Genre: Woody Oriental
Finally! A Bond No. 9 scent that doesn't come out of the bottle smelling exactly like something else. There's a massive rose here, and something that smells to me like an unlisted patchouli note, but the rose is far too sweet and winey to conjure up Voleur de Roses. West Side remains quite sweet as it develops, though the rose mellows to make room for other, somewhat indolic floral notes. There's some obvious vanilla in the foundation, along with a faintly animalic amber, and it's the floral, vanilla, and amber combination that dominates West Side for several hours on my skin. With time a raunchy little musk note pops out of the shadows to lend the scent a palpably "naughty” edge.
Later on the pendulum swings back, as the rose detaches itself and moves forward once more. Then, over a couple of hours, the entire composition slowly folds down into a soft amber and vanilla drydown. West Side has more character than many of the other Bond No. 9 scents, and its relatively long lifespan is another advantage. While I don't think it's earthshaking, I do consider it one of the line's more worthwhile scents.
I know a couple of Michel Almairac’s roses. Voleur de Rose for l’Artisan Parfumeur and the inexpensive but spectacular Cabaret for Grès. Voleur is a beautifully simple-to-wear patchouli rose with and earthy/fruity bent. Cabaret is a long-lasting musky rose/incense and one of the best perfumes available for about 25 bucks. Clearly, the perfumer knows his way around a rose garden.
If you like West Side, it is a richer, more complex perfume than either of the above two. If you’re not fond of it, it’s just more complicated. West Side doesn’t have the transparency of Cabaret or the succinctness of Voleur, but it is a well considered take on the gourmand-floral. West Side is built on a woody rose/vanilla core that gets pulled this way and that by a number of modifiers, making it a difficult perfume to categorize. Peony pulls the rose in a loud, frazzled direction. A sweet milkiness, I assume a sandalwood analogue, pulls the rose in a woody/creamy direction. Vanilla takes the rose toward the gourmand, but it’s not a Willy Wonka over-the-top dessert frenzy. It smells a bit like a rich, creamy porridge with rosewater. If the ‘neither/nor’ thing bothers you, West Side might not be your cup of tea. But if you like the idea of a perfume that presents a different face to different perspectives, give it a go.
West side isn’t my bag, but I can dig it, baby. It’s nicely composed, it wears very well over time and has an unhurried, zaftig sensibility. It’s dense and cozy, more a ‘come hither’ fragrance than a sillage monster.
boozy and sugary..right for the summer heat, maybe on the feminine side!
Lovely, and perhaps a bit soft
Rose from start to finish, other soft flowers throughout. A pretty scent, a hint of musk for a bit of animalistic darkness, but it is so slight that it is way in the background. Unisex, most certainly. For a soft mood.
This Bn9 opens with Amber and vanilla. I would call it a gourmand b/c the vanilla is strong. There is a fruit note, perhaps what I call 'Bond plum'. The rose note is prominent and blends with the vanilla. While not for me, it is one of Bonds better selections.
Pros: Warm, sweet, vanilla rose