Review: Bond No. 9 Andy Warhol Lexington Avenue:
There tend to be certain fragrances in a line as extensive as Bond No. 9′s that become the unsung heroes and well worth closer inspection. Those with a passing familiarity will know some of the more noteworthy selections, Brooklyn, Wall Street, New Haarlem, Chinatown and other among them. The Andy Warhol collection has garnered decidedly mixed reviews depending on the specific scent. It’s also why I recently dove a bit deeper into the line to explore some of the lesser-reviewed scents, Lexington Avenue being a great example.
Bond No. 9 Andy Warhol Lexington Avenue (2008): While I’m not convinced that the fragrance carries any significance to the sense of place in its name, Lexington Avenue is a soft yet spicy chypre that begins with a very soft cypress intermingled with anise and cardamom. Warmth in the heart layer is created by white peony, orris root and a refreshingly zesty allspice that evokes a slight sense of heat in the mixture. The base layer consists of a finish with sandalwood and patchouli.
By no stretch would I suggest this to be a chypre on the order of a Guerlain, though it’s a very interesting and captivating melange in that it remains very warm and gourmand. Where one would expect a more hippy and sharp vibe from the patchouli, it’s offset and combined very well with the sandalwood so that the pairing becomes complementary. It’s also interesting in its use of notes that it doesn’t immediately become either totally feminine or masculine; this is unisex without being too innocuous. Imagine a chypre with a bit of a naughty and spicy streak, and you would be very close to the experience of Lexington Avenue.
And it’s perhaps a bit unfair to other Bonds in the Andy Warhol collection, since each time I’ll pair off a fragrance in the collection, the litmus test becomes my own experience with Silver Factory. While it’s fair that I’m comparing one selection from the line to another, it’s perhaps less fair that I’m comparing a woody floral musk to a chypre (or an Oriental Wood), but that has been my standard for comparing the scents from Bond and determining which one would be truly full-bottle-worthy. Though Silver Factory is a very popular fragrance, it was Lexington Avenue that was my final choice. Lexington was much less derivative, very original, and quite honestly wearable in a wide array of situations. For several days after my recent purchase, this became a go-to scent.
Sillage is very minimal, longevity is quite durable (10-12 hours), and projection stays within a very intimate zone. Be careful, however, because this is a fragrance it can become easy to overdo; a couple sprays will do nicely, much more than that and you’ll have a sillage monster on your hands and the scent will transform to be rather overbearing versus the subtleness it naturally carries.
Rating: 4/5. Recommended. This is a wonderful “utility” fragrance for those who truly want to enjoy an interesting chypre that doesn’t quite fit that mold in the same way that many perfumers have patterned that formula. If your thoughts on chypre centered on Guerlain’s Derby, or Creed’s Green Valley or Erolfa, this will share little in common other than the cypress notes.
Bottom-Line: While I’d question whether this is a fragrance that truly captures the sense of place — the utter confusion that can normally be Lexington Avenue by virtue of its lack of a single character — it also forces me to question how it doesn’t represent that amalgam of personalities in that the fragrance defies a traditional definition while being unique in its own right. It’s an enigma of a scent for an avenue that is itself an enigma that defies a single characteristic.