Central Park West
Bond No. 9, 2012
Nose: Laurent Le Guernec
Oooh! and Urgh! … Huge, monstrous floral… Brute! Wonderful!
It is so strong and so unappealing, that it immediately becomes a caricature of itself. But! But… Actually, that brutalism (Goddess! It soooooo reminds me of British brutalism, with all it slabs of concrete, and concrete modernity!!!) is something from which you just can’t take your attention away… You know, that disgust which just keeps you so hooked up that you can’t stop yourself from immersing yourself more and more into that, which repulses and fascinates you at hte same time…
The narcissus opening of the fragrance is huge! Monstrous, as I have written, and I think there is quite a big chance I will be saying this again and again here… It also is rather skewed from the very beginning, towards jasmine, which is listed in the heart notes.
After 30 min or so, the whooping narcissus, thick and overpowering, is thinning in the air, cold air, as if somebody opened a window in the stuffy room: while you still feel the heat and some sort of clumsiness around you, you can also feel thinning of the cold transparency of fresh air that is pouring over the window. At first, lingering down at your feet, heavy and icy, and while it warms up and lightens, it slowly starts moving up. Similar connotations came to my mind at 30min or so into wearing the Central Park West perfume on my left forearm…
Ha! A little surprised I am! As I awfully dis/liked those very first magnamite whoops, now enjoying and exhaling with release that I will not suffocate, I also feel certain… hmmmm… longing for that preponderant (and preposterous!) fragrance opening… Truly, a love and hate affair is going on here!
Another surprise: later on the day, the perfume’s cold air element that saved me from asphyxiation with narcissus blow in the opening, now that icy air demineralizes and liquidifies into watery, very watery, translucent, wet scent, where aqua keeps inhibiting the notes behind the waterfall, and only few mange to escape the H2O cover. The cold air became the clear stream of water… Very interesting, and rather surprising!
Really rather handsome and riveting dry down playing on mossy, wet air, and to me: surprisingly enjoyable. (I normally despise the ‘aquatic’ and ‘ozonic’ ‘freshness’, cf. Bleecker Street also by Bond No. 9, or Penhaligon’s Quercus reviews). And that hint of vetiver sealing the base: Ha! it was quite surprising a voyage after all with this perfume! From the very beginning, I was sceptical to this fragrance as it is promoted as a ‘feminine floral’, which along the ‘aquatic’ compositions, hardly ever appeal to me.
But here it is – Central Park West with its huge narcissus pummel in my face! At first, I have almost choked at it, but also since it just was so much over the top and unapologetic – I have become immediately fascinated and just couldn’t stop myself from being drawn to that perfume, which inevitably seemed an abject. And the longer I allowed myself to stay with it, the more curious and sympathetic I grew…
Notes: narcissus, ylang-ylang and pepper // jasmine, gardenia, lime (linden) blossom and orris root // vetiver, oak moss, oak and musk.
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