Note to perfumers: please do not name your creations in ways that immediately evoke visions of an organic chemistry laboratory! Ineke CHEMICAL BONDING would be an example to avoid. In fact, the composition is much better than the name would seem to suggest to those of us who have tested way too many of the sickeningly synthetic fragrances on the market today. To be perfectly frank (quoi d'autre?), I actually do not understand and am indeed mystified by the weird “molecule” trend in avant-garde perfumery, with single synthetic notes being poured into bottles and sold as perfume at niche prices. Hello? Does this make any sense whatsoever? Why not just go to a chemical supply shop and buy yourself a bottle of the “special molecule” for a tiny fraction of the cost? But I digress...
CHEMICAL BONDING is another masculine-leaning composition by this house—along the lines of FIELD NOTES FROM PARIS, and I find it about as appealing. I wouldn't mind smelling it on someone else, but it's not something that I would go out of my way to acquire. Nor is it something that I'd go out of my way to wear, if I happened to have a bottle. To me, CHEMICAL BONDING seems like a generic men's citrus cologne which falls just this side of the natural/synthetic divide. Vetiver, citrus, light florality...you know the drill.
This one is a little deceptive at first. The initial notes present an incredible citrus melange: at times, I smell orange; at times, lemon; at times, grapefruit. This is quickly joined by a tea note. But then, just as you think you've got another typical modern citrus fragrance on your hands (or arms, or torso) it's like Ineke said "let there be peony." And there was. And it was good. If you like peony, you'll love this stage. As the scent wears on, the musky, powdery, clean base shows up and merges with the peony for a while until the peony runs its course and you're left with the powdery, clean, musk and woods. It's very nice, it's clean and fresh in a non-generic way, and it's unisex, but probably on the feminine end of the unisex spectrum. Lasting power is very good on me, as with all Inekes I've tried.
Chemical Bonding is a very nice tart citrus/tea scent that I find to be completely unisex. The citrus notes last and last, and the tea/peony notes compliment the citrus very well. Good stuff.
Wow, what a lemon! Is it just a burst of lemon with leaves, tree and bark? Is it just about to melt into a lemon meringue? Is it -- God forbid! -- just a lemon scented dish soap??
Just when I thought that lemon will overpower my senses, the lovely note of peony rose up. Stayed like that for about three hours and went into a very mild drydown.
This one is nice... but... it makes me think about L'Eclat d'Arpege by Lanvin and the comparison is definitely favors this old favorite of mine. It has the beginning of Sicilian lemon leaves, a lemony beginning, too, but a far more interesting one. A peony note it delivers is sweeter, and the lasting power is definitely 8 hours+ rather than about 5-6. I guess it's just me -- now I know what it feels like to find a Holy Grail since I'm turning down two new peony fragrances (this one and Paeonia by L'Occitane) with the same phrase: there's nothing this fragrance does that L'Eclat d'Arpege doesn't do for me.
Ah! Body chemistry!!
A few caveats: 1)I AM a peony lover/ searcher and 2) what I write here is what happens in my nose to this frag on my bod - I don't pretend to be objective.
On me Chemical Bonding opens sweetly citrusy with a sort of bergamot peony already peeking through. When the peony becomes full blown she's soft and round and super creamy. She shines this way for HOURS growing softer and creamier as she goes.
TOTALLY one of my fave peonies...many thanks to the BNer who pointed me to Chemical Bonding!