Bond no. 9 Hamptons, Fire Island & Coney Island ~ fragrance reviews

Ken!My childhood was spent on land situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay, and I’ve lived in New York City, Los Angeles and Seattle, so water and water activities have always been a part of my life, but since I can’t swim, I have a certain “fear of the water.” When it comes to perfumes, I have a fear of ‘water’ too, the type called “marine fragrances” that are drenched with ozone and aquatic notes. I’ve always wished perfumes could capture the scents of the open sea and the winds blowing over the ocean, but perfumes are better at replicating the oceanic “sideshow” — scents of sand/damp earth, the dry, reedy smells of vegetation growing at the seaside, the mineral scents of shells, the bracing aroma of salty seaweeds, the odors of tarry wooden wharves or outboard motor exhaust fumes.

I usually avoid all fragrances with marine/H2O themes, but armed with a perfume “life preserver” (soft-bristle scrub brush and unscented detergent), I decided to face my fears and sample three Bond no. 9 fragrances that are named after places at, or near, the ocean.

HAMPTONS

(2005); Rene Morgenthaler, perfumer. Like reviewers and fragrance-blog commenters before me, I immediately recognized the similarities between Creed Silver Mountain Water (1995) and Bond no. 9 Hamptons. The two fragrances (one inspired by high altitudes and the other by sea-level luxury) smell so much alike, I checked the ingredients lists for both scents: Hamptons — lime blossom, bergamot, white jasmine, magnolia, amber and sandalwood; and Silver Mountain Water — citrus, tea, blackcurrant, musk and ambergris. After sampling the fragrances side by side, I’m led to believe: A. someone important at Bond no. 9 loves Silver Mountain Water and wanted a clone of it in the Bond no. 9 collection and/or B. there’s an aroma-chemical that just is (or almost is) “Silver Mountain Water” and “Hamptons.” The aroma-chemical, if it exists, is a little bit fruity, a little bit flowery, very “fresh” and musky (in the clean musk category); the aroma-chemical is almost indestructible — it can last an entire day (24 hours) on skin and weeks on fabric and it is so overpowering it makes other fragrance notes in a perfume formula superfluous. Hamptons and Silver Mountain Water are best smelled from afar, “on the air” …the closer you let your nose wander to scented skin with these perfumes the more jarring the perfumes will smell. All that said, and acknowledging my usual hatred of fresh/ozonic fragrances, I’ve always had a soft spot for Silver Mountain Water.

A friend who is rather new to perfumes (wearing them and buying them) purchased Perfumes: The Guide, on my recommendation mind you, and uses it as her fragrance “bible”. When I mention a cologne to her, the next day she will tell me what Turin-Sanchez had to say about it. (I found this cute at first.) When I said I liked Hamptons, my friend looked in her book, saw that Hamptons got a one-star review (meaning “AWFUL”) and had this written about it: “Anyone who would choose to wear this confused, harsh concoction is someone you would not invite for a weekend at your summer home.” (Silver Mountain Water also gets a one-star review.) After informing me of Hamptons’ rating, and reading its review aloud, my friend looked at me with an expression that implied: “Are you SURE you like Hamptons?” (Luckily for our relationship, my friend does not own a summer home.) And, yes, I’m sure I like Hamptons!

FIRE ISLAND

Bond no 9 Fire Island fragrance(2006); Michel Almairac, perfumer. Fire Island was supposedly created to mimic the aroma of a famous European suntan lotion, and its scent does remind me of high-quality “skincare products.” Fire Island contains cardamom, neroli, white musk, skin musk, tuberose, and patchouli. Fire Island has a light, yet warm, aroma; its musks are soft and powdery and they blend nicely with its flat-lining tuberose and clean patchouli. Yes, there is an air of artificiality in Fire Island’s ingredients, but for some reason (are the sun and heat affecting me?) Fire Island pleases me. Fire Island reminds me of beautiful beaches, of unintentionally hilarious nude sunbathing incidents that occurred in my high school years (the only time I’ve ever sunbathed in my life). Finally, the ‘idea’ for a Bond No. 9 location-specific fragrance meets its match in execution — Fire Island smells like a toasty summer beach where people are baking themselves and spraying, rubbing, pouring suntan products and moisturizers/oils onto their hair and bodies.

