For Bond No. 9’s high-spirited, holiday-time eau de parfum launch, the inspiration is Washington Square—that outspoken patch of greenery with built-in bocce courts, chess tables, Scrabble zone … and (not to forget) its own triumphal arch.
Bond No. 9 Washington Square
Launch date: November 2010
For Bond No. 9’s high-spirited, holiday-time eau de parfum launch, the inspiration is Washington Square— that outspoken patch of greenery with built-in bocce courts, chess tables, Scrabble zone… and (not to forget) its own triumphal arch.
The city park: by definition, a place to relax and unwind. But what happens when the neighborhood surrounding that park is already unwound? Then you get that elegant yet iconoclastic urban oasis known as Washington Square. Located at the base of Fifth Avenue in Greenwich Village, surrounded by stately Greek Revival townhouses and NYU mega-buildings, Washington Square is a world class public space—frequented by students, professors, drifters, hipsters, chess players, guitar players, bocce players, moms with their kids in strollers, and a steady stream of visitors sauntering along the gently curving walkways that surround this park’s very own triumphal arch. Mark Twain came here. So did Charles Dickens, Pete Seeger, Stanley Kubrick, Buddy Holly, Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, and (not least) Henry James, whose novel Washington Square has its setting here.
A spirit of rebelliousness has long pervaded Washington Square—which, after all, was named for the leader of the band of revolutionaries who founded this country. For the centennial of Washington’s inauguration in 1889, Stanford White (the great architect of the Age of Opulence) designed a wood-and-stucco arch in the style of Paris’s Arc de Triomphe, to reside at the north end of the square. It proved to be such a success that White was commissioned to render it in more permanent marble. The result is a stately and imposing structure that reflects power and might, even as it continues the rebel spirit of this landmarked public space. In 1917, the playfully scandalous Dada artist Marcel Duchamp and a group of friends ascended the arch, lit a bonfire, and read a resolution proclaiming the Republic of Greenwich Village, which they toasted with Champagne.
A similar defiance defines Bond No. 9 Washington Square—an iconoclastic, thoroughly modern rose-inflected eau de parfum that we hasten to debut on the occasion this month of the park’s reopening following a lengthy refurbishment. Washington Square, the eau de parfum, pairs the old-fashioned purple rose with tarragon, vetiver, and an unexpected leather accord. The result is an assertively dissident scent that never forgets to be beautiful; it has a female-male crossover appeal, whose balance is on the female side.
In a first for Bond No. 9, the bottle displays a contemporary vision of Washington Square, viewed through its arch past casually dressed park-goers in the foreground. So detailed is this photo-negative image that we even see the coffered square panels of the arch’s interior—each square with a carved rosette at its center. Rendered in filmy, faded blue, the surface design recalls the muted tones found in antique daguerreotypes. The bottle, like the square, is simultaneously old and new.
Arriving on-counter on November 1, 2010, Bond No. 9 Washington Square will be sold at Bond No. 9’s four New York stores, at Saks Fifth Avenue, at Harrods in London, and online at bondno9.com. Price: 3.4 ounces, $230; 1.7 ounces, $150; gold pocket spray, $95.
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