Given the Fall and impending Winter seasons, it’s about time we reviewed something fairly unique: Bond. No 9 New York Oud.
Before we do, a disclaimer: I gave away a bit of the plot in the opening, so I’ll provide the spoiler as well. This is not an Oud in the same respect that Le Labo Oud 27, Byredo Accord Oud, or any of the various Montale Paris creations are Ouds. Before you dismiss Oud as being the “Aquatics of the 2000′s”, I’d encourage a more detailed look and review of the genre. Everyone has a unique take on this element despite the commonality of the name in niche fragrance-making in a current context.
Bond No. 9 New York Oud (2011): Released for Valentine’s Day 2011, Bond No. 9 New York Oud is a much different take on the interplay of oud with other elements to form a pure perfume that maintains both a unique flair and signature along with a profile that can be clearly distinguished as universal. This is a fragrance that masters the fine line of pairing the correct elements to result in a non-gender scent, perfect for men or women.
The opening begins with a strong influence of saffron and red plum, followed with a hint of orange zest. This transitions into the heart notes — which for this fragrance are also very present from the start — of a very heady rose and oud combination, with a touch of Orris root and patchouli for a more earthy balance. The base is comprised of soft musk, white honey, and earthy green vetiver notes that temper the overall effects found in the heart. None of this will present a clear picture to the wearer without some further background.
Foremost, this is a pure perfume strength fragrance (30% concentration). The staying power and projection are both very prominent and pronounced, with longevity taking you well into the next day. In fairness, some may find this slightly overpowering, perhaps bombastic; this is also a very contemporary scent, so the elements of rose are very deep and balanced as not to smell too “ladies who lunch”. In my own view, the strength is nearly perfect if maybe pushing the envelope on “cloying” a bit (through numerous wearings, I never found that). And through multiple wearings, the longevity and projection were such that I never once lost the scent nor found that it faded into the background as would be the case with other fragrances.
The rose is actually a masculine rose. NYO is an interesting composition in that it juxtaposes a series of very strong elements against Oud, yet the combination feels harmonious throughout. There’s no competing for dominance. The overall result is brilliant. Compared the the feminine profile of Bond No. 9 Perfume, this is an excellent and more universal counterpart; simply put, if you find that Bond No. 9 Signature Perfume was far too feminine for a male to carry, this is the alternative and in my view still the better of the two. Despite that, it still remains very wearable and captivating as a feminine scent provided you’re a woman prepared to carry off a very deep and sultry fragrance.
While not the most expensive perfume on the shelf, it remains at a fair niche point of $310 for 100ml. However, given the concentration and the longevity, one could truly have that same bottle for a year of daily wearings. Price? I would say it’s very fair in that context.
Rating: 5/5. Highly recommended. While nothing is ever perfect, this is an exceptional niche fragrance that makes a strong statement.
Bottom-Line: I provided the spoiler in the opening that this is a very unique Oud. It’s not typical to those I’ve mentioned, but neither does it detract from any of those to provide its own interpretation and experience. The ones I’ve mentioned are all good but different interpretations of their own.
Bond No. 9 New York Oud presents a very mesmerizing and captivating experience overall, and while not a purist’s Oud, it’s a deep and delicious interpretation that is simply gorgeous.