Complex and super feminine
I had Chinatown on my 'for test list' for years, and never found the opportunity to test it. My favourite department store, (the only Bond No.9 stockist in Australia), pulled the line back in 2010 with no prior warning, leaving me at a loss of where to find genuine samples. Finally I have a sample of Chinatown in the palm of my hand, and it gives me great pleasure to write my thoughts down in words.
I can certainly see why Chinatown is so popular, and I too consider it one of Bond No.9's better scents. It could be classed as either a gourmand or a sweet, woody floral.
Chinatown opens with a delicious licorice accord, much like a paper bag filled with soft, fresh licorice sticks. A few seconds later the scent settles into a smooth, sugary peach blossom and spicy cardamom blend. It had a very distinctive gourmand feel at first, one that I could thankfully tolerate as the sweetness never became too cloying on the skin.
The heart introduces a fascinating white floral twist. Gardenia and tuberose add a beautiful and somewhat seductive buttery-ness, which I find both complex and suitable. The floral accords in turn make the composition appear less foody, essentially shaking off the last of its gourmand qualities.
Chinatown becomes richer and smoother in terms of composition the more it develops. By the drydown, the woods, vanilla and patchouli are in full swing. I love patchouli, and in Chinatown it smells just about perfect when mixed in with the buttery white florals and sugary vanilla. All in all, this is a truly sensual and captivating olfactory experience.
I think it's essential that I stress my concern over Chinatown being labelled unisex. I'm one of the most open-minded people when it comes to gender and perfume, but in all honesty I think many men would shy away from something so sweet, feminine, and overtly pink. I really can't picture a man wearing this, sorry.
I am suitably impressed with Chinatown, but once again the price poses a slight concern. Why does Bond No.9 have to be so darn expensive? I just cannot bring myself to part with my hard earned cash for the chance to own one pretty bottle of Chinatown.