Bond no 9 Riverside Drive, 2003

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Riverside Drive is a thoughtfully composed, buoyant, green/lavender aquatic men’s fragrance.  It’s a descendent of Cool Water, but it’s not one of the cheap imitators hurled at the market since about a minute after Cool Water hit in 1988. In its favor, Riverside Drive is more a reflection on Cool Water than an imitation. It tones down the ‘aquatic’, turns up the green, and leads to a very well-balanced drydown. The drydown, in fact, is what I think an armful of the Creeds of the last 20 years have strived for and missed. Poised, comfortable, stable. The drydown of these Cool Water wannabes, including the Creeds, is usually described as:  (synonym for nice) + “but, well, you know” + (antonym of nice). Riverside Drive’s drydown is likable. Actually, it’s enviable. Coherent, harmonious, firm yet without aberrant sillage.

Against it, it’s a thoughtful version a hackneyed genre. How much better than the worst, is the best grilled American cheese and white bread sandwich ever made? I appreciate Riverside Drive for its composition, but am not interested in it. Who needs another descendant of Cool Water? (… asks the man with a closet full of green chypres. Spoiler alert: Glass Houses.) But I do feel it is important to acknowledge quality work however it comes across your desk. Not my bag, but outstanding.

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