Fire Island has good lasting power and stays close to the body. Fire Island is “genderless” but I’ve been told by two retailers it sells best to men (because of its floral notes, Fire Island is probably more interesting/daring to men; women, with their endless choices of floral fragrances, may find Fire Island unexciting). Many have asked the question: “Why would someone buy a $125/$185 Eau de Parfum that smells like suntan lotion?” Writing from the Realm of Perfumaniacs™, I answer — why not? (I bought Fire Island after sampling it.)

CONEY ISLAND

(2007); Richard Herpin, perfumer. When I read the list of Coney Island’s foody, “carnival”-themed ingredients (margarita mix, melon, guava, cinnamon, chocolate, caramel, vanilla), I wondered how ‘grilled hot dogs’ and ‘French fries’ didn’t end up in the formula too. Coney Island is not as weird as it sounds though and, to me, it’s the least interesting of the three scents I’m reviewing here. I can imagine someone saying: “Let’s make a more humane version of A*Men!” If I had a rating system, I’d give Thierry Mugler A*Men: %^O (“Ew!”); Coney Island is a prettified A*Men and I’ll rate it: %^| (“ O.K.”).

Coney Island seems to separate into two layers upon application: a margarita mix-melon-guava layer and a dry, then sweet, then dry again chocolate layer. Coney Island’s chocolate-dessert phase lasts through mid-development on my skin and then gives way to a powdery choco-vanilla-musk-cedar wood base (with some “fruit” still discernable). There is, of course, a “fresh” accord wafting over all Coney Island’s ingredients and there is also a perfume-y/aldehydic vibe to the fragrance.

Saturated with rum and cachaça (and sipping Pimm’s Cups up the wazoo), it seems I’ve loosened up this summer when it comes to ozonic-marine fragrances (the perfume equivalent for me of daring to wear a sarong in public) and I didn’t have to use my life preserver while testing any of these Bond no. 9 perfumes. What’s next? Trying out Axe body sprays? Stay tuned….

Bond no. 9 fragrances come in Eau de Parfum and sell for $185 (100 ml) and $125 (50 ml). For buying information, see the listing for Bond no. 9 under Perfume Houses.

Note: image is Tropical Beach Ken® Doll; Ken is a registered trademark of Mattel, Inc.

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79 Comments

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Kevin -
    That's the problem with The Guide as I see it, though I enjoyed my quick read through it. Those of us who have been 'fragranced' for a long time can look at TG as a possible reference point or even more slightly, just a pleasure-read. For those of us who are new to the realm of fragrance, though, it can be perceived as a Holy Grail and scent decisions will be made according what TS/LT like, not what the reader might like.
    I wonder how many noobs will drench themselves in Tommy Girl, misunderstanding what it is LT is really saying about the fragrance (if I read him correctly he applauds it as much from an historical perspective as anything else). Personally, the stuff gives me a migraine.
    I hope you can wrest that book away from your friend and help guide her towards making her own scent decisions. Later, she can look at The Guide in a more detached way.
    Can't comment on those Bonds because I only remember AW's Silver Factory and Chinatown. I use Eau de NY to scent my sheets – it's a fresh, inoffensive scent. That comprises my Bond retinue. Congrats, though, on overcoming your fear of water!LOL!
    xo

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wow! Fire Island sounds incredibly interesting. I really need to find a place that carries Bond No9 fragrances, and peruse a few of them.
    Thanks for your bravery! lol.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Mamabear: Thanks! I KNOW my friend will eventually LOVE a perfume in the guide and see it has an “AWFUL” rating…maybe then she'll start to reconsider…but ya can't rush “perfume education” can you?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Mamabear, I agree, The Guide can be fun/light reading, but it's not the Holy Grail (for me anyway). Some of their ratings I totally can't understand but it's always interesting to see other's perceptions of fragrances.

    I love, and wear all three of these Bond fragrances. And they last forever on skin.

  5. Anonymous says:

    SFLizbeth: yes, excellent staying power.

