Perfumers could save themselves a lot of grief and many dismissive and gratuitously nasty reviews (a trend which may have been popularized by "The Holey [sic] Book"), if they would simply stop naming their creations literally. Another case in point from Bond no 9, NEW YORK OUD, as so many reviewers have complained, does not smell like oud. Because nearly everyone focuses upon the literal name of a literally named perfume when it come times to pen a review, all sight is lost of the quality of the perfume, as the quest to prove false advertising exerts a strangely powerful effect on sniffers, who proceed to spend most or even all of their words denying that the perfume is what it says that it is. In the meantime, some among them forget all about the much more important question: does it smell any good? I think that reviewers would do well to heed the wise words of Socrates, who maintained that poets are the last people to ask about the meaning of their poems, and perhaps olfactory artists, for their part, should not presume to be able to tell us what we can expect to experience when we spritz on their perfumes. Do yourselves a huge favor, O Noble Perfumers: name your wares metaphorically and leave it up to us to decide which notes are salient!
Fortunately, for the vast majority of their expansive collection, the folks at Bond no 9 have not made this mistake, because the names of their perfumes are, generally speaking, non sequiturs. Do they have anything whatsoever to do with the compositions themselves? No. They are nearly all the names of streets or neighborhoods in the greater metropolitan New York area, which, you can take on my testimony, do not smell anything at all like the contents of any of the Bond no 9 bottles. Thankfully, this house is not avant garde enough to bottle the sickening odor of serial killer crime scenes and the like, so their offerings actually tend to smell like perfumes and colognes, not some "revolutionary" but totally unwearable nonsense which seems to me about as masterful as a plate of plastic food.
It is true that, in the naming of their perfumes after neighborhoods and streets, Bond no 9 has gone astray in a few cases with their "map of Manhattan method", throwing darts which landed a bit far afield, on the state of Texas, or the city of New Orleans, or (?) department stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue or Harrods. But, for the most part, the names of their perfumes are just plain old places in or near New York City, ironically enough, one of the stinkiest cities I've had the displeasure of visiting. I actually cringe at the thought of living there, with the omnipresent bags of garbage piled up in the street, the complete lack of wind (obstructed by the buildings) and, in summertime, the sweltering heat causing all of those ugly, noxious odors to vaporize. In a word: No. If success be a job in New York City, by all means, let me fail. But I digress...
The interesting thing about NEW YORK OUD is that once you get beyond the fact that it's not really an oud perfume--certainly not in the classic sense--then you become open to the discovery that, in fact, this is a fine saffron-rose oriental composition. I don't think that it's the best one around, but it's certainly not a worthless piece of junk, as some "Where's my oud?" reviewers have suggested. Based on my preliminary testing, I'll definitely be giving this creation another try. It is quite potent, so there is plenty left in my sample vial for another time. My less-than stellar rating reflects my dissatisfaction with the opening of this perfume, which reminded me somewhat of the toner cartridge opening of ENCRE NOIRE, but here it was more volatile and nearly overwhelming. However, all of that appears to have been a mere distraction, and after a few minutes I ended up being pleasantly surprised with the saffron-rose drydown.