Saturday, April 6, 2013

A Walk in the Grass with Bond No 9's Madison Square Park

I've always loved how parks have a unique ability to capture the essence of a neighborhood or city. Being a city girl myself, there's nothing quite so magical as a large green space pinned between otherwise busy streets, tall buildings and the hustle and bustle of daily life. Almost all parks feel a bit like wonderland in their own way. I love Chicago's Grant Park, with Buckingham Fountain like the cherry on top providing a beautiful green space at the lake shore. My own city is returning to its brewing roots, dotting the many parks we're blessed to have with the biergartens we were famous for at the turn of the century. And of course, I cannot even begin to list the number of parks I hold in my heart in Paris. So of course the thought of a perfume inspired by l'esprit of a park truly captured my attention.

Given my obsession with perfume I jump at any and all opportunities I can get to smell fragrances I've never tried before. I've been intrigued by the artistic bottle design and New York inspired fragrances of Bond No 9 for some time, so when Nordstrom offered samples of Madison Square Park at checkout I couldn't say no. 

After reflecting upon the notes I gravitate to and those that I tend to find a bit too much, I can assert that I prefer fragrances with somewhat more earthy notes. Let's call it the "umami" of perfume. I presume judging a perfume by its bottle is just as bad as judging a book by its cover; however, it's hard not to guess what you're in for when you catch a glimpse of just how girly Bond No 9s bottles are. Bright, and filled with the notes one might find in a park (flowers, berries and grass, grass, grass) this fragrance pays homage to its namesake with a mix of notes that should be perfect for spring. Unfortunately, it's not for me.

The neon pink and electric green bottle that houses Madison Square Park contains a fragrance with notes of "grape hyacinth, huckleberry, prairie dropseed grass, red leaf rose, red hunter tulips and teakwood." When I first spritz Madison Square Park on my wrist I'm met with a cacophony of green notes that smell almost sweet and sour against my skin. The berry and grass notes are most evident on me, and unfortunately I never pick up much more. Evidently, Madison Square Park and my chemistry do not get along. It's worth noting that those who adore this fragrance liken it to Marc Jacobs Daisy and say that it has a clean, fruity quality that leaves them feeling optimistic. I'd agree with the many others who have written about this fragrance before me in saying that there is a definite citrus note that is not listed by the brand: at first spritz I detect grapefruit.

I wish I could go into a bit more depth about Madison Square Park, but against my skin there is no depth to explore! The grass and berry notes that make this fragrance what it is hit my skin like a ton of bricks and mix with my chemistry to create a fragrance not unlike a Sour Warhead. Despite my tendency to gravitate to notes more evocative of earthiness, I'm not opposed to bright clean florals particularly at this time of the year. Sadly Bond No 9's Madison Square Park left me wanting more.

Have you tried Bond No 9's Madison Square Park? What are your thoughts about this green grass and berry scented perfume?