First the Hamptons, then Montauk, then Sag Harbor and at last comes Shelter Island, Bond No. 9’s Summer ’14 beach scent (an astonishing marine oud). The East End is now fully perfumed.
At Bond No. 9, they always know when summer’s ahead. That’s when they introduce a new New York beach-centric scent. Summer 2014 is no exception—and as in the past, they're deriving their inspiration from the East End. You know. Those two spits of precious, all but priceless land and shoreline which literally jut out like direction pointers from the eastern most end of Long Island into the North Atlantic. Also referred to as the North and South Forks, this is the fabled, sought-after terrain where untold numbers of Manhattan denizens choose to decamp, hobnob, and even occasionally (and amazingly) relax on July and August weekends.
They have already done eaux de parfum for the ultra-stylish, see-and-be-seen Hamptons; the still somewhat funky former fishing outpost of Montauk; and the quaint village of Sag Harbor, which retains its old-fashioned charm. So it came as no surprise when inquiring perfumistas and beachcombers alike began asking, What about Shelter Island? You didn’t forget it, did you? No they didn’t.
Shelter Island, 27 square miles located sandwiched between the North and South Forks, complete with a sizable nature preserve, meandering creeks, wandering deer, and Queen Anne and Colonial Revival mansions, is their Summer ’14 beach scent which arrived on counters Memorial Day. It’s a magical place, unique in many ways. For one thing, everything is slow paced on this island. The speed limit never exceeds 35mph, and even the über-stylish Rivieraesque Sunset Beach Hotel maintains the island’s low-key charm that, amazingly, is even more laid back than Sag Harbor’s (which is saying a lot). After all, this is storm-protected terrain where Manhasset Indians and later sugar merchants, Quakers, and fish processors found sanctuary.
Shelter Island, the scent, has a delightful magic of its own. The world’s first marine oud, it is a revelation. A jaunty, sparkling-clean, decidedly unisex, quietly daring blend of oud—the precious and seductive Eastern-world hardwood that has recently become a mainstay in Western perfumery with algae extract, a savory and energizing nautical note. Like Shelter Island itself, it hints of nonchalant exotica. The starter notes are fresh and sparkling citrus zest and freshly ground black pepper; together they deliver a decided punch. Then comes a segue into seemingly contradictory mid-notes: soft and beckoning white lilies accompanied by bracing and briny algae extract. Imagine a garden by the sea. That’s the effect here. And for the kicker: Oud, combined with another iconic wood note, sandalwood, as well as amber, myrrh, and musk—all of them reliable base notes that add warmth to Shelter Island’s aquatic flavor. But it’s oud above all—the same oud used in the Eastern world to scent lapels so that its sweet, woody scent dominated during traditional cheek-to-cheek greetings—that provides Shelter Island’s unique flavor.
With the bottle design, shipshape simplicity is served. One side of the Bond No. 9 superstar bottle proudly displays jaunty deep blue and white stripes. (How often do you see stripes in perfume bottle decor? How about hardly ever?) Turn the bottle over, and, the design reverses to pristine all-white. Shelter Islanders will appreciate the spare-ness of it all....
About Bond No. 9 New York: In business for ten years, Bond No. 9 is an edgy downtown perfumery, committed to designing artisanal scented evocations of the neighborhoods and streets of New York—from Riverside Drive to Chinatown to Coney Island. Bond No. 9 has a dual mission: To restore artistry to perfumery, and to mark every New York neighborhood with a scent of its own. Each fragrance represents a specific downtown, midtown, or uptown locale or a city-wide sensibility. An impassioned client base advises us on which parts of town they’d like us to do next. What Laurice Rahme is doing, is scenting the entire island.
Shelter Island, Price: 100ml, $260; 50ml, $195