Monday, August 25, 2008

Andy Warhol Lexington Avenue by Bond No. 9 : Perfume Review

I love Bond No. 9’s Warhol Series – in fact, the simply stunning Silver Factory is my favorite scent of the house. Unfortunately my little sample of Silver Factory broke just one day after I received it, so I never got to review it, although its memory still haunts me. Fortunately, I now have the chance to review the newest child of the Bond No. 9 and the Andy Warhol Foundation partnership: Lexington Avenue, the third fragrance in the Warhol Series, introduced in time for the 80th anniversary of Andy’s birthday.

“Think pre-Pop 1950s New York, when Andy Warhol lived on Lexington Avenue and plied his trade as a prolific illustrator – mainly of imaginative shoes. Hence the Warhol-designed mélange that covers the flacon. Lush and unapologetically seductive, this scent dares to link two of the most ultra-feminine commodities a woman can own: fragrance and footwear.”


How can I possibly resist? I am a Warhol admirer, have adored perfume ever since I can remember and I collect shoes with a passion... Already, Lexington Avenue and I are a match made in heaven! The absolutely gorgeous, shoe adorned bottle makes me ... wait, I have to teach you a Dutch word, cause there is no other way to describe it: it makes me hebberig, which can only be roughly translated as an unstoppable urge to possess something material, the clever Andy quotes on Bond’s website (“See a shoe and Pick it up and all day long you’ll have Good Luck”, “Beauty is shoe, shoe beauty...”) make me mentally giggle, for I most definitely can identify, and at the center of it all is a perfume, yes a perfume, and surely, there is no room left for more goodness in this, if my other obsession (bags...) would be included in this equation, my head would probably explode!

Needless to say, I’d have been bitterly disappointed if the jus didn’t live up to expectations, and those expectations were mighty high. But this is one of those rare occasions when everything is perfect (enter angelic choir sound FX): the bottle, the story and yes, the jus all fit each other perfectly. (A collective sigh of relief, followed by soft moans of appreciation) Yes, Lexington Avenue is utterly beautiful, beautiful and strange, probably the best combination for the niche-loving perfumista. In fact, it is absolutely delicious! The opening is warm and rich, while still managing to be filmy. It can already be identified as a gourmand, bypassing any of the usual freshness most often employed. Instead, we are presented with a beautiful light sweetness that is initially fairly innocent, smelling of mouthwateringly delicious, slightly vanillic, lightly roasted almond paste filling. Soon the nuttiness parts, to allow effusive warmth to bloom from within: woody notes laced with the aniseedic scent of fennel, tease the senses and urge the wearer to breathe in deeper. Again, the imaginary waves of our perfume part once more, to reveal yet more warmth: dark cardamom that feels intensely spicy and smoothly chocolate-y at the same time. I love the fast paced changes of Lexington Avenue, which make it utterly engaging. The intensity of the cardamom subsides -although it does remain a beautiful, deep constant in the background- and the peppery, fragrant scent of peony comes to the fore, lovingly supported by the powdery creaminess of iris, sweetened by thoughtful doses of vanillic, caramelized crème brulee. Don’t be scared off by this surprising note: it is a gorgeous compliment to the orris root and together they play a fantastic supporting role to the peony, which sings louder, being the true star of the heart notes. Finally, the drydown is slightly powdery, comforting and sexy, with hints of soft patchouli over creamy, seductive sandalwood. Gourmand lovers beware; this woody number is truly bewitching!

Images: Lexington Avenue regular flacon and limited edition flacon with sterling silver Robert Lee Morris necklace with shoe charms, both www.bondno9.com


13 comments:

Ines said...

Hey Divina,

this sounds absolutely wonderful. I can't wait to try this one and I hope I won't find it as beautiful and then experience the urge to buy it. ;-)

Divina said...

Hi Ines :) Yeah, I know what you mean, but on the other hand, finding something I *reaaally* like is always cause for celebration cause I can avoid being jaded. On the other hand ..oh, my poor wallet... LOL!

PinstripedZebra said...

That bottle is completely amazing! Such a cool design and looks to be made for you indeed.

Can you explain to me what a 'gourmand' perfume is? I have not heard about it before.

//Z

Jenavira13 said...

Some how your review makes me want to go eat a shoe :-). Sounds absolutely lovely. So far I have tried 4 scents by Bond No. 9 Chinatown (this one does something horrible on me), Silver Factory (yeah this one is good), Hamptons (blargh), Scent of Peace (they literally ripped off The Body Shop's Dewberry).

Divina said...

Hey Z =^.^=

"gourmand" is a perfume classification term, a fragrance family (just like we have chypres or florals). I personally view gourmand frags as a branch of the oriental family, since orientals already made excellent use of gourmands' major player, vanilla, mainly in their basenotes. Other gourmand notes traditionally used in orientals are honey, cinammon, etc... In the 90's, Mugler's Angel perfume popularized the gourmand genre, and made it a staple at the perfume counters of department stores. A gourmand would be a perfume with edible notes such as chocolate, cacao, licorice, cinammon, coffee, vanilla (almost always), honey, toffee etc. They are often paired with a patchouli base because everyone is trying to recreate Angel's success, although not always.

Divina said...

OMG! Jen! I am not alone then! I can't wear Chinatown either! I SO wanted to love it, find in it all the goodness everyone else does. After reading all the glowing reviews I tried it on my skin, and it wasn't just disappointment, I tell you, things turned ugly! Sad cause I really wanted to love it, but at best it reminds me of some sweeties we had as children, little sticky pink things with a little strange freshness to them.. We called them "randevoudakia", "little dates". They were not my favorites, and even though I am nostalgic for them, I don't want to wear them on my skin!

Anita said...

Divina, your description is positively mouth-watering. I love the bottle on this one, and Silver Factory is my favorite Bond too, so I look forward to trying Lex Ave sometime soon! xx

Divina said...

Thank you, Anita! Love how you seem to enjoy fragrances from all families by the way - I do too!

Jenavira13 said...

Divina,
I wish I had the candy reaction from Chinatown, instead I got what could be described as a bizarre buttery mouldy white floral.

Divina said...

Ouch! That good, huh? Yeah my candy does sound better by comparison! Having a bit of a sleepless night over here btw... Been reading blogs all evening and now itching to try something new! *rambles on, unable to sleep*

Abigail said...

jenavira's comment about "eating a shoe" totally cracked me up!!

I already have my bottle of Lexington Avenue and I LOVE IT!!!

I wouldn't describe it as quite so firmly rooted in the gourmand category, I think it flirts with gourmandishness, but yes, you are quite right, it's is delicious, spicy and divine....

Lovely review :-D

DCDiva said...

I'm late to the love parade for this fragrance but your review has made me want to try it out. And then I saw the price. Yikes. But happy day, you can get 6 samples for $15 so I'll happily be checking out the site for which other scents I want to try out. Merry Christmas to me! By the way, I included a link to your review on my site, www.fanstatictoe.com/dcdiva.

Cheers!

Claire said...

I love this...and in summmer I have started layering it with AG Mandragore in EDT, which I find a bit too transparent on its own. The combination is sublime!