Coney Island is a weird yet fun fragrance. First of all, I was surprised to see a fragrance with these type of notes being marketed for summer use. Cinnamon, chocolate, cedar? YIKES! Well...... Not so much. :) Coney Island is a unique composition that starts off with a blast of melon, cinnamon & aqua notes. The beginning is strong & comes at you full force, but don't let that steer you away from this beauty. As it mellows down after a couple of hours, the musk, chocolate, lime & melon all appear on my skin in harmony with no note outdoing the other.
Coney Island projects nicely and last about 8 hours on my skin, which is good for a summer marketed fragrance as many of them are fleeting. I would think the cinnamon, chocolate, cedar & sandalwood are responsible for the fragrance holding up thus far along with higher quality of materials used. The only thing problem I find with Coney Island is versatility! If your not going to a beach & or amusement park, picnic, maybe even a zoo, I don't see where this would fit in. I would not wear this to the office as it does not fit in with that type of setting at least for me.
I do applaud Bond No 9 for creating a fragrance such as this. They stepped out on a limb & ran like the dickens! Rather you like this or not, it deserves credit for what it is.
There is something in the composition of perfumes from many houses that makes them identifiable. It’s not universal, but you can recognize a classic Guerlain when you come across it. Similarly, Caron, Estée Lauder, Montale, Amouage. It might be a similarity of style, it might be recognizeable notes. How many times have you heard people comment on the Guerlinade base, or that Andy Tauer’s perfumes having a similar drydown?
There are many reasons for using a common base. For some houses, Guerlain, de Nikolai, Amouage it’s the result of deliberate concept, or school of composition. In some other houses, it feels a bit more insular, the the range of perfumes in a line is smaller. Look at Montale, Juliet Has a Gun, Maison Francis Kurkdjian. I can’t really determine, and therefore try not to judge, whether the similarities among the line are intentional or not. A line might want to leave a calling card as it were. Recognition is the first step and branding, and most up-and-coming houses seek brand identifiability.
Christ, did Bond no Nine choose the wrong smell to identify their line.
Coney comes two years after it's direct predecessor, Bleecker Street, and in the same year as it's soul sibling in the Creed line, Virgin Island Water. Bleecker Street was a spectacular failure, attempting to merge the aquatic and gourmand trends in the same perfume. Not looking for nuanced composition, it simply thought it could get 200% fragrance in one bottle. Fulfilling multiple axioms in one fell swoop, bond No 9 is doomed to repeat the worst of their history. And while I'm not sure who got fooled first with Bleecker St and then again with Coney Island, to paraphrase W, I won't get fooled again.
The common thread to Bleecker, Coney and Virgin Island is the concentration of artificial flavors and qualities. Synthetic aromachemicals have made contemporary perfumery possible. But if quality is ignored, the synthetic/'natural' dichotomy isn't even worth discussing. In more careful hands, the aquatic/gourmand proposition might work. All I mean to say is that for a successful joining of disparate elements, more is required that pouring them into the same bottle, which is fundamentally what was done in Coney Island.
As if attempting to create a hyper-flavored 100% calorie free superfood, Bond squeeze the rancid quality of fat replacements, such as pure 'butter flavor', and the musk-buoyed motion sickness of fake piña colada mix (is there any other kind of piña colada mix?) into one lingering sick feel. You know story of the drunk vomiting person saying it was the last martini that did it, implying that puking had nothing to do with the eight that preceded it? Coney Island is the legendary ninth Martini.
I don't understand these perfumes, and facetiousness aside, they present me with a question to consider. I've read reviews at Basenotes and Fragrantica, and apparently there are people who like Coney Island. Is there any scent that is universally revolting? I don't find Secretions Magnifiques completely unappealing, but most find it universally repulsive.
Coney Island does inadvertently bring up an important point in perfumery and criticism. I don't like the smell of Virgin Bleecker Island, but preferences and opinions aren’t the whole point. I started this website in order to separate myself from public sites that tend to make the consideration of perfumes just a weighing in of opinion. In all subjective matters, opinions will be formed. Should opinion be the last stop in the discussion? My conclusion that Bleecker St, Coney Island and Virgin Island Water are similarly flawed compositionally and unsuccessful in their aims, isn't simply a loud way of saying that I don't like them. It's a critique of an aesthetic product.
Coney Island is kooky enough not to smell like a knock-off of another successful niche fragrance, and I give Bond No. 9 some credit for that. It starts out as a tart tropical fruit punch, but without the coconut of Virgin Island Water or the woody underpinning of Bahiana and Eau du Sud. Lacking these or their equivalent, Coney Island turns sour, thin, and more than a little abrasive as it develops. Perhaps this is meant to reflect the tacky/tawdry atmosphere of the scent's namesake park. If that's the case, too much has been sacrificed to metaphor.
Some time into the development a sweet melon note and what may well be the listed caramel rise to prominence and add a hard candy sweetness to the mix. Mercifully, the listed chocolate note doesn't make much impact, but the central accord steadily sweetens toward a very lightly spiced vanilla drydown.
Oceanic boozy note and opening that lasts more than an hour..overapplied in damp heat...great scents for the Tropics!
What a truly strange smell this is. Don't let the topnotes fool you - it's a bright explosion of sweet lime made sparkly and effervescent by a generous dollop of aldehydes. As the lime quickly fades, a subtle ginger comes in, meshing with the aldehydes to create a CDG Soda effect, but that is fleeting as well. The real stars of Coney Island are the weird chemicals.
This one sent me running to my little box of chemical ingredients to try to figure out what I was smelling. There are those aldehydes, which smell sparkly when mixed with citrus or ginger but more like frothed egg whites on their own (I can definitely see how other reviewers have said this smells like eggs - it's those aldehydes). There's an overdose of calone, which has an eggy undertone itself, but mostly smells like salt. And there's also a ton of Allyl Amyl Glycolate, which is sort of like a fake galbanum, but with a huge plasticky chemical brightness to it. All the ingredients listed in the pyramid (chocolate? cinnamon? whatever...) are overwhelmed by the chemical smells and only vaguely seem to ground the crazy synthetics.
Honestly, I've enjoyed wearing Coney Island, but only because I'm an ingredient nerd. I don't think it smells very good (more like a chemistry experiment gone haywire than anything remotely "beachy"), but it's kept me entertained. Points for weirdness, but with points deducted for smelling kind of gross, so I'm splitting the difference with a neutral rating...