Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bond No. 9 Andy Warhol Lexington Avenue

The latest in the Andy Warhol line of scents by Bond No. 9, Lexington Avenue is billed as a “floral woody chypre,” with notes of peony, orris, patchouli, sandalwood, cardamom, fennel, almonds, cumin, and crème brulée. It’s a “seductive and intoxicating autumn-winter fragrance” and “the perfume equivalent of that rarity, an outrageously luxurious pair of stiletto heels that fit as comfortably as a glove. Wearing the sent, like wearing the shoes, will turn a woman’s walk into a sinuous glide.”

Personally, I think wearing stiletto heels would make my walk more like a stumble and fall, but that’s me. I’m a flats kinda girl. Not that I don’t appreciate the look of a gorgeous sky-high heel, I just have no use for them in my life. And I feel that way about chypres. There’s just something about them that I don’t care for, a sort of dirty hair quality that turns me off. So when I looked at the press materials for Andy Warhol Lexington Avenue, I was pretty sure I would hate it.

Then I tried it on.

The opening is rich and fruity with a lovely sweet spice from the cardamom and a soft creaminess from the almonds.  Yes, I did say “fruity.”  I am surprised there are no listed notes of peach/plum because I smell a rich ripeness, more fresh than jammy, but definitely fruit. It mingles with the spices to produce a fragrance reminiscent of a cobbler.  And then there’s a sneaky note of cumin that pops up – faint, but noticeable – and a bit of aromatic fennel.  Soft woodsy notes start to come out a bit when it dries down, but nothing much to overcome the delicious gourmand quality that is only enhanced by a big hit of custard.  Like a sexy drizzle of crème Anglaise.

I think to myself, “this is no chypre. I love it!”

Wearing this scent on my forearm, all I smell is a trip to the pie shop. But then I spritzed Lexington Avenue on my décolletage, where I usually wear scent. Suddenly that familiar warm funky earthiness jumped out at me – it was a chypre! If I tilted my head downward toward the smell, I got the sweet, spicy fruit. When I picked my head back up, I got the chypre effect. Despite that, I still love Lexington Avenue. It’s a chypre for those folks who might be a little scared of the classics like Mitsouko, and who enjoy a rich gourmand fragrance.

nd the bottle design is terrific!


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