To the fragrance aficionados writing me, yes, I realize I haven’t written a fragrance review or update in six months, since responding to the Mail Bag question asking to look inside my fragrance cabinet. Sorry. I’ve been busy with other things. I’ll try to be better. And thank you for sharing your recommendations and suggestions for new perfumes houses to sample. You guys (and gals) rock!
I picked up a 3.3 fluid ounce (100 ml) bottle of Bond No. 9 New Haarlem cologne from Hall’s Department Store at the Country Club Plaza this afternoon when out and about in Kansas City working on the home renovation project. I should have bought it during the coupon event last week when I purchased the 8.4 fluid ounce flacon of Creed Aventus with the matching silver and black leather atomizer but wasn’t sure which one I wanted to add to the collection. I had leaned toward the Bond No. 9 Great Jones, which reminds me of old fashioned shaving cream, but it’s a bit strong for some people, so New Haarlem won the day.
Bond No. 9’s New Haarlem has top notes of lavender, bergamot, and green leaves, middle notes of coffee and cedarwood, and base notes of amber, vanilla, and tonka beans. It is essentially a blend of coffee beans and soft vanilla-like scents. It reminds me of my late teens and early twenties, when I spent a lot of time in coffee houses reading, studying, and writing.
Just like the smell of Brut reminds me of my grandfather, the feeling Bond New Haarlem brings back is being immersed in a book, sitting in an oversized leather chair as people ordered their drinks, baristas pulled espresso shots, and the bustle of life filled the air. During this time, I blocked off a huge part of my week to spend in solitude so I could be left alone to throw myself into balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements, and plan my career after graduation. It was so much fun. Even today, I have a habit of disappearing from the office and showing up in a back corner of a coffee shop with a notebook and pen to work out particularly difficult business decisions or plot strategy.
All in all, I’m happy with New Haarlem. As a true niche market fragrance house, the Bond No. 9 scents are not designed to appeal to everyone; you will have some you love, and some you hate. For me, New Haarlem is definitely a keeper. It dies down nicely as the oils fade to the base notes with time. It strikes me more as a cold weather scent, best to be worn on cool to moderate weather (72 degrees Fahrenheit or less).
The 3.3 fluid ounce bottle of New Haarlem retails for $230 plus tax. They do offer a smaller size, a 1.7 fluid ounce bottle, for $160 plus tax. Sometimes, you can find them from distributors at deeply discounted prices, but this is almost always because the scent has been on a shelf too long and sold through discount channels, so I wouldn’t even consider that route, but that is just me. If you want to try before you buy, you should be able to get samples from your local Saks.