Perfume News: Scent of Peace by Bond No. 9

Scent_of_peace Can a fragrance be civic-minded and politically savvy? The creators of Bond No. 9 The Scent of Peace are convinced that one can make a political message with perfume. The Scent of Peace is described as commemorating “our post-9/11 conviction that peace is a beautiful, beautiful thing. And that’s why we at Bond No. 9 decided to assist those neighborhoods of the world that are not at peace, by donating $2 for every bottle of The Scent of Peace that is purchased during the coming year to UNICEF. We call that Making Scents of Peace.” Notes include grapefruit, black currant, lily of the valley, hedione, cedarwood and musk.

The official launch date is May 1, 2006. The Scent of Peace will be available at all four Bond No. 9 stores as well as at selected branches of Saks Fifth Avenue, in Harvey Nichols, UK, Paris Gallery, U.A.E, and in Lane Crawford, Hong Kong.

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24 Comments

  • Håkan Nellmar: Two measly dollars per bottle goes to charity? How generous. April 13, 2006 at 5:24am Reply

  • Nick: When a pin which you pin onto your jacket for a cause costs $2 or $3, usually the entire amount goes to charity. The pin costs a few cents to make…
    With an article as expensive as perfume can be, somehow two bucks just don’t sound like that much.
    They may as well put a tin can at the registers, and ask people to drop some money in when they purchase the fragrance! Bond’s customers may turn out to be more generous than the company. April 13, 2006 at 6:39am Reply

  • steve: I like the Bond 9 scents, but when a bottle costs upwards of $200, donating $2/bottle sounds very patronizing to me. Should be more like $20! April 13, 2006 at 9:10am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Håkan, I admit that it seems very little. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to trying Scent of Peace and to judging it on the basis of how it works as a fragrance, rather than a political message. April 13, 2006 at 10:06am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Nick, I have a feeling that recently some other fragrance company had a similar promotion. However, I cannot recall which one it was. April 13, 2006 at 10:23am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Steve, yes, I agree. 1% from the selling price seems rather tiny. April 13, 2006 at 10:23am Reply

  • kyahgirl: Hi V. I’m looking forward to trying it to judge is for it scent. On the other hand, I can’t help but agree with the others. If they were really motivated by charity not greed, would they not give a lot more per bottle? That’s kind of a turn off. April 13, 2006 at 10:31am Reply

  • Rick: As someone who works within the production department of the perfume industry I have to defend Bond a little. It is extremely extremely expensive to make a perfume. If a big shot company who can afford to mass produce hundreds of thousands of bottles (like Donna Karan) only donates $2 per bottle how much can you expect a small niche perfumer that only produces a few thousand bottles. Its economics my dear fellow perfume lovers. April 13, 2006 at 11:49am Reply

  • steve: I totally understand that it is very expensive to create a scent. It seems to me that if this scent were a truly philanthropic endeavor, upping the ante a bit would not hurt the bottom line, since the scent was created specifically to raise money for UNICEF. In addition, most people have no idea that it costs a fortune to create a scent, all they know is that they are paying $200 for a scent and only $2 of that is going to charity. It just doesn’t look good. April 13, 2006 at 1:24pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: L, it sounds like a pleasant summer fragrance. My decision on whether to buy it or not would not be influenced by $2 that are about to be donated to UNICEF. I generally prefer to make donations directly to the organizations and enjoy my perfume for what it is–something that smells good and hopefully does it with an artistic merit. April 13, 2006 at 2:14pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Rick, I realize that the production process is very expensive. Steve makes a very good point. It is certainly admirable that a small niche company would want to donate money, but $2 from a sale of a $200 bottle of perfume simply sounds like a meager sum. On the other hand, other companies tend to say “a portion of sale proceeds will go to charity,” and who on earth knows what that portion might be… I am always skeptical about these claims. April 13, 2006 at 2:25pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Steve, I agree completely with the points you made. We shall see what The Scent of Peace is going to be like in the end, $2 donation or not. April 13, 2006 at 2:28pm Reply

  • N: Hello and thank you dear V! Sadly Bonds do not agree with me.
    I agree with all the other readers here – a sum of $2 per bottle is not really generous but I am pleased that something is being given and it is better than nothing at all.

    Hope all is well. 🙂 April 13, 2006 at 2:34pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Dear N, yes, you are right–something is better than nothing. I think that such appeals always strike me as obvious marketing choices, rather than philantropic endeavours. Perhaps, I am just a cynic. Still, I would like to sample The Scent of Peace. Also, the bottle looks very nice.

    Hope that you are well! I will write to you shortly. April 13, 2006 at 10:42pm Reply

  • Evan: I do wish politics could keep its invidious hand out of at least one of the arts. That said, this is fairly mild as political messages go. Given the political sentiment here in New York, when I saw the words “political” and “perfume” I was expecting “Eau de Stop Bush” or something.

