Bond No 9 Madison Square Park : Perfume Review

33333

Madisonsquare

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

The Bond No. 9 concept of celebrating New York has always appealed to me, as did a number of fragrances from this house — fragrances that beautifully explored the spirit of the city’s many distinctive neighborhoods through their olfactory profiles. The peaches and incense of Chinatown, the dramatic musky roses of Broadway Nite and the bitter patchouli coffee of New Haarlem remain among my favorite fragrances to this day. Madison Square Park, a tribute to one of Manhattan’s most vibrant and trendy locales, is the most recent addition to the Bond No. 9 collection.

The composition opens up on an exhilarating green note of crushed leaves and grass. The sheer rose unfolds underneath the verdant mélange, with the accents of jasmine and hyacinth giving it a fresh, crystalline character. The red berry sweetness lends a delicious richness, which makes the rose accord warmer. The rose-peony is the main impression of the fragrance, which remains radiant and petally even into the late drydown. Even as Madison Square Park enters its woods and musks territory, I keep imagining pink rose petals drizzled with raspberry syrup. While the composition has a strong sweet component, the crisp green notes give it a nice fresh sensation.

The best aspect of this fragrance is that the scent matches perfectly with the packaging, which makes for a very coherent presentation. Housed in a vibrant pink bottle adorned with a neon-green necklace, Madison Square Park is uplifting, cheerful and easy to enjoy. On the other hand, it does not offer anything new or different. To be sure, it is a high-quality fragrance and is very well-made, but I can find the same green rose idea in many brands, from Estée Lauder Pure White Linen to Cartier de Lune. If it were to come out as a launch in one of the larger prestige lines, I would have found it more compelling, yet for a niche release, Madison Square Park strikes me as too commercial and safe. Moreover, I find that it competes with Bond No. 9’s High Line (fresh green floral,) and to a lesser extent, with Saks-En-Rose (crisp rose-tuberose.)

Bond No. 9 Madison Square Park includes notes of grape hyacinth, huckleberry, prairie dropseed grass, red leaf rose, Red Hunter tulip, teakwood and vetiver. Available at Bond No 9 New York stores, Saks Fifth Avenue and directly from the Bond no 9 website (3.4 ounces, $240; 1.7 ounces, $170; silver pocket spray, $90.)

Sample source: my own acquisition

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29 Comments

  • Olfactoria: I have not found a Bond perfume that totally wowed me, but I was looking forward to hear about this one for some reason (green rose and bright colors appealed to the sun-starved part of me, probably), but your review made my interest wilt quickly. I think I have the safe and commercial area covered. 😉 March 29, 2011 at 3:59am Reply

  • Victoria: Have you tried Chinatown or New Haarlem? Those are probably my favorites. March 29, 2011 at 7:31am Reply

  • Olfactoria: Chinatown is my favorite of the line too. Must try New Haarlem if you recommend it. March 29, 2011 at 8:49am Reply

  • Irina: I guess, I need to re-smell Broadway Nite. Musky rose? All I found inside my vial was some dusty soap and make-up mixed with sweat. 🙂

    BTW, where did you get all those perfumes? What store have them all? March 29, 2011 at 8:55am Reply

  • Victoria: I got a sample in Saks5thAvenue. The store on 5th Avenue has the entirely line.
    Makeup note in Broadway Nite is what I get too. Plus, I get a huge rose out of it, very flamboyant and dramatic. March 29, 2011 at 8:58am Reply

  • Victoria: I love its bittersweet accord of coffee, woods and tobacco. So alluring! March 29, 2011 at 8:59am Reply

  • Suzanna: Given their huge price hike, “adequate” doesn’t cut it. I still own and wear Scent of Peace but I doubt I will replace it.

    I thought “High Line” before you said it, and also West Side’s rose/peony and the raspberry from Bryant Park. That all sounds very adequate, but ho-hum.

    Love the star system. March 29, 2011 at 9:05am Reply

  • Victoria: I need to revisit West Side, which I do not remember at all. I love this kind of fresh, green rose-peony idea, but I feel that it is too safe for a niche brand. March 29, 2011 at 9:17am Reply

  • Victoria: Suzanna, thank you, I'm glad that you like the star rating system. I use stars whenever I take my own notes, it is a useful shorthand. March 29, 2011 at 9:24am Reply

  • sunnlitt: I like that star system, too.

