Fills the Deci-Dela Discontinuation Void
Speaking of raspberries, there are a couple of very good fruity chypres with raspberry at their center. One is the now-discontinued Nina Ricci DECI DELA, which is a fruity chypre in the style of Guerlain MITSOUKO but with a strange and somewhat forbidding opening, which probably explains why it was discontinued. The drydown, for those with the patience to wait, is a completely gorgeous textured modern chypre.
Happily, Bond no 9 has produced three perfumes in this general style, with important distinctions, but still capturing the same texture which I love so much in fruity chypres such as (unreformulated) MITSOUKO, Rochas FEMME, and DECI DELA. The three Bond perfumes are: LEXINGTON AVENUE, CHINATOWN, and BRYANT PARK.
Lots of people seem to love CHINATOWN, which is more oriental in character and packs a load of peach blossom along with its spice bundle (with cardamom prominent, to my nose). Lots of people seem to loathe LEXINGTON AVENUE, for reasons which continue to elude me, given the manifest similarities between it and CHINATOWN, above all the patchouli and cardamom. I have not heard too much talk about BRYANT PARK, which offers the same contemporary fruity chypre structure but with far less orientalia and far more fruit, in particular: raspberry.
This is a very fruity perfume, but the fruit does not smell artificial and sickening as it does in many designer fruity-florals and even in some of the tsunami of fruit-choulis. In BRYANT PARK, the raspberries are half way between jam and fresh, but they are not too sweet and definitely not dripping with sugar syrup. The rhubarb may be helping to moderate the sugar content somewhat. The raspberries here are, however, still sweeter than the raspberries of DECI DELA, so that's a bit of a caveat: it's not a guarantee that you'll like BRYANT PARK if you like DECI DELA, but there is a good chance that you will, it seems to me.
In a side-by-side comparison of BRYANT PARK and DECI DELA, I find that the openings are quite different with a big blast of raspberry in the former and an almost plasticky strangeness in the latter case. DECI DELA passes through a manifestly MITSOUKO-like stage which BRYANT PARK does not, but the two begin to converge toward the drydown, with the same fruity chypre texture in each. I love both of these perfumes, which really means something given that raspberry is quite far from being one of my favorite notes.
Based on the negative reviews which I seen of BRYANT PARK, this composition may play out differently on different wearers and to different noses--I mean more than the usual. Therefore, I definitely advise that even someone who loves/loved DECI DELA try before they buy BRYANT PARK.
To my nose, this is a high-quality raspberry-rhubarb-rose-chypre perfume. Yum.