  6. Anonymous says:

    “the perfume equivalent for me of daring to wear a sarong in public” made me laugh at work (no mean feat). Thanks!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Existentialist: you're welcome…I've always wanted to wear a sarong ever since seeing Thai men do it when I was on vacation! HA!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Kevin: Love these reviews! Very funny. And saturating yourself in cachaça can be a very good thing.

    I've never tried any of these, but my comments are:

    - I might actually like Coney Island if it in fact captured the essences of hot dogs, Orange Julius, and caramel corn; nostalgia for my east coast boardwalk summers.

    - I'm with the “who would pay $125 to smell like suntan lotion” crowd, but I do like that Fire Island bottle. For a cheap thrill that makes me smell a bit like suntan lotion, I'm happy with my $20 can (ebay prices) of CSP Aqua Motu. Very, very beachy.

    - I think you need to purloin and burn your friend's copy of The Guide; that kind of behavior would be cute for about ten seconds. You must like her an awful lot to put up with it.

    Thanks again for this entertaining trio of reviews.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I'm about ready to fork over all the grocery money just to have that Fire Island bottle. Love it!

  10. Anonymous says:

    That's funny, I too thought Coney Island would be the most interesting, and it was the dullest. And I think Fire Island *should* smell kinda fakey — that summer smell is so great. Although you might as well buy the Bain de Soleil for $15.50 at drugstore.com, if I am recalling the inspiration correctly…. dang, I really want some. I never see it in stores anymore.

  11. Anonymous says:

    PS — did you grow up on the Eastern Shore of MD?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Kevin, I love your reviews. They always bring as mile to my face. I *wish* I could get my husband to spray some Axe body spray! It would be a huge improvement over his usual scent: instant coffee and Camel cigarettes! Heck, even if I could get him to switch to Starbuck's and American Spirits it would be an improvement.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Shaie: thank you…also, ever tried getting your husband to wear a coffee or “ash” (incense) fragrance…could work!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Hi, Joe. Contact Demeter or CBIHATEPERFUME for your hot dog-OJ-Caramel scent…could be a hit. Aqua Motu is very beachy, but I've never seen a Bond at discount, alas.

  15. Anonymous says:

    TwoPeasInAPod: I like their bottles too…but the shape can give your hand a cramp…not the most ergonomic for spraying.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Dear Miss M(arple): Eastern Shore of VIRGINIA…you were SOOOOO close!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Bobbi Brown Beach smells exactly like suntan lotion, (coppertone). And it's much less expensive, $55 U.S.

    It's got that hot sand, suntan lotion & seaspray smell I remember from all of those Long Island summers!

  18. Anonymous says:

    March: Wasn't Bain de Soleil an orange-colored “rub” for humans? HA! I remember loving the scent but hating the greasiness of the petroleum-gel. And keeping with the times, I bet it was SPF 3! (I think Garnier's Ambre Solaire was the inspiration for Fire Island…but don't quote me.)

  19. Anonymous says:

    SFLizbeth: you know I've never seen a Bobbi Brown scent on the shelves! so have not tried BBB.

  20. Anonymous says:

    If you get a chance, try it. It's at Nordstroms/Saks etc…. It comes in a body oil, which is nice if you want a more subtle scent.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Hi there and thanks for the great reviews. I too am an avid marine/aquatic accord hater and cringe whenever I get anywhere near those notes. I too adore the Fire Island, and it will be my next FB Bond No 9 purchase. Although, I am still waiting to test the new Lexington Ave which is not out here yet.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Phooey, they've taken all the fun out of Ambre Solaire, they are all SPF 40 with Mexoryl … good lord, is that Malibu KEN up there?!? … uh, yes, you've remembered Bain de Soleil correctly. Or at least the same way I remember it. Of course that's how it smelled on my friends, I was wearing Zinc Oxide and a long sleeve shirt, cowering under an umbrella like the undead. I think SPF 4 was as high as it went.

  23. Anonymous says:

    scentsappeal…I'm not holding my breath on the Lexington Ave. since I've not liked many (any but ONE) Claude Dir fragrance. But this may be the “breakthrough” I guess…

  24. Anonymous says:

    M: I thought Ken was SO right for this post! (When I found out sun aged the skin I started wearing zinc too…looked like a geisha from the jawbone up most of the summer).

