented herself in a way people have done throughout time yet we always think must be modern. She made it up, and sold everyone else on the story. She changed her name from Josephine Esther Mentzer to Estée Lauder, and thereby changed both her history and her future. I suppose this makes her one of the greatest American fiction writers.

So, Madison Soirée. It starts as an insecticide floral, thereby giving a nod to ‘old lady’ perfume, which, whether you like the scent or not, is intended to denote sophistication. Some floral essences at concentration have a chemical scent that smell like bug-spray. Unfortunately, Madison Soirée tips the scales to the point where the quantitative becomes the qualitative. It’s so insecticide-like that I must assume that they decided to place a note of Toxicity (©) in the perfume, hoping that it would trigger the association with florals, and by extension, with sophistication.

Madison Soirée goes through a few stages, the first 3 of which are related to Estée Lauder, the company.

Tippy-top notes: Bug spray (as in Estée, created by Bernard Chant).

Late top notes: Metallic flowers resonating at an uncomfortable frequency (as in, Dazzling Silver).

Middle notes: Floral detergent powder. Don’t touch!  Corrosive. (Beyond Paradise)

Basenotes: floral notes  (by italics, I mean to imply vagueness)

Did I say tribute earlier? I should have been more general. There’s an association between Bond, the company, and Estée Lauder, the woman. I don’t believe it was intentional. Bond no 9 would have you believe that its brand, its founding concept is NYC locales, but NYC is just window dressing. Bond no 9 sell aspiration. Notice that they don’t make “Bed-Stuy Flowers” or “73rd Ave Oud” ?

So Madison Soirée has a few things going on. It inadvertently smells like a series of Estée Lauder fragrances. But it also comes from a perfume house that sells New York social aspiration like heroin. Estée Lauder herself is an examples of the exceedingly uncommon social advancement that Bond no 9 would have you believe is the right of everyone who wears their perfume.

I have no advice regarding social advancement. As for perfume, forget Madison Soirée. There’s nothing there. On the other hand, the Estée Lauder companies make some brilliant perfumes.



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