Bond No 9 New Haarlem : Fragrance Review

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Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

I am a tea drinker, preferring to save coffee for mornings when the extra jolt of energy is absolutely essential, yet I cannot resist the dark aroma of roasted beans. It is the childhood memory of my father having what he called “a soldier’s breakfast”–coffee accompanied by a cigarette. Of crowded bars in Venice where the coffee aromas would marry the scent of white bread used for tramezzini, delicious triangular sandwiches. Of Istanbul coffee stalls where the curvy copper pots were slowly brought to boil in the hot sand. Of the rich cloud surrounding Starbucks I would pass downtown Chicago on my way to the office. …

As much as I love the fragrance of coffee, in perfume I prefer to avoid the overly photorealistic vision of a steaming cup. Bond No 9 New Haarlem created by the perfumer Maurice Roucel offers one of my favorite takes on the coffee notes, a composition of alluring darkness concealing a fresh herbal twist.

Just as the aroma of coffee has a seductive heft, so does New Haarlem. Yet, despite the woody creaminess, the patchouli lends its characteristic effervescence, alleviating the density and richness. A blue ribbon of lavender appears as if out of nowhere and like a perfect accessory, it lends an interesting overlay to the composition—a touch of freshness against the smoldering darkness of coffee and woods. Indeed, like a cup of espresso, New Haarlem is quite addictive.

New Haarlem features notes of bergamot, cedarwood, coffee, vanilla, patchouli and lavender. Bond no 9 fragrances are available from Saksfifthavenue and Beautycafe.

If you are curious to hear Maurice Roucel’s own thoughts on New Haarlem, please listen to the radio interview on WNYC, The Smell of Success.

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29 Comments

  • Prince Barry: I agree with everything you say in your review.

    New Haarlem is the only Bond No9 scent that I have ever liked. I wore it yesterday as my SOTD. It is very addictive. There is such a high fragrance oil content in it that I have to be careful when spraying my neck, otherwise I end up with a stain on my shirt collar. May 25, 2006 at 1:45am Reply

  • Judith: This is my favorite Bond–a wonderful fragrance! And it is possibly even better in its candle form; it suffuses the whole room with an infinitely comforting scent (+ the Bond candles are very beautiful, though a tad pricey). May 25, 2006 at 8:20am Reply

  • Marina: I don’t think I have ever disliked anything Roucel created, and I certainly like New Haarlem, especially the amazing, rich and dark beginning. I would have loved more though if my skin didn’t bring up so, so much patchouli in the drydown. I mean, really a lot of patchouli. Oh well, it is still great! Thank you very much for the review! May 25, 2006 at 8:28am Reply

  • annE: Oh, it’s a Maurice Roucel composition, well that explains a lot! I was telling a friend just the other day that I liked only one Bond fragrance (Fasion Ave), so she slipped me a sample of this. Now there are two. 🙂 May 25, 2006 at 8:52am Reply

  • Madelyn E: Dear Victoria,
    Alomg with perfume, coffee and tea are my most favorites things. Maybe lipstick follows! V- your review of this New Haarlem (Dutch spelling) was provocative. I have never like any Bond No. 9. I thought I liked Chinatown (beautiful bottle) but after a while the drydown was too heavy. Would you , dear Vic, characterize this scent as day or evening , for cool or warm weather, for men or women. Indeed it sounds as if it could be smoky , and heavy on a woman. what did you mean by addictive ? I like that – to be inexplicably drawn to something. I will chrck this out when I hit Saks for a sniff test. Matbe this one will succeed in being my first foray into Bond No,. 9.
    Thank you for a lovely review. Oh, you mentioned Chicago, is that where you live now ?
    Madelyn E May 25, 2006 at 11:09am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Barry, New Haarlem and Chinatown are my favourites from the line. A friend of mine is urging me to try West Broadway, but it keeps eluding me. I agree about the high quality of the fragrances and the high oil content. One definitely has to be careful not to get these perfumes on light coloured clothes. May 25, 2006 at 11:59am Reply

  • Patty: Love this one too. Like Chinatown via something in the base, but so completely different. Also the only coffee smell I have liked in a perfume. May 25, 2006 at 12:10pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Judith, I love the candle. It has a very rich aspect to it, but it is not overwhelming. I would have burned it more often, if I did not like wearing New Haarlem on my skin. I do not want to get tired of it. May 25, 2006 at 12:13pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Marina, I was trying to remember some of the first few fragrances I have encountered, and among them was Maurice Roucel’s K de Krizia. I very much love his creations, and so, it is not a surprise that New Haarlem appealed very much to me. Speaking of Krizia, there was another perfume I loved from them: Krazy Krizia by Dominique Ropion. It probably has long been discontinued. May 25, 2006 at 12:28pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Ann, that is how I felt about New Haarlem. I was taken by it the first time I tried it, and it is still one of my favourites. May 25, 2006 at 12:31pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Madelyn, it has a masculine edge, but it can easily be worn by a woman. The woods and patchouli make it quite rich, but it is not heavy. I wear it anytime I want to get that addictive coffee note. Perhaps, it is so alluring is because it is very comforting for me. I used to live in Chicago, but not anymore. Nevertheless, I still love the city. May 25, 2006 at 12:33pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Patty, I tend to steer from too obvious coffee notes, but New Haarlem manages to avoid the photorealism. It is really just an accent, and it is perfect for me. May 25, 2006 at 12:35pm Reply

