Friday, October 26, 2007

Bond No. 9 Saks Fifth Avenue for Him and for Her

Saks Fifth Avenue for Her
Notes: jasmine, tuberose, gardenia, vetiver, vanilla

This is not your grandmother’s gardenia perfume! The first of two fragrances commissioned by venerable New York fashion institution Saks Fifth Avenue, Bond No. 9 Saks Fifth Avenue for Her opens with notes of jasmine and tuberose. The gardenia, supreme queen of white flowers, becomes evident within a minute or so of this largely linear fragrance. The effect of this triple whammy of all white is intense. Elegantly so. White floral fragrances, particularly a powerhouse combination like this, can be overwhelming, and for some more sensitive people, headache-inducing. Bond’s genius of adding a dash of earthy vetiver and sweet vanilla keep this luxurious new scent grounded. The result is a gorgeously creamy and warm floral with an underlying tropical quality reminiscent of coconut cream. The drydown retains all of the gorgeous heady quality, but speaks more in a whisper.

Saks Fifth Avenue for Him
Notes: chili, black pepper, cardamom, bergamot, incense, guaiac wood, amber

Initially, Saks Fifth Avenue for Him is all about a bright bergamot note dancing among spices. There’s a bit of pepperiness, more black pepper than chili, and combined with the sharp yet warm sweetness of cardamom, it lends depth to the opening notes of this scent. The pepper/cardamom gives way, quite seamlessly, to incense and the delicious resinous quality of guaiac wood. There’s a bit of bitter sweetness in here too, almost licorice-like in quality. Several minutes into the drydown, a soft amber note is detectable.

Merely reading the notes would give the impression that this scent is a spicy woodsy fragrance, however, it is actually strongly aquatic. All of the pepper and incense seem to be submerged in a cool blue-green quality that floats somewhere just above the skin. It’s only when one takes a deeper sniff that the other elements make themselves known.

I'm being nice here, but I really hate it. Aquatic notes are vile and should be banned, and they completely ruin what could have been a nice scent. Bah!


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