One day I was waiting for a friend. During this time of boredom I found myself sniffing Bond No. 9 perfumes and hoping that I wouldn’t tumble over these colorful class bottles wearing exaggerated shoulder pads.¹ Success! No embarrassing accidents at the nice department store! The sales associate approached me, which I wasn’t in the mood for because I was going to waste her time. I wasn’t going to buy a Bond No. 9 that day (or any day, I don’t own any). Long story short, she was very pleasant, knowledgeable and sympathetic to my experience of waiting for my friend who was hopelessly screwed by mass transit at the moment. We talked about perfumes. I told her I liked roses and she gave me a sample of Bond No. 9 Signature because it was in her words, “a rose-oud but really, it’s just a huge rose.” To my surprise, I actually like this one. She steered me into the right direction as a good sales associate should!
In theory, Bond No. 9 Signature should be a rose-oud, a combo that is hella popular in perfumery. In comparison to many other perfumes with this theme, Signature is incredibly “synthetic”. I don’t think that is necessarily a negative. This really is Bond’s take on this popular combo. What does that mean? I’ll try my best to explain. Bond No. 9 perfumes are flashy and noticeable. I mean, you can see that with first glance with their packaging! They use bright colors and bold metallics. And in a way, this packaging translates into their perfumes. They smell “bright”. They’re also, in general, rather crowd-pleasing compositions. AKA they aren’t trying to isolate their audience with esoteric olfactory references. Anyway, let’s get to this Signature review.
The opening is a sharp rose with lemon Pledge/furniture polish. I don’t know how to explain it but this also comes across like huge handfuls of sudsy non-sulfate-free shampoo. It smells like a soapy lather. It’s a citrus rose with some sort of melon-aquatic thing going on. It’s like an East meets West perfume (think like Montale) was dropped into Davidoff Cool Water cologne. To my surprise, I thought this was a rose-oud. Nope. This is an aquatic rose! Most of the wear of this is like an aquatic/melon and lemon-y rose. There’s a noticeable sharp, white musk. Eventually that’s what Signature dries down to…except it’s more of a laundry white musk with scrubbed hardwood floors.
If you’re looking for an oud from the brand, leave this one alone and try their New York Oud. If you are looking for a bombastic rose, then maybe you’ll like this. If you are the sort of person that wears designer masculines but want a rose version of that, try this. I think that’s who would get the biggest kick out of Signature. It’s basically an approachable rose for those that typically wear stuff with “Homme” or “Man” in its name.
Notes listed include oud, rose, tonka beans and musk. Launched in 2009.
Give Signature a try if you like aquatic florals or big roses. Or perfumes like Bond No. 9 Shelter Island, Kenzo Pour Homme, Aramis New West for Him, Davidoff Cool Water for Men, Montale Aoud Samarkand and/or Estee Lauder Beyond Paradise for Men (RIP).
Projection and longevity are above average. It’s one of those that I wear and get compliments on, but I don’t know if it is actually the perfume itself or because people know I’m wearing perfume so they say something. I also encounter this phenomena with Montales like Montale Aoud Damascus.
The 1.7 oz bottle retails for $295 at Saks. There’s also a body cream and candle available with this fragrance.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – An aquatic rose. It’s not as delicate as something like D.S. & Durga Rose Atlantic because it’s rather loud, metallic and woodsier. I should hate Signature, but I don’t. I also don’t love it enough to drop like $300 on something like this.
¹Honestly, these bottles have always reminded me of some sort of pop art dish-washing detergent bottles and I can’t explain why.
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*Sample obtained by me. Product pic from the brand. Robert Stack (yes, That Robert Stack from “Unsolved Mysteries” if you’re an 80’s baby) pic from fanpix.net. Post contains affiliate links. Thanks!