  25. Anonymous says:

    Oh, Ken. What have they done to you now. *hides eyes*

  26. Anonymous says:

    I LOVE Fire Island in fact I am wearing it today! It's a sample but a friend of mine works at a store where they carry Bond and will give me a pretty good discount so I think I NEED a bottle of this! I love the beach, suntan lotion, sand, all of it! I will have to revisit the Hamptons I believe I thought it was more masculine for my taste. I also smelled Lexington at my local Saks and wasn't a fan. Thanks for the review of all of these! Love the Bonds!

  27. Anonymous says:

    I totally agree on The Guide. LT and TS definitely have discernible note preferences, and if the fragrance in question doesn't have one, it usually gets a lower rating :(

  28. Anonymous says:

    Let us forget not that there's always 'hope'. ;)

  29. Anonymous says:

    Great reviews as always! So you purchased a FB huh? When you said you liked didnt think you LOVED it…lol…enjoy! Oh yeah…CI I like the least of these as well. Ciao!

  30. Anonymous says:

    Hi Kevin,
    I loved the review. Although the composition of Coney Island tends to come apart on my skin into a weird agave, synth-lime, sour mix, chocolate hodge podge. I love that it captures the ad-hoc-ness of it's name sake.
    I was wondering, have you tried CB I Hate Perfume's At the Beach 1966? CB has done a lovely clone of Coppertone, and I was wondering how it compared to it's European cousin.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Bklyn F L : yep, I had to have it.

  32. Anonymous says:

    oblitterati: I haven't tried At the Beach 1966 … the backlog grows!!

  33. Anonymous says:

    Well, after all that time lying around in the sun, he probably was due for a “refreshing” chemical peel… this is the Ken that “tans” when you leave him out in the sun, isn't it? (Sadly, those dolls achieved far better tans than I could ever have dreamed of…I, too, slathered on the zinc each summer – and it was the 80's, so the zinc came in different neon colours, yippee! ;) It seems like I should be embarrassed about that, but, strangely, I'm not.

  34. Anonymous says:

    But its arms are outstretched in welcome! How can one resist??

  35. Anonymous says:

    TwoPeasInAPod: REALLY! That would be so neat to have a tan-able Ken! No need to be embarrassed about the colored zincs…unless you made patterns on your face and body: clown-style!

  36. Anonymous says:

    TPIAP: True, I didn't resist.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Hi Kevin,
    I loved your reviews – I like the way you weave your personal experiences into your opinion of the fragrances. I truly believe that our sense of smell evokes the most vivid memories. Now I feel like running out and buying Fire Island. It's sweltering here in Tokyo, so I need something to mentally ease the heat and humidity.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Nice reviews! I grew up in Westhampton Beach, and I know the Hamptons and Fire Island well. Neither of these scents evoke those places for me, sadly. I haven't had much luck with the Bonds, although Chinatown is a nice scent.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Hi Kevin,

    The most famous European Suntan Lotion Scents have been two that became equated with the “scent of vacation”. Both are from France (surprise!)

    If you recall, it was the French and Coco Chanel who invented the concept of paid yearly vacation and tanning respectively, which completely changed the 20th Century!

    The first one is a luxury oil for “starlets and kept women” who thrive on the Riviera from Cannes/St Tropez to Monte Carlo. Their location is usually a function of how leggy or big-breasted they are, or which powerful wealthy men they've been able to “tentalize” with their charms. And the second is a mass-marketed affordable “staple” of every average French Family packing to go on vacation and costs 4 Euros.

    Here they are descrived respectively:

    1- HUILE DE CHALDEE by Jean Patou (not sure it is still marketed) is (was?) a reddish gooey thick gelified oil that has the same color and consistency as the famous “Bain De Soleil SPF 2″ that caused so many melanomas but smelled great and reminds us of the 70's and 80's “power tan” that so many baby boomers are trying to reverse nowadays using Botox and Peels. Huile De Chaldee smells of the famous perfume “Chaldee by Jean Patou”. A whiff of it reminds you of Deauville and Sunny Beaches in Normandy.