    By the way, did you ever review HighLine?
    The notes sounded delicious to me, but even the samples are kind of pricey.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on that scent.
    Thanks for your great site. I really enjoy it!! March 29, 2011 at 11:54am Reply

  • Dionne: Love the new star rating system (especially as I use basically the same ratings for my spreadsheet eg. 5: I am going to buy this 4: I’d like a decant 3: kind of meh, but wouldn’t turn down a free bottle 2: just not me 1: get it off! get it off! get it off!) March 29, 2011 at 12:29pm Reply

  • Jen: Dionne – I love your rating system! I also use a 5 star rating system but never really new what each one meant. If you don’t mind, I’m going to crib yours (only for my own personal spreadsheet, of course). March 29, 2011 at 12:38pm Reply

  • Dionne: Absolutely I don’t mind – I’d consider it a great compliment. 🙂 March 29, 2011 at 2:40pm Reply

  • Elisa: You get “bitter patchouli coffee” from New Haarlem? I’m jealous! I get maple syrup for days. Maple syrup with a glass of orange juice and some lavender on the table. This is not to say I don’t like it! I just don’t get any bitter coffee edge from it. I feel like I’m missing something.

    I liked Saks-en-Rose, though it reminded me of Carolina Herrera, which is obviously much cheaper… March 29, 2011 at 2:58pm Reply

  • Elisa: I get huge, major, ridiculous pink aldehydic rose, with a little violet, and a musky vanilla base. Basically Lipstick Rose on steroids. (Thumbs up.) March 29, 2011 at 3:06pm Reply

  • Victoria: Thank you! 🙂
    I smelled High Line recently and found it a very bright, crisp green floral. Very nicely made, but maybe also a bit too safe for my tastes. March 29, 2011 at 4:16pm Reply

  • Victoria: What a fantastic system! It essentially overlaps with mine too. Five stars are my full bottle worthy fragrances. March 29, 2011 at 4:19pm Reply

  • Victoria: It is sweet, I have to admit, but I tend to be sensitive to various toasty notes, so maybe that's why I get more of the bitterness. March 29, 2011 at 4:22pm Reply

  • Victoria: Actually, that's the best description of Broadway Nite I've seen! Lipstick Rose on steroids is exactly right. March 29, 2011 at 4:23pm Reply

  • Elisa: Perhaps so — I love roasty smoky notes. (Are you familiar with a red wine grape called pinotage? Pinotage tastes like barbecued meat — the bacon of wines!)

    Although I love the smell of coffee, I must admit I drink mine with sugar and cream… March 29, 2011 at 4:29pm Reply

  • Victoria: Me too! I love the smell of coffee far more than the taste. I usually take mine with plenty of milk.
    Pinotage is fascinating, isn't it? March 29, 2011 at 4:31pm Reply

  • vanessa: I have a very clear idea of how this smells now, thanks to your review. I must say the wacky sounding notes put me off rather, but the overall effect you describe sounds pleasant, if safe! March 29, 2011 at 6:36pm Reply

  • Victoria: It is a very pleasant, very nicely done fragrance. The packaging is just gorgeous. Actually, Bond No. 9’s packaging on the whole is fantastic. I love the Chinatown bottle adored with Swarowski crystals. March 29, 2011 at 9:01pm Reply

  • Elizabeth: I’ll never forget my first visit to the Bond No. 9 store several years ago, back when I knew nothing about perfume. I was completely bored by all of the “women’s” fragrances, and I chose Great Jones, a citrus chypre. The SAs were baffled! “But….that’s for men!” they exclaimed. I didn’t care. 🙂 March 30, 2011 at 8:27am Reply

  • Victoria: What a great story! Great Jones is excellent, and I am glad that you’ve reminded me of it. I have a friend, who loves Bond no 9 and who is looking for a citrus chypre. Great Jones might be the one for him. March 30, 2011 at 9:00am Reply

  • minette: they just sent a sample of this… and snnnooorrre… i felt that i’d smelled it many times before. it also goes a bit sharp on me, so it goes into the pile of bond samples that i give away or ignore. i mean, it’s not unpleasant, but it doesn’t sing at all. as you said, surprisingly safe for a a “niche” line. April 27, 2011 at 12:35pm Reply

  • Victoria: Yes, agree with all of the above. Come on, Bond! Give us something to remember (especially since they are working with such a talented perfumer as Laurent Le Guernec.) April 27, 2011 at 12:47pm Reply

  • Barbara Winslow: I agree – pleasant enough, but boring, and done a million times before. Seems like Bond is trying to tap into the Marc Jacobs “Daisy” market with this one. So far, I only really like Chinatown, New Haarlem, and West Side, which is sad considering the number of fragrances they offer. Bond can – and should! – do better! May 3, 2011 at 9:43pm Reply

  • Victoria: I agree, they definitely could do so much better. Given such a large collection, the number of truly original fragrances is pitifully small. May 3, 2011 at 10:54pm Reply

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