A Food-y Trio: Bond no. 9 I Love New York for All, Jean Paul Gaultier Kokorico, Thierry Mugler A*Men Taste of Fragrance ~ fragrance reviews

Jean Paul Gaultier Kokorico advert

Several years ago, the Bond no. 9 van skidded off the road and all perfumers onboard suffered minor head traumas that affected their sense of smell.* After the accident, Bond no. 9 perfumes started to smell alike, as if the same perfumes were being released over and over again, but in different bottles. Recent Bond no. 9 perfumes smell like middling-mainstream fragrances (Bond no. 9 pricing has not been affected, mind you). It’s been years since the debut of a Bond no. 9 fragrance excited me. (Of course, the Bond no. 9 “New York” idea is running out of steam. Pretty soon we’ll be getting “Fire Hydrant, South Corner of Central Park W. and W. 81st St.” in bright yellow bottles.)

Bond no. 9 is not the only perfume company that’s gotten lazy and complacent and pumps out the same type of “stuff” over and over again. When was the last launch that made you mad with desire…after you smelled the scent? At the same time I sniffed Bond no. 9’s new I Love New York for All, I received Thierry Mugler A*Men Taste of Fragrance and Jean Paul Gaultier Kokorico.

Today, I have three short and (cocoa) sweet perfume reviews. These perfumes have a lot in common; they are gourmands with coffee, cocoa, pepper, vanilla, patchouli, indistinct “woods” and sheer musk. I could almost write one review that would cover them all.

Bond no. 9 I Love New York for All

Bond no. 9 I Love New York for All

(pepper, coffee, cacao, chestnut, bergamot, lily of the valley, patchouli, vanilla, rum, leatherwood, sandalwood)

I Love New York for All opens with hazy pepper-coffee topped with a dollop of vanilla-bergamot “cream.” The cacao is on the dry side, powdery, and ‘flavors’ the entire perfume. The scent wears down to vague, sweet vanilla-woods and clean, sweet patchouli-musk (this is the “candy” perfume of the trio reviewed here). You’ve smelled this  generic gourmand-type perfume a hundred times.

Jean Paul Gaultier Kokorico

Jean Paul Gaultier Kokorico

(fig leaf, cacao, wood)

Jean Paul Gaultier Kokorico was developed by perfumers Olivier Cresp and Annick Menardo; it starts off promising with a teak-like, resinous aroma that segues within seconds to bitter cacao bean mixed with patchouli and tart fig leaf — a rather off-putting “curdled” combination (more A*Men than Gaultier). Kokorico’s see-thru ‘woods’ are decidedly fiberboard, cheap and artificial, and in the base they are joined by some vetiver. After the first 20 minutes on skin, Kokorico has almost no sillage (which is too bad, because the scent smells best from afar, not up close). Kokorico has feeble lasting power. Kokorico is such a disappointment because I really want the bottle it comes in (the bottle that no doubt took up much of the budget for this perfume).

Thierry Mugler A*Men Taste of Fragrance

Thierry Mugler A*Men Taste of Fragrance (Le Goût du Parfum)

(red pepper, coffee, woods, patchouli, vanilla)

Thierry Mugler A*Men Taste of Fragrance is a super-java scent, brash coffee with some cocoa-chili syrup in the mix. The fragrance, as it develops, reminds me of the other A*Men “Pure” flankers, but with red pepper as the star instead of coffee, malt or tobacco. A*Men Taste of Fragrance has amazing lasting power and is much stronger than I Love New York for All or Kokorico; it’s a very linear perfume that has a presence. Of the three scents reviewed here A*Men Taste of Fragrance has the most “character” (and it’s the only one of the three I’d happily wear). I wish Mugler had gone for smoked paprika or roasted peppers instead of fresh red pepper —  it would have cut down on the sweetness of the perfume.

Bond no. 9 I Love New York for All is available in  50 and 100 ml ($105/175) Eau de Parfum. Jean Paul Gaultier Kokorico is available in 50 and 100 ml (€54/75) Eau de Toilette and assorted body products. Thierry Mugler A*Men Taste of Fragrance is available in $90 or 100 ml Eau de Parfum.

*not really; this is a reverie.

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30 Comments

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  1. Dawnkana says:

    I’m with you Kevin on the new Bond No. 9 Love NY For All. I did like the opening notes but then it dried down to something similar to Jo Malone’s Sweet Milk fragrance with a splash of coffee. Disappointing.

    ~Dawn

    • Kevin says:

      Dawnkana: I think I’m getting really tired of caramel, cocoa…DIET time!

  2. APassionateJourney says:

    Loved NY4@ sooooo much I bought a small bottle! Thank goodness they lowered the price and brought it to Nordies.

    Where did you get a sample of Kokorico and where did you find the new A*Men? I can’t WAIT to test them!

