New Haarlem is probably one of Bond No. 9’s most iconic fragrances, along with Chinatown (on the female side). It’s a grotesque, “extreme” gourmand that pushes the envelope with a set of roasted, burned, and syrupy notes that walk the line between cloying/intense and appetizing/comforting.
I like extreme gourmands a lot – they are impolite and they don’t pussyfoot around with the idea of food as fragrance. They don’t make any apologies. Done right, they are both satisfying and cartoonishly awful in equal measure. In this category, I place Jeux de Peau, Cadavre Exquise, A*Men, and yep – New Haarlem.
To my nose, New Haarlem smells like roasted black coffee beans over a soapy, aromatic lavender cologne. The lavender here has the same sun-roasted, “garrigue” effect I notice in Eau Noire, that intensely woody, aromatic aroma of crushed lavender buds which is what creates the roasted coffee impression.
It is certainly a very dark and woody coffee smell - very attractive and distinctive. I can’t think of anything else that smells as close to real coffee as this does. I pick up on a creamy vanilla sweetness later on, but I can’t say that I perceive any syrupy notes at all. And I certainly don’t pick up the famous pancake accord.
To my nose, this is all coffee, intensely black and roasted at first, then smoothing out into sweet, milky coffee in the drydown, draped over a soapy, aromatic barbershop fougere. It strikes me as incredibly masculine. I like it very much, but find it too butch for me to pull off comfortably.
My husband, on the other hand, had a completely different experience. That is to say, it smelled the same on his skin as it did on mine, but his understanding of New Haarlem jives far more closely with the majority opinion of the scent on Basenotes and elsewhere. Without telling him what the fragrance notes were, I sprayed it on him and asked him to tell me what it smelled like. This is what he said:
“Nuts, specifically pecans, and that Danish pastry you like with the pecans. There is a lot of syrup here. Yes, it smells exactly like the bakery where I get the croissants and pecan Danish for you guys at the weekend. It is like wearing a pastry. This is far too sweet. I could maybe like this if I were feeling hungry and wanted to smell something a little sweet. But I wouldn’t wear this, really. It’s way too sweet.”
New Haarlem smells like a plate of pancakes and syrup. I went through 3 sample vials before eventually pulling the trigger on the smaller bottle for 91 USD. I'm so happy I finally did! This scent is a must for people who love gourmand fragrances.
When dabbing from the sample vials, I was lucky to get 3 hours before it became a skin scent. I haven't been wearing the juice from my bottle long enough to report its longevity, but the 5 sprays I put on a few hours ago are much stronger than the dabs I've previously used. I feel like the projection is about 4 feet and the potency is better than the samplers.
TLDR; If you like the gourmand category and also like the smell of a syrup-y breakfast then this is right up your alley. Because this one is unique in my opinion, I'm giving it a 10/10.
IHOP. For those in parts of the world that are unfamiliar with IHOP, New Haarlem is what an unhealthy breakfast smells like in America.
This is what Mr. Roger's sweater would smell like.
Wonderful fall fragrance. Nothing much to add to the other reviews but this really does smell like drinking a cup of sweet coffee at a pancake house. Coffee, waffle, maple syrup and a ton of sweetness. Warm and inviting and virtually impossible to dislike. Projects like a beast and lasts and lasts. Single note fragrance with zero drydown but the nose never gets bored and it never feels cloying.
Check out ck one shock - its way cheaper and it has the same vibe going on. Any way, new Haarlem should be in everyone's collections - gourmand done right and can be worn any season by anybody.