Bond No. 9 Harrods Rose Entente Cordiale: New Fragrance Review
By Raphaella Barkley
I have always been a huge supporter and fan of world-wide uber niche fragrance house, Bond No. 9. Still, I was hesitant to try a sample of the somewhat recent release of its Harrods Rose. As a serious collector of rose fragrances, I can be somewhat jaded when it comes to my rose perfumes and I did not want to be disappointed. Upon sampling the new Bond No. 9 Harrods Rose, I’m pleased to say that this is a spectacular fragrance. Harrods Rose from Bond No. 9 is representative of the ancient archetypal flower and the union of England and America is joyous, to say the least. It is described as the first transatlantic rose blend and proves that this is not your typical delicate English Rose but juxtaposes the bold American spirit, incorporating a true merging of the senses and countries. As you may know, the rose serves as the official New York State flower and is the national floral emblem of the United States. The rose is also subject to great myth and lore in all its manifestations, especially in Britain, where it has played a major historical role. The white rose for this Bond No. 9 creation, is a symbol of New World as well.
Harrods Rose is a luminous rose and imparts a sensation of “glowing from within”. My first impression was that it was actually lit from within the depths of its petals. It seemed to have a magical quality on my skin and this special rose fragrance is absolutely stunning on me.
This is a rose that sparkles and is bright, yet manages to be a tad naughty with its warmth and invitingness. I am not attracted to “pretty” fragrances (I start singing “I Feel Pretty” from West Side Story, to which my friends can attest) and I was worried when I first read the press that this would be one of those pretty fragrances…pretty and too young to be taken seriously, so to speak.
Bond No. 9 Harrods Rose is sexy and modern. The Perfumer, Bond No. 9 Harrods Rose, does not jump on the proverbial “bandwagon” in creating another typical fruity fragrance that many a fragrance company will attempt to market because they think it may sell. I was overjoyed that this rich and haunting rose fragrance caters to real women. It is a compelling fragrance that is lush and sensuous. My relief was immediate that this was not just another fruity floral.
I want my fragrances to hug me like a magical aura, caressing me with its scent. Fragrance is ancient. I think that is why I collect fragrances, to have that tie with its metaphysical past. What is more magical than a rose, with its powerful and rich history? Fragrances have the power to touch us, an alchemic rite, an anointing, if you will. Rose, in all its glorious symbology, continues to weave its ancient spell on many of us. The press is correct in calling this a “voluptuously honeyed scent”. Bond No. 9 Harrods Rose opens with white narcissus followed by the heart of the scent; a rich and creamy white rose. Joined with the white rose is another stunning white floral, the seducing and inviting tuberose. The dry down, in which sensual animal musk and skin-smooth cashmere wood are combined with ambrette seed (plant musk from a tropical Asian hibiscus shrub) gradually, conveys an “amber aura” (the word ambrette derives both from the Latin ’ab l-musk, or source of the musk, and from the Old French, where it is a diminutive of amber). I usually turn and run at the hint of ambrette notes in fragrances, but here the ambrette only shows itself in the softest whisper. You can always tell if a fragrance house uses low quality materials and it will always show itself in the dry down. You smell cheap base notes and you know the perfumer cut corners.
Bond No 9. talks the talk and delivers every time when it comes to high quality ingredients in all of its fragrances. This fragrance is full bodied and the dry down is just as gorgeous and long lasting as the other components- a major feat.
Perfumer Laurent Le Guernec (who also created Bond’s Chelsea Flowers, New York Fling, Park Avenue, So New York, High Line, Harrods For & Him, and Andy Warhol Montauk, Cooper Square, Washington Square and the opulent signature piece, Bond No. 9 Perfume, to name a few) and Laurice Rahmé are to be congratulated for producing another hit for Bond No. 9.
This luscious White Diva in Bloom, Harrods Rose, has stolen my heart and it now belongs to England. A true Entente Cordiale coup, I would say.
Available at Bond No. 9’s four New York stores, and www.bondno9.com