    2- AMBRE SOLAIRE , is now a Garnier-L'Oreal product with a slew of “line-extensions” ranging from SPF 4 to 100 & updated yearly with the latest gimmick skin care ingredient from caffeine extract to cactus extract and the likes…All totally ineffective, but sell great, mind you!

    But the “original” Ambre Solaire before L'Oreal times smelled so great and was exactly like what a “vacation” should smell in your mind. It is still equated with those memories in every French-Baby Boomer's mind (Can we use Baby-Boomer and French in the same phrase?:-)

    So my question to you is the following:

    Can you find out for us readers which of the above two famous Suntan Lotions Mr. Almairac got inspired by for his Bond 9 Hamptons?

    Thanks,

    Eric

  40. Anonymous says:

    Kevin, thanks for those reviews! They made me run over to what is probably the only shop where they sell Bond Nr. 9 in Switzerland (and only since last week, no kidding) in my lunch break to try Fire Island – in the vain hope that it might be an olfactory reincarnation of my beloved but long since discontinued Delial lotion. Well, it isnt', but I recognized the smell immediately and it made me smile: Tiaré/Monoi de Tahiti! It's some kind of oil they produce in Tahiti by macerating tiaré flowers in coconut oil, and it's sort of a cult product in France, where they sell various summer and sun themed cosmetics lines that all basically smell like Fire Water.

    For a cheap thrill: Yves Rocher's Jardin des Iles Tiaré Flower Body Mist is a true bargain at $6 and smells practically identical. They also have matching body products.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Yep, thanks for saying this. This worries me too, about the Guide. All these non-perfumistas who probably took the SA's word as gospel now have switched to the Guide as gospel, and so are probably still missing the ultimate point of perfume buying – don't let anyone else's (whether if be LT and TS in the guide, or Nicole Richie gushing about her favourite perfume) bad/good reviews or experiences influence you – perfume is so personal and subjective that there is no such thing as a universally bad or good scent!

  42. Anonymous says:

    Ericgmd, I don't know those two suntan lotions you mention in your post, but as I noticed (in my own post below), Fire Island smells quite exactly like those Tiaré/Monoi de Tahiti concotions sold everywhere in France. I think the Yves Rocher stuff (Jardin des Iles) comes closest.

  43. Anonymous says:

    MaryTSP: the Bonds are hit and miss for me too, but I guess that's to be expected in such a large collection. But I did love the recent Warhol Silver Factory. Chinatown didn't do a thing for me….

  44. Anonymous says:

    Hi, Eric: I really loved the Chaldee perfume, but never smelled it in suntan formulation. The inspiration for Fire Island was supposedly the OLD formula (pre L'Oreal/Garnier) of Ambre Solaire (which I have not smelled). If you know Fire Island let me know if it reminds you of “old” Ambre Solaire….K

  45. Anonymous says:

    jawhara: I think Fire Island is so popular because it evokes every suntan lotion every person has ever worn! HA! I have smelled the Yves Rocher but not Delial….

  46. Anonymous says:

    Tim: I wish I had discovered FI earlier in the season…but I still have about 7 weeks of summer wear I guess….

  47. Anonymous says:

    Hello Kevin – thanks for such fun and informative reviews. I am English but of an age which enables me to remember (with great fondness) the “old” Ambre Solaire. French furniture polish! When I smelled Fire Island it brought a huge smile to my face both in recognition and in pleasure. Maybe someone will chip in with the definitive answer to this question but I believe the inspiration was good old Ambre Solaire (there was certainly a version which unapologetically had no SPF at all – eeek!)

  48. Anonymous says:

    donanicola: “French furniture polish” sounds good to me…love that waxy, citrus smell…so I probably would have liked old Ambre Solaire

  49. Anonymous says:

    Suppose you're right, LOL, now that would be true perfumer genius!

    Tough, sadly, it doesn't smell even remotely like Delial, which was a German brand, bright sunny yellow bottle and a smell just to fit that colour, somehow vanilla/powderish. And since Delial is for me THE suntan lotion smell, all the others just don't smell like suntan lotion at all. I really first had to learn what people mean when they mention “suntan lotion smell”.

