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May 25, 2006

New Haarlem by Bond no. 9: Fragrance Review


I am a tea drinker, preferring to save coffee for mornings when the extra jolt of energy is absolutely essential, yet I cannot resist the dark aroma of roasted beans. It is the childhood memory of my father having what he called “a soldier’s breakfast”--coffee accompanied by a cigarette. Of crowded bars in Venice where the coffee aromas would marry the scent of white bread used for tramezzini, delicious triangular sandwiches. Of Istanbul coffee stalls where the curvy copper pots were slowly brought to boil in the hot sand. Of the rich cloud surrounding Starbucks I would pass downtown Chicago on my way to the office. ...

As much as I love the fragrance of coffee, in perfume I prefer to avoid the overly photorealistic vision of a steaming cup. New Haarlem created by the perfumer Maurice Roucel offers one of my favourite takes on the coffee notes, a composition of alluring darkness concealing a fresh herbal twist.

Just as the aroma of coffee has a seductive heft, so does New Haarlem. Yet, despite the woody creaminess, the patchouli lends its characteristic effervescence, alleviating the density and richness. A blue ribbon of lavender appears as if out of nowhere and like a perfect accessory, it lends an interesting overlay to the composition—a touch of freshness against the smouldering darkness of coffee and woods. Indeed, like a cup of espresso, New Haarlem is quite addictive.

New Haarlem features notes of bergamot, cedarwood, coffee, vanilla, patchouli and lavender. Bond no 9 fragrances are available from Saksfifthavenue, A Beautiful Life, Alexander La Jolla, Beautycafe. For more information, please refer to Bond no 9 blog.

If you are curious to hear Maurice Roucel's own thoughts on New Haarlem, please listen to the radio interview on WNYC, The Smell of Success.



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