I have never explored the Bond No.9 line – mainly because they are constantly slated. Well, in a recently sample grab bag from a friend, this little thing was included. So heck, why not
Chinatown is bright, fruity and girly from the get go. A bright, synthetic peach and a candied cherry smell. It’s a more floral version of cracking open a back of gummy candies. It’s very sweet, a little “plastic-y” but moorish! It borders on a slightly more simplistic, and less glam version of Love by By Kilian which I recently wrote about. It is softer than the Kilian, but similarly, orange blossom dominated.
The orange blossom in the heart of Chinatown is completely light-hearted, delicate and sugar-coated. There’s some nondescript white florals underneath, listed as tuberose and gardenia – they’re non-existent to be honest. It’s all sweet fruits and orange blossom, with that synthetic plastic shine on top. A vanilla underneath joins in turning this from floral fruit, into full on floral fruit gourmand. The vanilla with the faux-white florals gives off a coconut sort of vibe, but still, dominated by the orange blossoms and a hint of jasmine.
The peach burns off quickly, but there is still a fruitiness throughout the heart, more of a rich red fruit, like plum – it just has that slightly dense fruity effect that probably comes from some clever little aromachemical.
The first time I sampled this, I thought it smelt like walking past the Lush bathbombs, and I still kind of agree with that – only it’s much softer.
Thankfully the base holds some bitterness – some oakmoss and sandalwood. The jasmine and orange blossom with that hint of vanilla go on for hours, and the scent just manages to hold a personality of its own.
Personally, I prefer the more over-the-top Love by By Kilian for something in the same genre (minus the faint skeleton of a chypre in here) – loud, sweet, heavy, syrupy gourmand floriental. Chinatown is still a nice enough fragrance – not what I would consider a 5 star masterpiece as it has been called before, but still. I wouldn’t say it’s made me want to try the rest of the Bond line – but if this is apparently the best they’ve got, then I’m satisfied enough to ignore them for a while
Bond No.9 Chinatown 100ml EDP – £175 Harrods