  50. Anonymous says:

    Jawhara:

    DELIAL is the name for Ambre Solaire (Garnier) in Spain and Portugal. It's the same line, only labeled “Delial” in big letters, with “Ambre Solaire” in small letters. It was a business acquisition of a “local” line by L'Oreal-Garnier. They “grafted” the Ambre Solaire line into it and phased out all the old formulations. This is a typical L'Oreal strategy. Delial can still be found in Spain and Portugal and possibly other countries.

    P.S. Jawhara, congratulations! you are slowly (and deservedly) earning the title of “Perfume Addict” since going to smell a scent on your lunch break is one of the “initiation rites” :-)

    Kevin:

    I still have not smelled Fire Island. Never been a fan of all those star-shaped Bond bottles at Saks. They tend to be omnipresent and the stands look so ugly to me…

    My last acquisition is an exclusive EAU by Dior that I am still “testing”. It is an EXCLUSIVE scent sold at very few Dior stores and I may possibly LOVE it.

    I will not reveal its name for the fear that my fellow bloggers jump on it and buy the last remaining 8 bottles…I may just want them all.

    Ha! I know this is going to kill you Kevin. I love to torture you, you know it! :-)

    Eric

  51. Anonymous says:

    Ericgmd: either tell me about this EXCLUSIVE, or I'll have samples of ALL Bonds delivered to your door!

  52. Anonymous says:

    Kevin, I haven't even read this review entirely, but I will – I have had people staying over for their holidays and ours is still to begin by mid august…Phew..

    I am so not liking driving a car… or anyting with any unnatural speed…while being driven someplace in any fast car like whatever comes to mind, does not bother me at all…!!

    The Bond frags. are available overhere in Pr. so I will check them out – finally.

    xoxo MarianneW

  53. Anonymous says:

    Mamabear, you are my true hero as a heavy-motor-girl :) :D

  54. Anonymous says:

    At least tell us if it is something other than Escale a Portofino? Because that would have been my guess.

  55. Anonymous says:

    Marianne: have fun!

  56. Anonymous says:

    Nop it's not that watered down insipid eau you mention at all!

  57. Anonymous says:

    No no no no nooooooo, not Bond samples. I can't take that! Have pity on me!!!

    LOL

    OK, I'll make a deal with you Kevin: I'll send you a sample of it if you send me a sample of King Kong by Kenzo!

    LOL

    PS: I'll give you a few hints about it: It contains iris, alicante honey and incense from Yemen…I won't say one more word!!!

  58. Anonymous says:

    But isn't that Bois d'Argent?

  59. Anonymous says:

    Ericgmd: That King Kong stuff? I've been using it as a ROOMSPRAY! HAHA! (AM I kidding?) And I think Robin just outted your fragrance! Hope there isn't a stampede to the counters!

  60. Anonymous says:

    Yes! Try to find ONE bottle though…It's SOLD OUT globally. I located one Dior Store that still has it and it's my secret.

    Ha!

  61. Anonymous says:

    Robin:

    Bingo! I'm really impressed. I get the feeling that your line of work has something to do with perfumes?! :-)

    Kevin:

    Wait til I buy EAU NOIRE from the same series of colognes by Hedi Slimane for Dior (2004). That one is not sold out at all and I suspect it's the scary combination of fenugreek curry vanilla lavender “garrigue” smell. I'm scared to even try it on my hand at the Dior store!

    No seriously, Bois d'Argent smells WONDERFUL. It starts a little metallic and sweet but the dry down is just heavenly, full of iris and honey and lasts all day on my skin.

    Would you consider reviewing Bois d'Argent and Eau Noire for me Kevin? Pleeeeez? (I'm making my puppy dog face)

  62. Anonymous says:

    Don't be impressed, it took all of 6 seconds to google “alicante honey dior”.

    Hope they're not discontinuing the trio, that would be very sad.

  63. Anonymous says:

    Ericgmd: I would consider it…must procure samples Bois d'Argent sounds like something I'd love.

