Once the gourmand field became as popular as it has become the search was on for a gourmand fragrance that would exude a sense of sophistication to go along with its mouth-watering notes. In 2003, Maurice Roucel achieved this feat with the creation of New Haarlem for Bond No. 9.
Many gourmands make the error of amping up the food note, usually coffee or chocolate, to levels that make it hard for anything else to compete. In New Haarlem M. Roucel keeps the coffee note front and center but it is kept in balance at all times and in the prescient choices of notes to go with it, has created one of the finest gourmand coffee scents available.
The top of New Haarlem begins with the coffee note but there is a beautiful light fleeting movement of green notes that also appear right at the beginning. This passes quickly and cedar adds clean lines to the rich coffee and this is also complemented with an earthy feel of patchouli. I know that your thinking you've had this kind of woody coffee patchouli mix before, most notably in A*Men. This mix is entirely different as, in this case, the coffee is more pronounced and the cedar is almost used as a framing boundary in which the patchouli is allowed to add an herbal counterpoint. The base of New Haarlem simmers with amber and vanilla and it almost feels like a rich hazelnut coffee has been served and placed in a cup on my skin.
New Haarlem has above average longevity and above average sillage, although not as much as A*Men in either category.
If you are a lover of A*Men or are just looking for a coffee fragrance I think New Haarlem is the best cup available in town.