  • Tigs: Hi V, have been following the blog for some time, but have never posted. Just interested in this one because I love other Roucels (Tocade, SL ISM) and because I recently got interested in coffee notes – got Yohji Homme and am buying L’Artisan Eau de Navigateur. I’m wondering if you know how New Haarlem compares with the latter? May 25, 2006 at 1:20pm Reply

  • portlandia: Well, I obviously must try this one! I adore the aroma of coffee, but yes, one does not want to smell exactly like fresh cup o’ Joe. Intriguing! May 25, 2006 at 10:53pm Reply

  • paradise: unfortunately i associate my father with the aroma of morning orange juice.

    i’ve always loved the smell of coffee beans. unlike my coffee-addict friends, i’ve always felt that their smell is better than the taste. if i do drink coffee, it’s always softened with cream/milk, such as in a cappuccino.

    coffee scents are heavenly to smell but i rarely (ok, never) wear them. i’m excited by your review of this one though! May 25, 2006 at 11:53pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Tigs, welcome! You mentioned two of my favourite fragrances. L’Artisan Eau de Navigateur was the first fragrance, in which coffee notes were used. It is dried, slighly more savory than New Haarlem, with a coffee having an almost salty tinge. Yohji Homme is a rather complex fougere. Again, I find it more masculine than New Haarlem, but it is amazing. I still cannot believe that it was discontinued. May 26, 2006 at 12:07am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: D, in this case, you might definitely find New Haarlem appealing. I definitely recommend trying it, if you like coffee notes. May 26, 2006 at 12:08am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Paradise, I actually agree with you on the taste/smell point. I usually take my coffee with lots of milk, but I start out by making espresso and then diluting it with steamed milk. This way I get to enjoy the amazing aroma. However, New Haarlem does not pose problems I have with other coffee fragrances (even excellent L’Artisan Eau de Navigateur can be a touch too savory for me to wear often). May 26, 2006 at 12:11am Reply

  • Laura: If a certain someone would stop perpetually gadding about, I might be able to cadge a wee sniff of this intriguing-sounding fragrance. May 26, 2006 at 5:19am Reply

  • Dusan: A delectable review, V! Your father and I would probably have gotten along like a house on fire because I, too, have my breakfast in a “soldierly” fashion. Unhealthy? Yes, I know.
    Haven’t tried the Harleem, but the name of MR definitely warrants a test. I love the coffee note in A*Men, it is the most pronounced on my skin, but can’t stand that tar. Oh, well.
    Hugs May 26, 2006 at 10:11am Reply

  • Tara: This is my first and still favorite Bond. I like Chinatown, Fashion Avenue and New York Fling a lot too, but this one is extra special. I thought it was interesting that you refer to patchouli as effervescent – to me it is very heavy. I have to be in the right mood for it, otherwise it can be overwhelming and nauseating. May 26, 2006 at 2:28pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: L, I would love to cease my nomadic lifestyle too, but I do not think that it is about to happen anytime soon. 🙂 May 26, 2006 at 5:00pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Dusan, I think that he has been trying to quit smoking for ages, but as long as I remember him, he has always been smoking and wearing moustache. That will never change. 🙂 I was wearing A*Men today, and I agree with you that its coffee note is wonderful. May 26, 2006 at 5:05pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Tara, I do not find the patchouli part heavy, but the woods are. To me, it seems that the patchouli cuts through their richness, but of course, you are right that the finished result is anything but feather light. May 26, 2006 at 5:06pm Reply

  • Dusan: Hehe, I am just cracking up at the thought of having a moustache myself. Although, back in high school days, in a period when I couldn’t bother to shave, my Art History teacher said I reminded her terribly of 19th century Russian poets. And I took it as a compliment :).
    While I was at home today, translating a text that was long overdue, I spritzed A*Men on my wrist and enjoyed the aroma of roasted coffee while actually sipping at a cup of Nescafé. Yummy! May 26, 2006 at 8:17pm Reply

  • Karin: I found this strong when I spritzed it, so didn’t try it on my skin. DSH has an amazing coffee accord. I’d have to look up the name of it. Also, I bought Demeter’s Black Russian. That’s nice.

    The one of the Bonds that surprised me is Chelsea Flowers. I never thought I’d like that one, but it is quite charming.

    If you order from NYC, they have a selection of ways to buy that is not as expensive. They have some in purse sprays; some from urns to various empty containers, then they will send you refills that are less expensive than the bottles…I’m going to do that yet. May 26, 2006 at 10:02pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Dusan, that sounds like a compliment to me! 🙂 Most of the 19th Russian poets had a handsome, romantic look. May 30, 2006 at 1:15pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: I also like the opportunity to buy Bond 9 fragrances in small bottles, although the packaging of the large ones is simply stunning. I never fail to stop by the counter and admire it. May 30, 2006 at 1:17pm Reply

  • Monique Williams: This is just one of my favorites. “So New York” being at the top of the list and “Nuit de Noho” taking second place with “New Haarlem”. The latter two are very sensuous and I’d often dab a bit of both on at the same time (note the word dab!). I really appreciate the high oil content-I can’t stand seeing women whipping out bottles of cologne in the middle of the day-One good shot in the morning after a freshly scrubbed body should hold you down for the day-js December 20, 2012 at 1:16pm Reply

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