  64. Anonymous says:

    I know I'm kinda late to the bash but I was wondering which -if any- of the Bond perfumes you would recommend to a newbie like me. From what I gather of this review I better just pick up a bottle of Coppertone and call it a day…

    I haven't picked up “the guide” yet but am looking forward to it. I don't think any book is meant to be read like a bible; not even The bible.

  65. Anonymous says:

    persikoflicka: I don't know your tastes or even if you are a man or woman, ha!, but I've just started going thru the Bonds myself. I chose these three to start with because of their “summer/beach” vibe. (And the scent of Fire Island is light years ahead of Coppertone, to its credit.) The only Bonds besides these I've tried recently are Warhol Silver Factory (incense…love it) and the beloved Chinatown (flowery/fruity…didn't even like it) and the “green” Gramery Park. You may want to peruse the other reviews of the Bonds on this site or on basenotes.net or makeupalley.com if you haven't already…it's a LARGE line of fragrances to tackle, Kevin

  66. Anonymous says:

    TPIAP: if I remember correctly I didn't much care for Summer Vacation…more conventionally “floral”…also with an artificial “edge” that you find in suntan lotions.

  67. Anonymous says:

    Thank you!

  68. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the Ambre Solaire tip! we do have Ambre Solaire here in Switzerland but it smells completely different than Delial. I will have to check out the Spanish version while on vacation in Spain this autumn.

    Thanks to for the “perfume addict” label, I take that as a compliment! I definitely am a perfume addict, but have been since 10 (?) years, when I first smelled Ambre Sultan by Serge The Great.

    And: pleeeease *sporting the French pout that is a Frenchwoman's most dangerous weapon according to Kevin Kline* couldn't you give me a tiny hint as to where I could find that Dior boutique? Just because I happen to be in Paris this weekend… please?

  69. Anonymous says:

    Gosh, I didn't realise my femininity didn't appear by magic in my comment :)

    Out of the reviews I've read here the “green” frags are always what appeals most to me; maybe I should go up that (garden) path? I will try to sample a few from this line. Thanks for your review and comments (I read all of them), it's always nice with a few different prespectives.

    (Come to think of it; coppertone is probably not the one I'm thinking of but rather old Nivea…)

  70. Anonymous says:

    Bonjour Jawhara,

    Yes it was definitely meant as a compliment :-) And you are a true “jewel” you know?! (Let that be our secret you and I, ok?)

    Oh yes you won me over because I cannot resist that Beautiful oh-so French Woman Pout.

    Once you are at the Dior Boutique on Avenue Montaigne, please try the 3 colognes that Hedi Slimane designed in 2004. Cologne Blanche, Bois d'Argent and Eau Noire.

    I am currently liking Bois d'Argent a lot. Jeanne Dore' at auparfum.com describes it as “une fourrure animale pas facile a adopter mais qui demande a etre domptee”…Please let me know what you think or if you agree.

    But it is Eau Noire that is the most raved about. It is a very “polarizing” scent either loved or hated. Definitely not for the faint at heart. I personally am still hesitant about buying it and I have been consulting with my therapist Kevin in secret :-)

    I can't wait to hear about your visit to the Dior boutique on Avenue Montaigne and say hello to the my favorite hotel nearby: Le George Cinq!

    A bientot,

    Eric

  71. Anonymous says:

    Just checked the perfumed court and they have it.

  72. Anonymous says:

    Decants?!?! Yikes…

  73. Anonymous says:

    BFL: so surprised that YOU don't have at least one of these in your perfume vault!

  74. Anonymous says:

    Salut Eric!

    Back from Paris I am, sadly… but thank you so much for sharing that insider information with me! of course I could not resist checking out the Dior boutique on Avenue Montaigne… it's probably worth a trip to Paris on its own. And so are those three colognes! I really love all three of them, perhaps with a slight preference towards Eau Noire, but Bois d'Argent just seems to be the most wonderful thing to wear on a hot summer day. Animale… definitely, but in a very subtle way. Fourrure… I don't know, to me, it feels more like wearing a gauzy light grey veil, but then, strangely, what comes to my mind is one of those beautiful Russian cats with dark blue-grey fur… very fascinating!

