Monday, November 16, 2009

SOTD: Bond No. 9 New Haarlem

Memory is a strange thing.

This fragrance raises memories of urban coffee. Late night urban coffee. With all that clattering and steam-hissing. And patrons shouting at one another to hear themselves over the rest of the crowd.

Occasionally it shifts, and it's memories of coffee at home in the morning sunshine, with sweet pastries and the newspaper at hand, and no one expecting coherent conversation.

The thing is, I don't drink coffee, and never have. New Haarlem doesn't care - it hands me memories that don't belong to me.

I like that.

To actually discuss the fragrance: New Haarlem is one of the most satisfying of gourmands, with rich coffee, sweet vanilla, patchouli that seems edible, and cedar, lavender, and bergamot to calm it all down a bit. It was created by Maurice Roucel, a perfumer with a long, long resume of fragrances, almost none of which I've tried. I must correct that.

Calmed down or not, New Haarlem is, I should note, sweet. Not an edge of sweetness, not a little touch of sugar to counteract coffee bitterness, but syrupy sweet. I sprayed this lavishly today, on the theory that I usually underapply my fragrances, and I'm finding that it is possible to get too much of New Haarlem's vanilla-coffee syrup. It's better in occasional wafts than as a constant cloud.

But it's delicious. I hope I was clear about that? Yum.

Review Roundup: Now Smell This and Bois de Jasmin and The Non-Blonde and Perfume-Smellin' Things and Aromascope and Feminine Things.

Edited to add to the Review Roundup.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons


  1. Maurice Roucel is an evil, evil man. He seems to be incapable of creating a perfume that I don't like (except for Gucci Envy). Do try as much of his stuff as you can! And New Haarlem is one of my very favorites :)

  2. Yep, I need to try more. I didn't like Tocade much, but I'm hoping that that's an Exception.

    Hmm. Now I'm working up a New Haarlem craving for tomorrow...