    I don’t know much about Bond’s budget for oils. If it’s high like Annick Goutal, I can see more of a justification for what seems like a small donation percentage. Bond’s bottles and packaging are also probably very expensive (especially for an small independent house).

    So if this is the scent of peace, what’s the scent of war? I’m thinking Bandit. April 14, 2006 at 1:38am Reply

  • uella: Using 9/11 tragedy, a lousy $2 donation to UNICEF over a $200 perfume bottle to express your political message?? UH! LOL I find it insulting to people and activists that work to make a difference everyday.
    I volonteer for rescued animals in New York, I demonstrated against the war, I support peaceful massive rallies for Immigrants’ Rights that are exploited and I respect the environment as much as I can!!
    This perfume political message is I ‘m sorry to say total BS!! April 14, 2006 at 5:42pm Reply

  • Evan: Perfume is highly anti-environmental.

    Anyway, I’m wearing Bandit to the next pro-war or anti-immigrant rally I attend. April 15, 2006 at 1:09am Reply

  • Mikhail: I find this “civic-minded message” attached to a perfume to be extremely bad taste. I’d rather give money to charity and buy a perfume on the basis of its merit.

    I have a similar cringing reaction to naming a whole bunch of fragrances after streets of NYC. This seems just preposterous. The olfactory bouquet of this great city is, to put it mildly, nothing out of the ordinary. As opposed to cities like Chicago, NYC has the singular distinction of putting garbage bags on the sidewalks and not in back alleys (nonexistent). May be for a week or 2 around this time of the year there is some fragrance in the air, but come summer, sauve qui peut. Winter is nothing much to talk about (scent-wise) in any big city.

    From what I tried in their boutique, I did not like any of the Bond perfumes: there were some sharp, shrill, cheap notes and I was reluctant to part with my money, preferring to continue on my way to Caron. April 15, 2006 at 4:02pm Reply

  • Tania: I’ve smelled it and can say that it is going to be a very commercial release: a gigantic bright fruity topnote (grapefruit and cassis, together smelling rather like passionfruit) and a surprising shift to a light floral clean musk drydown with impressive sillage. I don’t much think the donation is going to sway anybody one way or another, but agree with N that something is better than nothing.

    For perfumistas sniffing in the Bond shop, I have a word of advice. I find that the florals sway toward the simple, strong, and familiar. They all seem like scents you’ve smelled before. The only floral in the shop that seems to have real character, to my nose, is Broadway Nite, which is Maurice Roucel’s huge sweet powdery rose-violet, which fans of Ralf Schweiger’s Lipstick Rose ought to try (in small doses, as the sillage and strength are not to be believed).

    The masculines and unisex scents show more character. West Broadway is an appealing sandalwood/incense; Great Jones is an old-fashioned manly man scent of bitter orange, oakmoss, and velvety musky woods, and to my mind should have been named Wall Street instead of the brash melon-fougère that took the name instead; Little Italy is a most bizarre citrus with a background hum of dirty civet; New Haarlem is Maurice Roucel’s again, a shockingly strong roast coffee that modulates into a handsome lavender; HOT Always is a shockingly raw and dirty patchouli, not for the faint of heart; and Eau de New York is an interesting modern take on cologne, as if seen through the prism of an empty bottle of Angel (hello fruit, hello patchouli — what are you doing in my cologne?).

    That said, I find that there are only a few Bond scents that are fully worked out. A lot of them have great ideas but seem like sketches, a little unbalanced, too loud here, not round enough there, etc. The ones I think smell finished are Chinatown (the best of the line), Great Jones, Eau de New York, West Broadway, and that’s it. The shop is gorgeous, though; the packaging of the line is impeccable; and Laurice goes out of her way to work with great noses, so the stuff tends to be more interesting than some of the overly precious, poetically named but essentially boring releases that come out under the niche fragrance category. April 18, 2006 at 7:02pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Evan, a scent of war… This requires more thinking. But of course, the smell of war is terrifying. April 20, 2006 at 1:38pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Uella, I agree with you overall (and in terms of your political sentiments as well), although Bond is not the only company to have gone down this road. I did not find it appealing then, and I do not find it appealing now. April 20, 2006 at 1:40pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Evan, “perfume is highly anti-environmental.” This is a valid point. April 20, 2006 at 1:42pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Mikhail, the first time I visited NYC, I was very surprised to see garbage bags lining the streets of very chic areas. This is certainly not something I have ever encountered in Chicago. As for perfume and charity, I also prefer to keep them separate. April 20, 2006 at 1:44pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Tania, I had a feeling that it might be a commercial release, because I heard that it is a fragrance that was designed to have a global appeal. Global appeal usually means the predictable. Nevertheless, I am still curious to try it.

    Thanks to your recommendation, I have sampled Great Jones. You are absolutely right–a very classical composition with a chypre accord. I doubt that I would wear it, but I would not mind smelling it on a man. April 20, 2006 at 1:46pm Reply

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