Sniff My Rosebud

Even at this late stage of my cologne obsession, there are still surprises to be had, and I’m constantly amused by how little I know my own likes and preferences. If you’d told me I’d choose a floral over a woody scent, I’d have laughed richly. If you said I’d select something fruity over something spicy, I’d have called you nuts. Yet the nose knows what it wants, and will choose accords accordingly, despite what the mind and the educated guesswork might surmise. A case in point was my recent run-in with the Bond No. 9 line.

I’d just visited one of their stores in New York, and left impressed but not enraptured, and definitely not in love enough to justify the exorbitant price tags. Yet while waiting for Kira to deal with her shoe complex at the Harvard Square Tannery, I perused the small selection of Bond fragrances and fell in absolute love with the New York Oud.

It opened with a fruity blast of plum (two of my favorite frags – Plum Japonais and Pomegranate Noir – employ a fruity sweetness) and then something I never thought I’d like: rose. The classic floral note, so rich and redolent of history and grandmotherly overuse, was never on my radar, but that changed with Tom Ford’s ‘Oud Fleur’ – and the revolutionary turn-around is complete with ‘New York Oud.’ I find the namesake – the actual oud itself – is downplayed, but an integral component for keeping the floral aspect from blooming uncontrollably. It’s a delightful combination that on paper reads like a copy of the ‘Oud Fleur’ but in reality emanates an entirely different story – a story that needs to be part of my life. After spraying some on in the store, it haunted me for the rest of the day. I think I may have annoyed Kira with all my exclamations of adoration, but that’s what a good cologne does to me. Obsession and passion – two sides of the same sweetly-scented coin.

Of course, this puts a wrench in my holiday wish list, which has already been posted here. The good thing is, there’s always Valentine’s Day, and a rose fragrance may be more apt for that anyway.

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