    • Kevin says:

      APassionateJourney: My “supplier” was Robin here at NST

  3. alextang2k says:

    like 3 of these men’s perfumes ………… can’t wait anymore to have it ……nice smell …….. good packing ……… amazing kokorico bottle …..

  4. Ari says:

    Huh, I actually found NY For All pretty weird! But not in a good way. I interpreted it as Apple Jacks in slightly sour milk.

  5. Janice says:

    Darn, I was looking forward to trying I Love New York for All because of the coffee note, but that lemming just died. I will try to get a sample of Taste of Fragrance, though. Thanks for the review!

    • Ari says:

      Janice, I am sorry to tell you that the Bond smells absolutely nothing like coffee. It was a disappointment for me too, as I am a coffee fiend.

      • Janice says:

        Thanks–between Kevin’s review and your impression of it smelling like Apple Jacks, I think I can safely skip this one!

    • Kevin says:

      Janice: you’re welcome!

    • Tama says:

      The whole trio is seriously boring – the For All is the most interesting of the three.

    • odonata9 says:

      Have you tried their New Haarlem? That is pretty coffee-ish. And the A*Men pure Coffee too, although that is harder to find these day as it was LE.

  6. sfsassy says:

    I am going to be the one with a differing opinion on the new Bond. I actually liked it. Yes, it’s very mainstream, but it’s so much better than most of their releases over the past few years. Most of their other scents have a strange dry down on my skin and yes, they do all smell a like. But this one is ok. Not sure if it’s bottle worthy, but worth a test.

    • Kevin says:

      SFSassy: the dry downs smell chemical-y to me.

  7. Dilana says:

    Ah, I thought that it only me who found the Bonds boring.
    Tis’ a pity; I love the bottles, if only I could find one containing juice in which I had the slightest interest.

    • Kevin says:

      Dilana: I understand…I need Gaultier to release a GOOD fragrance in this new bottle.

  8. platinum14 says:

    I got the A*men chili last month and i like it. The coffee patchouli works for me. You’re quite right about the roasted pepper/smoked paprika though– more punch would have been great.

    • Kevin says:

      Plat: yep…they like it smooooth

  9. mstea1234 says:

    If I may take a moment to say I absolutely love this blog. I found it by accident about 5 years ago. Although I have not posted anything in ages, your reviews are delightful. Much of the infinitesimal amount of perfume knowledge that I possess I owe to this site, with that said. I had to comment on the gourmand reviews…I am almost afraid to admit that I adore, totally and completely love them.

    I just purchased Prada’s Candy (I over paid by more than a few dollars) and I am anxiously awaiting, Bond No. 9′s I Love New York for Her…but after reading your review I think maybe I should have purchased I Love New York for All. To Robin, Kevin, and all the other reviewers, commentators, spectators–perfume aficionados everywhere–keep up the good work.

    • Kevin says:

      mstea: that’s very kind of you…thanks! (And Prada Candy is getting lots of love…I’ve yet to smell it, unfortunately)

  10. nycartist9 says:

    I love the A*MEN Taste of Fragrance. HOWEVER, in 2012 David Yurman is launching a Limited Edition Perfume Extract inspired by the Middle East. I sniffed it today- and WOWOWOWOW. It is incredible. Keep an eye (nose) out for it. It’s beyond delicious!!!

    • Kevin says:

      nycartist: I’ll make sure to try it.

  11. Owen says:

    I haven’t smelled any of them, but from your review Kevin I’m already dissapointed by Kokrico.

    Bond No9 is ridiculously expensive, there isn’t a point of sale near me and I haven’t smelled any of them. I do like candy smells so would like to try I love NY.

    but I like the sound of A*Men though, apart from the pepper. I don’t like the smell of real peppers and I don’t like the smell of them in perfume.
    I would like to try this aswell though.

    • Kevin says:

      Owen: ah…it’s peppery, but more “jalapeno” than bell pepper if you know what I mean.

  12. Bonbori says:

    “Cut down on the sweetness”? LOL would it still be a Mugler then? Kevin, do you know when the Taste of Fragrances are making their way to department stores in the US?

    • Kevin says:

      Bonbori: I believe they are due in October…but my Nordstrom folks weren’t even aware of them.

  13. Bonbori says:

    Also, funny that the Kokorico comes in a horizontal can instead of the vertical one. Maybe because of the bottle shape? Anyway looks like a tuna can. Without the ridges would look like shoe polish.

    • Kevin says:

      Bonbori: I thought shoe polish too…better than tuna.

  14. dolcesarah says:

    So Glad I chose I profumi di Firenze!

  15. yazounet says:

    I bought this Kokorico when it was first released in France in November. I actually would like to say that this perfume is very commercial and it is totally a mix of Black XS by Paco Rabanne and One Million by Paco Rabanne. When I wore it, everybody asked me if it is 1 Million. So I was a litlle bit disappointed.

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