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.

Forbidden Euphoria by Calvin Klein

“Possessing an innate confidence and sophistication, she is just starting to explore her sexuality. What she doesn’t yet know is that she already is every man’s fantasy.”-

Fragrance Type: Fruity Floriental

Fragrance Notes:

Top Notes: sparkling mandarin, passion fruit and iced raspberry
Middle Notes: tiger orchid and jasmine
Base notes: patchouli, musks, and wood

First Impression: This is meant to be a younger version of Euphoria by Calvin Klein, however this smells nothing like the original Euphoria. I loooooved this fragrance initially but the dry down smells too spicy. I hate feeling like a food dish instead of the sultry sudectress that I am. The top notes are beautiful but unfortunately they don’t last very long (think 15-20 minutes). This is standard but usually the mid/bottom notes are the part of the fragrance I most enjoy so it doesn’t bother me as much as it does with Forbidden Euphoria. I associate Calvin Klein with unique androgenous fragrances so I found Forbidden Euphoria to be very blase blase. It’s a decent enough fragrance but nothing special.

Where to Wear:
Light enough to wear during the day, but too heavy to wear around the office, not impressionable enough to wear at night

Who Loves This: 20 somethings, girl’s that want to smell “sexy” but are too afraid to wear a bolder fragrance like Shalimar by Guerlain or Angel by Thierry Mugler

Lasting Power: Lasts all day long (6-7 hours)

You Might Also Like: Betsey Johnson Too Too, Nanette by Nanette Lapore (smells very similar even though the notes are very different *kanye shrug*)

Overall Rating: 3/5 ( if I was just rating the top notes it would be a 5/5 *sad face* for the dry down)

Have you tried Forbidden Euphoria? What do you think? Would you buy this fragrance? Have you tried the original Euphoria? Which do you prefer?

Sexy Little Things Noir by Victoria’s Secret Scented Body Mist

“At once elegant and playfully provocative, it’s an enchanting blend of sparkling nectarine, sultry amber and exotic cattelaya orchid.”

Fragrance Type: Fruity Floral

Fragrance Notes: 

Top notes: Nectarine, juicy apple, sparkling citrus, pineapple, guanabana, mouthwatering pear, red fruit, bergamot

Middle notes: Cattelaya orchid, muget, cyclamen, jasmine petals, plum, vanilla, dewberry, cassis

Low notes: Golden amber, velvet musk, sultry woods, tonka bean

First Impression:   I’ve been wearing this scent for so long that I can’t ethically claim to know my first impression, but I’m sure it was something like “BAM BAM BOOM BOOM STARS THIS IS ME IN A BOTTLE!!” This perfume smells so good. I spray it everywhere, including my boyfriend’s tee shirts before I return them (shhh don’t tell him). This makes him think that this fragrance is my natural body scent, and who doesn’t want their natural body scent to include velvet musk? and cassis?

The top notes of nectarine and juicy apple burst through the air with the first spray. I haven’t come across apple (which I love, seriously I once ordered 3 crates of apple chips but that’s another story for another blog) in fragrances nearly enough and I find that it gives Sexy Little Things Noir an extra unexpected bit of pizazz. As the scent winds down, Sexy Little Things Noir takes you on a long winding road of fruit, and starfish, and sugar plum clouds before finally ending up at a cozy destination of amber waves of err tonka bean. It’s fresh, flirty, warm, and endearing. It’s the kind of fragrance that makes someone want to hug you again.

The thing I like the most about Sexy Little Things Noir is that it serves as a good foundation for other fragrances. If you’re like me and you don’t want people to be able to pinpoint exactly what you’re wearing (because you know they’re just asking so they can run out and buy the same fragrance…lame) mixing scents is a great way to ensure uniqueness even with popular fragrances like those from Victoria’s Secret. Plus, I consider this to be my “signature scent” so layering it with other fragrances is a way to always smell the same…kinda.

Where to Wear:  Light enough to wear during the day, I like to use this as a base for almost every other fragrance I wear making it easy to transition into night, summer nights, dates (men/women LOVE this seriously, so what ever your preference give it a whirl!)

Who Loves This: Everyone with a soul

Lasting Power: 1-2 Hours 😦  I’ve also used the eau de parfum and it does NOT last any longer than the body mist so don’t waste your money).  The only way to prolong the scent is to layer the Body Mist with the Sexy Little Things Noir Lotion, and the Sexy Little Things Noir Shower Gel. If you’re obsessed like me you can also add the Sexy Little Things Noir Shimmering Body Powder

You Might Also Like:  Sexy Little Things Noir Tease, Someday by Justin Bieber

Overall Rating: 5/5 I would give it a 6/5 if it lasted longer (oh but Kay that’s an imperfect fraction? oh well it’s my post my rules). Beautifully Done. Top 5, Holy Grail List.

Justin Bieber Someday Eau de Parfum

Fragrance Type: Fruity Gourmand

Fragrance Notes: 
Top notes: juicy mandarin, pear, wild berries
Heart: fresh jasmine and creamy flowers
Base: vanilla and soft musk

First Impression:  Generic, no points for originality, but no one was expecting anything more from a scent clearly aimed at teenage girls. In fact, apparently a lot of teenage girls wanted to smell sweetly generic because Justin Bieber Someday was one of the top ten selling fragrances of 2011. I could attribute this to the fact that Justin Bieber fans are crazy (because they are) in their devotion to him (honestly Justin Bieber could have released a perfume that smelled like cow dung and it probably still would have made the top ten list), but even for non-fans this is a pretty good perfume.

Despite my alleged conversion to fresh/floral scents, any scent that has a dry down of vanilla and soft musk will always be my first love. This is a very flirty, feminine yet safe, fragrance. There is nothing exciting or offensive about this perfume.  It smells like candy land, care bears, cotton candy, and rainbows…oh and creamy flowers of course.. Sidenote: I’m not sure what “creamy flowers” are but I want them in my apartment.

Bottom line: I’d buy it on sale at Marshall’s to wear places where when I want to smell good, but not unique (not sure what that place is, maybe my little cousin’s ballet recital?). Reminds me a lot of Britney Spears Fantasy which used to be my JAM back in the day.

Where to Wear: Light enough to wear during the day,date night,  lacking the wow factor to make this a signature scent

Who Loves This: First time perfume buyers, Justin Bieber fans, Teenage girls, Girly girls that also love Hello Kitty and glitter and shop at Forever21,  women who are young at heart

Lasting Power: 2-3 hours

You Might Also Like:  Britney Spears Fantasy (which Justin Bieber said he likes in an interview one time, so I guess it’s not surprise his perfume smells like this, Taylor Swift Wonderstruck, you’d probably also like those super sweet generic-y Victoria Secret (Sexy Little Things Noir) and Bath and Body Works scents (no shade I like them too).

Overall Rating: 4/5  I cannot believe I am giving this fragrance a 4/5, but the only drawback I can see is that too many people wear it, and it’s not fair to persecute Bieber because of that, that would just be pettyyyy

Have you tried Someday? What do you think? Would you buy a fragrance from Justin Bieber?