Astor Place, Our Mesmerizing New Eau de Parfum, Inspired by New York's Most Vibrant Arts-and-Style Intersection
Launch date: March 2009
Suggested Retail Price: $220 for 100ml; $145 for 50ml
Back in the day, when Downtown was Uptown, nowhere in New York was grander than Astor Place—the enclave stretching between Broadway and Third Avenue, and floating between 14th and Houston Streets. Here, where much of the land was owned by the early 19th century fur-trading philanthropist John Jacob Astor, were situated the city’s greatest theaters, a row of colonnaded Greek Revival townhouses to rival Regent Park’s in London, the hallowed neo-Romanesque Great Hall of Cooper Union, the Renaisance-Revival Astor Library (now the Public Theater), and the neo-Renaissance shopping emporium John Wanamaker. Even the intersecting traffic thoroughfares added to the swirl of energy. Every street that enters the Astor Place energy field disappears and morphs into another street when it exits. (Eighth Street becomes St. Marks Place… Lafayette Street becomes Fourth Avenue… the Bowery becomes Third Avenue.) Clearly magic is at work here.
Astor Place kept a low profile through much of the 20th century. But then in 1967, Tony Rosenthal’s multi-ton gravity-defying geometric black metal sculpture, informally known as “the Cube,” was installed on its vertical axis right in the center of the plaza where Lafayette meets the Bowery. A bit to the south, that spacious promenade, Lafayette Street, is home not only to the acclaimed Public Theatre, where its see-and-be-seen Joe’s Pub now beckons to a stylish late-night crowd, but also tothe Astor Place Theater. Ensconced in Colonnade Row, it was there that Sam Shepard’s plays were once performed, while Blue Man Group has held the subterranean stage since 1991. Berthed in the ground-level spaces, meanwhile, are a series of ultra-elegant mid-century home furnishings shops.
With Astor Place back on its game, we at Bond No. 9 decided it was time for a namesake eau de parfum. Hence Astor Place, the scent, an intoxicatingly fresh spring floral that starts out with a bold and unapologetically seductive freesia-poppy-violet leaf composition, and then simmers down into the smooth, steady notes of teakwood and musk. It’s contemporary Downtown all right, with a lot of grace.
The surface design of the Astor Place flacon echoes the angles and cubes of the Rosenthal sculpture, but renders them in a range of triangles displaying the richest array of colors ever seen in the Bond No. 9 bottle repertory. These triangles also recall Astor Place’s lampposts, curbs, and even cracks in the pavement which are lovingly decorated with mosaic tile shards by local denizens. Art abounds on Astor Place—and now it’s in liquid form too.
Astor Place, the eau de parfum, is available in two sizes: 100ml and 50 ml, at Bond No. 9’s four New York City boutiques, www.bondno9.com, 877.273.3369, and at Saks Fifth Avenue nationwide.