There aren’t a whole lot of things I can say for Bond No.9 as a perfume house or as a business. However, I can attest to how well-sealed their fragrance samples are. Getting that little stopper off the vial should be classified as an Olympic Sport only to be played by the most determined of fragrance junkies.
In Bottle: Light, airy flowers, slightly sweet and very floral. Entirely pleasant but not very original. Chelsea Flowers is rather nice for an inoffensive wear to the office.
Applied: Light and green, small and subdued white floral opener with a nice mist of sweet peony. Its mid-stage is a pleasant bouquet of rose and peony with that same mist of green freshness. This smells like freshly picked flowers, or flowers that just bloomed on a hopeful spring. A gorgeous fragrance by all accounts and purposes even if she isn’t all that exciting, she’s very well done. Dry down is a nice enough floral with a very faint woodsiness lent by a tame sandalwood note.
Extra: There is a lot of talk about Bond No.9’s more recent business antics in relation to them disallowing decants from selling decants of their fragrances online. To get a Bond No.9 fragrance sample on the up and up these days you will have to visit a Bond No.9 counter and hope the people working there like you enough to hand you some of the candy-like wrapped vials of perfumy goodness. Further adding to my distaste of this company’s policies is the legal wrestling they did with Liz Zorn of Soivohle over her use of the word “Peace” in one of her fragrances.
Design: I’ve always found Bond No.9’s bottling to be a bit silly looking. I see these things and all I see are stars. Which reminds me of the Hollywood Walk of Fame decorated in pop-art designs. Not highly unpleasant but not my first choice for perfume design. Holding one of these bottles, I’ll admit, feels luxurious and they are an interesting shape and have nicely done colors. I just can’t say a minimalist like me would be swayed much by the design decisions, nice and bold as they are.
Fragrance Family: Floral
Notes: Peonies, tulips, hyacinth, magnolia, rose, musk, sandalwood, vetiver, tree moss.
Don’t let my distaste for Bond No.9’s business antics to turn you away from Chelsea Flowers as a fragrance. This is a very competent and versatile white floral.
Reviewed in This Post: Chelsea Flowers, 2008, Sample Vial.