Sample sprays, one still in Bond № 9 royal blue foil wrapper, on pic of bottle with the Worlds Fair globe sculpture in gold.

On blind sniff I got the bergamot, and what I first thought was jasmine and apricot–but turned out to be tuberose and osmanthus–with sandalwood on the bottom.
The rest was just a pleasant spicy amber fruit mush that I couldn’t deconstruct, like that purple hard candy that you wonder what flavor it’s supposed to be.
Lasts a pretty day in personal space, finishing on vanilla ice milk musk.

Really nice, but other than an apropos slight hit of Chinatown, and the gorgeous bottle, kind of tame–

Queens NY is diversity and contemporary art, and Louis Armstrong and Rockaway beach, fusion street food, Houdini’s grave, Astoria, shopping for absolutely anything in Flushing, and crazy little museums about the oddest things–but it’s not tame.

(I remember walking under the El, before “Sunny Jamaica”–yeah, I’m old.)


Awkwafina is the best thing out of Queens right now.
(NSFW with five-borough-language.)

Fire Island

Fire Island 2
Bond no.9 samples with royal blue foil bonbon wrapper, and sunny orange bottle cut-out test paper, on vintage map of New York coastline.

Neroli, waves and sunshine.

I spent a few summers on Fire Island when I was little, the volleyball net at the Pines marking the nude beach–suits vs. skins games all day except high tide–and I’d come home with a pail full of seashells, a permanent sunburn and sand everywhere.

This scent has that freedom, wind and ocean spray and surf and naked skin, with a lovely base of top shelf zinc tanning lotion.

Projects two beach blankets over, and lasts til the sun goes down and the disco starts.

“Somewhere there is a gay man with a magic lamp and two wishes left.” -Jerrod C.


Bond No. 9 sample sprays and bottle shaped cut out tester with red cherry blossom design, and a fortune cookie.
[The best way to make a friend is to be one.]

Peach blossom candy and fortune cookies, creamy tuberose sharpened with cardamom, and a bite of sandalwood on the bottom.

There’s a voluptuous mystique to it, gorgeous but with an edge, the sweetheart next door with a femme fatale secret.

Elusive on skin and lasting on silk.
I love it.

I loved Chinatown, too, all the crazy smells and the languages and the colors, the shops with fish and spices and trinkets. The restaurant with the sweetest old man who taught me to eat with chopsticks when I still needed to sit on a phone book to reach the table–

I had to have the big bottle.
Iconic, star shaped, that might be a woman in a hat–a red reverse of the other side. (With a white paper parasol and take-out box in the background.)

Deee-Lite is also from New York. This song always makes me happy.


brooklyn No 9 edgyAlcohol and asphalt, perhaps.
I might get a slight gust of subway air rising from the station at Jay Street-Borough Hall. Maybe a whiff of the spices from the import stores on Atlantic Avenue, and possibly a floral green breeze from the Botanic Garden.

But Kings County New York isn’t tentative, or maybe.

Give me the jazz zest, the hip-hop fire and the Philharmonic sweetness.
Give me diesel fumes of the BQE, Fulton Street funk and Coney Island animalics.
Give me drag queen cheesecake, everything bagels and spumoni on the Bridge.

This stuff projects only inches, not the length of Flatbush Avenue, and lasts barely through lunch, much less a Spike Lee movie, or a season binge of 2 Broke Girls.

I was born there.
Don’t spill a weak gin and tonic on the sidewalk and tell me it’s Brooklyn.