We review New York Nights, a delectable genderless gourmand by Bond No. 9 to celebrate the bright-lit skyline of Manhattan at night.
Bond No. 9
New York-based fragrance house Bond No. 9 stands out in more than one way. For starters, in an industry dominated by men, it was the first perfumery in The Big Apple to be headed by a woman, French-born Laurice Rahmé.
A graduate of Université de Vincennes and the École du Louvre, Rahmé began her career in Lancôme. She relocated to NYC in 1976, where she led the Lancôme Beauty Institute.
In 2003, Rahmé struck out on her own to found Bond No. 9, named for its headquarters at 9 Bond Street in Soho. It didn’t take long for her fragrances, for men, women, and unisex, to trend and develop a cult following among connoisseurs in the fragrance community.
She did so with two aspirations: to restore the artistry in perfumery and to pay homage to the great city that made it all possible by concocting a scent for each of the neighborhoods within New York City’s five boroughs.
Laurice Rahmé is highly protective of her, and her company’s, independence. “No corporate takeover for us,” the About page on Bond No. 9’s website says. “Just as much as we treasure our expansive customer base, we value our unfettered freedom to innovate and stretch our limits.”
In 2015, Rahmé became the first perfumer in the world to receive the Women for Peace Award from the United Nations for her commitment to peace and its spread internationally, raising funds for this cause with her 2006 Eau de Parfum (EDP), Scent of Peace.
New York Nights
|House||Bond No. 9|
|Fragrance||New York Nights|
|Concentration||Eau de Parfum (EDP)|
|Family||Warm and spicy|
|Description||Not your typical, tooth-achingly sweet gourmand. This is the epitome of a modern-day New Yorker.|
|Sizes||1.69 fl oz (50 ml), 3.4 fl oz (100 ml)|
Denatured Alcohol, Fragrance, Water, Limonene
When most people think of New York City, they really picture Manhattan.
Times Square’s bright lights. Rockefeller Center’s Christmas tree. Central Park’s Wollman and Lasker ice-skating rinks. The Empire State Building. The MoMa. The Met…
When Frank Sinatra sang about “the city that never sleeps” (culture flash: Sinatra’s New York, New York, was actually a cover of Liza Minelli’s 1977 original), he sang about Manhattan.
The densest, most diverse borough of them all, forever illuminated by the lights of Broadway, the neon signs of Chinatown, the bars and restaurants of Murray Hills. New York Nights is Bond No. 9’s celebration of it.
Of Manhattan’s evening skyline, ablaze with a riot of colors. Of its character, as mature as the country itself. Of its future, as bright as the towering lights in the night sky. A declaration of love, if you wish, for the heart of the city as lively and inimitable as the heart of the city itself.
I guess that’s why I feel so special and festive whenever I wear it. New York Nights makes me want to dance to the nightly rhythm of downtown. Others turn their heads and follow; they feel compelled to dance along with me.
The top notes are gardenia, carnation, and jasmine. The heart notes are flower bouquet, sea water, patchouli, and sandalwood. The base notes are coffee and salted caramel.
Imagine a couple running in the rain to the nearest coffee store, where they share a banana split dessert. Their clothes are still wet, but they’re happy. With that love-bird sparkle in their eyes, they share dessert while it’s raining cats and dogs outside.
The overall vibe I get from Bond No. 9’s New York Nights is banana split (without the Maraschino cherry), generously drizzled with caramel syrup and masterfully balanced out by earthy and woody patchouli.
The irony about all this is that there are no banana—or ylang-ylang—notes in this scent!
It’s as delicious of a gourmand as gourmands get, without being overly sweet. It’s one of those gala fragrances that you wear when you want to turn heads and get compliments; it’s too peculiar for everyday wear and a little too strong for daytime wear in the summer.
So where does that leave us?
Let’s just say it’s one of the most multi-faceted gourmands out there. It’s playful, but also mature. It’s abundant, but also bright. It’s sensual, but also majestic. New York Nights is absolutely perfect for cold-weather wear at night, ideally in the fall and winter.
New York Nights is the only gourmand scent I wear when I want to smell the way I feel inside: downright delicious. It’s so delectable, you can’t help but be enamored with your own scent.
It makes me feel like a gargoil-whispering, limousine-riding, golden-dress-wearing New York City goddess who’s out and about to celebrate her lust for life in the city.
What I find fascinating about this fragrance is that it smells equally enticing on men. Something about the chemistry of the male skin enhances the earthiness of the patchouli and the complexity of the salted caramel—and yet the sweetness of the banana remains.
It’s one of those scents you keep coming back to because it’s so addictive.
Is it worth its price? It depends on who you ask. And, if you ask me, I’d pay a thousand dollars if I have to just to have this precious gem in my collection again.
I guess that’s also because of the way I feel about Bond No. 9 perfumes as a whole. The NYC perfume house uses supreme-quality ingredients, and all of its scents are unique. But, if you are looking for a perfume on a budget, keep in mind that all of them come with a hefty price tag.
Of course, lovers of niche perfumes know that one can’t put a price tag on feelings. And Bond No. 9’s fragrance can do just that better than those of any other: evoke a feeling.
That’s just my opinion. And, if you’ve never tried New York Nights, you need to form an opinion of your own. Otherwise, this could end up being your most expensive blind-buy misstep.
Bond No. 9’s New York Nights is a niche fragrance with above-average longevity. When I spray it on the pulse points of my freshly bathed skin in the morning, it will last 8-10 hours on me.
You asked, we answered: Why some perfumes last longer than others
While New York Nights impresses with its longevity, it fails to do so in terms of sillage. The scent projects for 1-2 hours, then starts to sit close to the skin (a drawback of Bond No. 9 fragrances as a whole).
Layer Bond No. 9’s New York Nights with M. Micallef’s Ylang in Gold for a dark-ylang scent that’s feminine and sophisticated, and with Tom Ford’s Black Orchid for a heavy, intense, long-lasting scent that’s heavier on the masculine side.
Niche fragrance house Bond No. 9 offers its Eau de Parfum (EDP) New York Nights in two identical bottles: one with a capacity of 1.69 fl oz (50 ml) and the other with 3.4 fl oz (100 ml). The bottles are tall and slim, and have a lightweight cap that snaps into place.
Read our guide: Which size perfume to buy?
The price tag of Bond No. 9’s New York Nights is not for the faint of heart. On the day this review was published, the 1.69 fl oz (50 ml) bottle sold for $280 on the perfume maker’s online store, and the 3.4 fl oz (100 ml) bottle for $440.
Nothing even comes close to smelling like Bond No. 9’s New York Nights. This is one of the most unique scents that I have ever gotten a whiff of. That said, consider Tom Ford’s Black Orchid (unisex), Thierry Mugler’s Pure Havane (for men), and Carolina Herrera’s Good Girl (for women).
If you’re into gourmands and you’re on the hunt for a special-occasion scent, New York Nights might just be the one for you. It will get you so many compliments, you will eventually lose track of the count.