    I actually had such a hard time deciding which one of the three I liked best that I ended up not buying any of them, stupidly! (but of course luckily for you since there still are all those 8 bottles left for you… well, at that point, I had already bought SL's Borneo and MKK, Lostmarc'h's Aod and Ael-Mat, Dyptique's l'Autre and Essence of John Galliano – what a shame that this one is only available as room spray, I'd wear it gladly! – and my budget was sort of strained… of course, having done some research on my own, I found a German perfume shop which seems to have some bottles on stock, but only ships to Germany, so I can take my time to make up my mind and then work my French pout on some German friend *LOL* isn't it amazing how that always works on men? even works on my hubby, every time, although he knows I'm doing it on purpose!).

    So much for my trip to Paris, and now I'm back at my desk to make sure I'll have some cash ready just in case I'll decide to buy both Bois d'Argent and Eau Noire, anyway.

    Well, thanks again for the tip, and à bientôt!

    Jewel

  75. Anonymous says:

    I have Hamptons and really like it. I would like it to project more however, but it does last well on my skin.

    My big problem is The Guide. It should be banned from anyone who doesn't know anything about fragrance. It's not a guide at all, it's not objective in the least. If I want to get a good feel for a fragrance I am not familar with, I'll go to the Fragrance Directory at Basenotes, which gives a really good degree of objectivitiy across a wide base of opinions.

    I do think Bonds are way over-priced though. I have three, the afore mentioned Hamptons, Riverside Drive (I also love) and Eau De New York (which I like but turns sour on my skin after a few hours). I bought these at Selfridges when they decided they didn't want to stock Bond anymore and they sold them at a seriously rock bottom price!

  76. Anonymous says:

    HDS1963, I have Hamptons too, it mixes well with Fashion Ave or Gramercy Park if you're into fragrance combining.

  77. Anonymous says:

    I am very curious about Hamptons – sounds lovely to me! I am dreaming of trying Gramercy Park – the notes sound just perfectly right up my alley! Oh my goddess even if I don't love Gramercy Park (and I think it's very possible that I will fall in love with it) I am SURE I will at least like it. I am positive I'm not gonna dislike it in any way, You know how sometimes You just know that there is no way You'll dislike this fragrance even though You never smelled it yet? The notes seem to be sreaming my name, all of the reviews say what I wanna hear… I am so going on Ebay to look for a sample of gramerct park, and then I'll be happy to purchase a samle of Hamptons if that's available too. We have a little Bond no. 9 counter here in one of the high-end boutiques downtown but: All of those nice, but a bit too annoying sales-ladies will WOW You any time You spray anything on a paper… They will keep saying that every fragrance smells soooo good on you with such a kind smile it is just not human to tell them to f off even though You are just sooo annoyed already… that means you have no opportunity to really test anything you want. Well lets see what Ebay has to offer…

  78. Kankuro says:

    Last month, I had the opportunity to test a few Bond fragrances. Thefirst one I’ve tried was Fire Island. The first word I’ve said after smelling it was: “amazing”, and I bought it. I was searching for a fragrance like Fire Island for years and I finally found it!

    The scond one I’ve tried was the Hamptons. I think it’s too similar to Creed’s Silver Mountain Water. And SMW is a gorgeous scent, I dont need a (overpriced) clone of it in my fragrance collection.

    And last but not least I have tested Coney Island. In my opinion, it is nothing very special and I can barely get any chocolate or caramel note. It is nice, it is fresh, but it is not worth the high price.

    Here in europe, Perfumes are much more expensive than in the United States. A big bottle of Bond No. 9 costs 200$ in the US, here it costs 200€, which are 270$!

  79. Fawn says:

    Fire Island, Kismet, Seagull House, early seventies. Our family boated to the beach. ‘Tween h.s. and college, a g.f. and I were mother’s helpers only five houses away with six kids between us. Either bicycle for ice cream at Saltaire or take ‘em to the beach & hang out next to the lifeguard stand. Later, during college summers, all those afterwork treks from Sailor’s Haven to the Green Monster for disco dancing under the mirrored ball. Hmmmmmmmm. A scent to capture ocean summers, seagulls and spray, sun soaked bodies and botanical explorations behind the primary dune. :-)

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