Shopping at Bond No.9 in New York: Stuck Up Clerks, Do Not Buy Bond Online & More

One of the great parts about living in New York, is the ability to visit Flagship stores or boutique locations of fine fragrance retailers. In my opinion if you truly want to understand the values and essence of a brand, there is no better option short of maybe meeting the founder in a private shopping experience followed by question and answer. In the case of Bond No. 9, I have had the luxury of both. Today’s post will focus on the shopping experience at Bond No.9 as a regular off the street customer and perhaps in a later post, I will detail the latter experience.  I did not disclose that I was a perfume blogger or whether or not I intended to buy a perfume that day.

Stuck-Up Store Clerks, Bond St. vs. Bleecker Street:  There are four Bond No. 9 stores in New York proper however, I have only been to two of them, the flag ship store on Bond street and the location on Bleecker Street. Most people seem to prefer to the flagship store due to it’s grandeur, size and of course iconic status as the place where it all started but I personally much prefer the Bleecker Street location despite it’s much much smaller size.

For starters, it’s located near several other fragrance stores (including Jo Malone and Annick Goutal which is right next door) so if you’re not committed to purchasing a fragrance from Bond or even if you are, it’s nice to be able to explore other options and compare shopping experiences.  Another reason, I love this location is the customer service experience. Unlike at the flagship store, which perhaps due to it’s status and visibility, where it seemed that the sales people only cared about closing the deal and were extremely stuck up in my opinion, both store clerks at Bleecker Street were laid-back but friendly. It felt like going over a close female friend’s house and looking through her perfume collection. I felt like a person not a customer. Having said that, if you do find yourself in New York, I highly recommend purchasing a scent from Laura, she is such a genuinely happy and calming spirit. She’s very knowledgeable about fragrances (Bond and otherwise) but never pushy or sale-sy.

Do Not Buy Online I know especially nowadays it can be tempting to smell perfumes in store than purchase online but with Bond I strongly suggest purchasing in store or at least off of the official Bond website if you must shop online. Why? Once you purchase a Bond perfume, you become a member of the highly coveted Bond Insider’s club. This means free samples, personalized invites to exclusive in-store events and even previews of scents not yet released. Another perk to shopping in store, is that there is a lot less oversight over samples and freebies if you catch my drift. For example, a few weeks back Bond had a promo for a free purse spray with the purchase of any full-size fragrance, and a little bird told me, that there may be some excess purse sprays lying around just waiting to be gifted (for free) to the right perfume enthusiast…you can thank me later hahaha!

Buy With Caution:  Be warned, items bought in store can only be exchanged or returned for store credit. Given the price tag on Bond No. 9 Perfumes this might seem a little scary, but the store clerk at the Bleecker street location was more than willing to give me several samples to ensure that I had adequate time to test the scents on my skin before purchasing. Having said that, this is definitely a drawback. Sephora in contrast, allows returns of anything no matter how much you have used. This type of return policy sounds costly to retailers but in the long run I actually think it’s to the benefit of the store because it encourages consumers to spend more impulsively and I read somewhere that this also has the dual benefit of bringing consumers back into your store (return one item buy four more).
Lotions: While in store, I had the opportunity to try the Bond No. 9 Queens Body Lotion/Cream and it is AMAZING. I can only attest for that particular formula but it is honestly one of the best lotions I’ve ever tried and definitely the best perfumed lotion hands down. It was fragrant, creamy and melted absolutely MELTED into my skin. The smell lasted ALL DAY like literally six plus hours of walking around New York and unlike other perfumed lotions I’ve tried it didn’t leave sticky residue on my skin. I bought a perfumed body cream from Jo Malone a few years ago and this blows that’s out of the water HANDS DOWN.


Perfume Paradoxes: Preservation, Options and Artistry

As much as I love perfume there are a few things about being a perfume collector I just can’t reconcile…

The Paradox of Preservation: Any good perfume aficionado knows that the best way to preserve scents is to store them in a dark cool place. Having said that, I’ve never understood why if I’m supposed to keep it locked in a drawer or cabinet why they make the bottles so pretty? I mean really, how could I store this in a closet and not on my dresser.
The Paradox of Too Many Options: Too many scents, not enough wrists. What I’m about to say is the epitomize of privileged first world problems so just know that I know that but sometimes I wish I could wear two fragrances at once (which I often do a la fragrance layering, but that’s not what we’re talking about here, I’m talking about here. I’m talking about wanting to have different scent vibes on the same day.

The Paradox of Layering vs. Respect for Artistry: As you can tell from my previous posts and our Instagram page, I am a huge fan of Jo Malone perfumes. One of the things that initially attracted me to the brand, was the emphasis placed on perfume layering, that is mixing and matching to create your own unique scents. Following the success of Jo Malone, other emerging brands like Pinrose scents are also emphasizing this approach to their customers. On one hand, I find layering to be extremely appealing. I’ve always hated the idea of smelling like someone else or having someone immediately be able to guess what fragrance I’m wearing. On the other hand, I find something deeply respectable about brands like Creed and Bond No. 9 that invest heavily into the complexity and crafting of their scents. A scent like Nolita (the latest release from Bond No. 9) is not meant to be layered-doing so would only dim its beautiful beautiful light. Alas, I am torn. I’m going to following up on this in another post as I could certainly explore this tension further.