NYC Fashion week starts today! New York Fashion Week is February 10-17 and is taking place on the WEST SIDE at Lincoln Center.
West Side is a neighborhood of Manhattan situated between Central Park and the Hudson River. The Upper West Side was settled by Dutch immigrants in the early mid-seventeenth century, with great resistance from the Indians living on the north end of the island of Manhattan. Attacks by Indians temporarily ended the expansion of Dutch settlements in the 1650s, leaving them with only a stretch of land known as “Bloemendal” which means ‘valley of flowers’. In 1703, what once was only farmsteads and countryside, Bloomingdale Road, later to become the “Boulevard” and eventually became Broadway, which was built to handle the traffic of increased commerce. The “West End”, a rural area that was largely underdeveloped throughout the nineteenth century, had become the site of country estates of the wealthy and their elegant mansions. In 1853 the creation of Central Park forced squatters to move west, changing the face of the district. Every year this growing population of low-income tenants brought the suburb closer to the big city and by the end of the Civil War, the area once originally named Bloemendal, or ‘valley of flowers’ was finally blended into New York City.
Throughout the late nineteenth century, high rise building development sprung up on the West Side, as developers invested in such grand projects as the Dakota, the San Remo, The Beresford, Ansonia and the Eldorado. The Beresford has been described as “a stone symphony”. The Ansonia has been home to numerous musicians, including the opera star Toscanini, and composers Stravinsky, Rachmaninoff, and Mahler. The first subway system in the country opened in 1904, which provided easier access to the West Side for residents of New York City. After Columbia University relocated from the East Side of Manhattan to the West Side in the 1890’s, an intellectual and artistic trend developed in the area. It was this artistic backdrop that endured throughout the early decades of the twentieth century.
The West Side is home to many New York landmarks such as Columbus Circle, Lincoln Center, Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic, New York State Theater (which hosts the New York City Opera and the New York City Ballet), Juilliard School of Music, to name just a few. Carnegie Hall, Tin Pan Alley, the Cotton Club, the Copacabana, Birdland, and the infamous Studio 54 have all been part of the West Side landscape.
Studio 54 opened in the 1970’s and symbolized the decadence of the day. Many fantasized about getting into the club, but only the fashionable and fortunate few were allowed entry to mingle with the stars. During the Studio 54 days, superstars such as Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Mick and Bianca Jagger, Liza Minnelli, Cher, Diana Ross, Elton John, Michael Jackson and Salvador Dali, partied at Studio 54. When owner Steve Rubell was uncertain as to what to give Andy Warhol for his birthday, he stuffed a garbage can full of dollar bills and presented it to the artist. Warhol said it was “the best present he’d ever gotten”. Studio 54 was the hottest disco in New York and the world. Another famous venue on the West Side was Birdland, a jazz club which opened in New York City in 1949. It was Charlie Parker who was the inspiration for Birdland. Other jazz legends at the club were Count Basie, John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis. The Copacabana was a hot spot 1940 and was known to be a speakeasy for mobsters. It was supper club/night club in the forties, fifties and sixties and became a disco in the late seventies. Sammy Davis, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis began their careers there. Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole, Carmen Miranda and Tommy Dorsey, were just a few of the stars that performed there.
The diverse music that came out of New York City is an important part of our American culture. It has been home to classical, the blues, jazz and rock. It is the birthplace of Latin freestyle, disco, hip hop and punk rock. It is also the birthplace of Salsa music (a fusion of Cuban, Puerto Rican and Dominican music) that sprung up from the Latino neighborhoods of New York City in the 1960’s. Of course, Manhattan is the home of the Broadway musical. This melting pot of the world also produced Tin Pan Alley and Vaudeville and because of this rich history, New York City has remained a major part of the music industry today. Whether it is classical, Broadway musicals, jazz, popular, swing, ragtime, salsa, rock, disco, rap and bebop music, West Side has been an important part of the New York City and American music scene.
West Side, the scent by Bond No. 9 celebrates the undisputed revolutionary musical heritage of New York City. This universal scent, which can be worn by both men and women, was designed to have a “musical flavor”. The Bond press release states that West Side is “an ultra-melodious eau de parfum that finds the scent equivalent for the sounds of music in its full-bodied, mellow composition, its undulating rhythms, its harmonies, its pitch, and yes, its notes. Whether they’re high or low, dark or light, sweet or sharp—notes are what music and fragrance are both about.”
The Olfactory Pyramid from Bond No. 9 also states that “The Rose… pays a visit to Roseland, (another iconic landmark of NYC) Ylang Ylang does the meringue, The presumptuous little Peony, all grown up and going to graduate school, the Julliard (no less); Sandalwood is impudently smooth as salsa jazz, Amber in Diva mode, as deep and rich as a mezzo soprano singing Carmen, Normally Naughty Vanilla goes elegant and takes a trip to Avery Fisher Hall and Musk that misbehaves when it meets vanilla and starts singing the blues”. I smiled as I read this and I could imagine each note coming alive after reading this whimsical description.
West Side opens with the seductive honeyed and intoxicating rose, literally blooming open as you wear it. The exciting ylang-ylang and peony sing in unison as the sandalwood and amber heart adds warmth to the floral’s. The long lasting base notes are composed of accords of soft whispering vanilla and musk. The scent is softly sexy, but not so much that it is too much. I would love to smell this on a man’s skin to see how it transforms.
I swear, when I wear West Side, I hear Puccini, Cole Porter, favorite Broadway tunes, the great George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, Jerome Robbins ballets, Sinatra, La Traviata, Carmen and the great jazz songs such as My Funny Valentine, Take Five and Summertime. The fragrance literally sings with joy and takes a life on its own. This unisex scent was created by perfumer Michel Almairac, who also created Bryant Park, Coney Island, Fire Island, Saks Fifth Avenue For Her and Scent of Peace. He has created a scent that is smooth as silk, very rich and very unique. West Side was introduced in 2006 and has become another cult favorite of Bond No. 9. The flacon is a hot fire-engine red whose art displays the large musical note, the universal symbol of music. West Side, the fragrance, like all music, is open to interpretation and everyone may smell a different melody of their own.
That’s the beauty of scent.
Bond No. 9 website www.bondno9.com
Bond No. 9 toll free number: 1.877.273.3369
Bond No. 9 New York Boutiques:
897 Madison Avenue (73rd Street) 212.794.4480
680 Madison Avenue (61st Street) 212.838.2780
399 Bleecker Street (11th Street) 212.633.1641
9 Bond Street (Broadway & Lafayette) 212.228.1732
Leave a comment in this post and enter to win a fabulous goody bag of Bond No. 9 candy samples! We will be holding a random drawing on Valentines Day (this Monday) Leave a comment and you will be automatically entered in this random drawing. Thank you for stopping by the new Bond No.9 Blog. Next week: Join us for another review of New York Oud and on Thursday we feature for “The Neighborhoods of Bond No. 9″ : HIGH LINE
Enjoy the videos below; the first one is a foot-tapping footage of Copacabana (Lola & Rico) from the thirties and forties from the Copacabana era and the the second video is Studio 54. You can listen to the music as you read about West Side, just in time for Valentines Day. West Side, the perfume celebrates all music!!!