Bond no 9 New York Patchouli, 2013

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New York Patchouli 1

Perfumer not cited.

With Bond’s vintage subway token  logo and their real-estate-porn-style of naming their products, brand identity is unmistakeable. Bond attempt to balance exclusivity/ubiquity à la Vuitton and their products carry the same dissonance as an LV-logo bag.  They express a desire for exclusivity in a manner that guarantees visibility and readability à la Big Mac.

Bond no 9 started as the gaudy side of niche but have exploded the category so that niche no longer applies.  Bond is simply an expensive perfume corporation, larger than by Kilian yet smaller than l’Oreal.  The majority of the perfumes are generic and vary little from what you might find at Sephora or a department store on any given day.  While there have been some great successes (Chinatown, H.O.T. Always, Andy Warhol Silver Factory) the majority walk the thin line between uninteresting (Andy Warhol Lexington Ave, Washington Square) and unappealing.  I find it hard to discuss the Bond no 9 line non-judgementally. The prices are exorbitant, the marketing is gaudy and the quality is poor.

New York Patchoui 2

Bond no 9 have created an olfactory identifiability that is on par with their unmistakeable bottles and branding.  This house accord (Bond-ade) is a sweetened woody-gourmand quality that underpins many of their perfumes and makes them far more similar than distinct from each other.  It is the dense, flat pile-up of slickness, oiliness and musky sweetness amplified by durable synthetic aromachemicals.  It reminds me of cheap, artificial ‘butter-flavored’ pancake syrup and hangovers, combining shrillness with vertigo. It is difficult to tolerate in sustained exposure yet inescapable. Fortunately, New York Patchouli has a smaller portion of this note than others in the line and smells more like fruity hairspray than motion-sickness.

Christ. I just read that last sentence. In my mind, I was trying to say something nice about this perfume. Apparently I can’t. I’ll leave it at that.

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