Skirts and Giggles

Scents and Sensibilities: Stay out of Brooklyn by Alison

Sometimes I have trouble refusing the advances of people who sell cosmetics, even when I’m in a hurry. Which is how I found myself being blasted with various scents from Bond No. 9 New York this afternoon when I was really just looking for a lipstick that turned out to have been discontinued.

At first, the sales lady approached me with their newest scent, Brooklyn (Bond No. 9 names all their fragrances after NYC neighbourhoods). When I expressed hesitation over Brooklyn, she led me over to the counter and selected three other scents based on my favourite colour (red, so she pulled out West Side because…it has a red bottle. Uh huh.) and my skin tone (is that a thing? How can that possibly being a thing, matching scents to skin tone? That’s STUPID. Anyway, she picked out Bryant Park and either Bleecker St. or Gramercy Park).

I was initially taken in because Brooklyn and West Side both start great. But don’t be fooled – these perfumes dry heavily. Brooklyn, which starts with a nice spicy, woody blend, turns into this forest dominatrix nightmare as it dries and the blend is overwhelmed by the leather and cedar notes. That’s too harsh – it’s actually a great smell if you’re into something a little dark. It’s very sophisticated in a subdued and almost masculine way, while still being quite womanly. It smells like the idea of the best boots. But cedar gives me a headache, so Brooklyn is not for me.

West Side is another story. It starts off with my favourite notes – rose, peony, vanilla. But it quickly becomes too much of a good thing, and it dries with the sickly sweet scent of a candied apple in the middle of a bouquet of peonies wrapped in cotton candy. Not for me. West Side is all Undine Spragg in Edith Wharton’s Custom of the Country. That’s not a compliment. You don’t want to smell like a girl who’s nickname is “Undie.”

Bryant Park starts off smelling like nail polish, but turns into a nice, if boring, fruity soda (the sales lady claimed it was raspberry, but really, it just smells pink). The one that is either Bleecker Street or Gramercy Park (I know, I need to pay better attention) was actually my favourite, even if I don’t remember what it was. It dried the lightest of the four, very fresh and grassy, like a picnic.

All of their scents, though, were just too overwhelming for me. I like my perfume with a little less concentration and a little more not smelling like a domintrix. In short, although I do indeed love New York, I don’t want to smell like it.


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