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New Haarlem - Coffee, anyone?

Photo -  NYC Empire State Bldg. 2006

 Feet hit the floor, down the stairs, into the kitchen, dog out, dog in, coffee – aaahhhh. The day has begun.

I LOVE the smell of coffee in the early morning; in fact, I think I love the smell more than I love the taste. I grind the beans just before starting the coffeemaker and the dark, bitter, deep-roasted aroma fills the kitchen. Can you bottle this incredible smell?

Well, yes - if you’re Bond No. 9 and you ask Maurice Roucel to create New Haarlem. With notes of bergamot,  green leaves, coffee, cedarwood, lavender, vanilla, amber and patchouli, this is a fragrance for both men and women with gourmand tastes, who love the allure of niche scents. As gourmand scents go, New Haarlem is one of the best.

Bond No. 9 is a NYC  based  niche brand, started by Laurice Rahmé in the 1990’s, whose mission is to restore artistry to perfume, and to create an olfactory map of Manhattan. The company has chosen unique Manhattan neighbourhoods and had perfumes designed and named for them. The best of the range includes New Haarlem, which Maurice Roucel created from his love of jazz - dark smoky jazz clubs, dark faces, black coffee, dark rum, the result being a warm, rich, intoxicating aroma with an herbal twist.

The scent opens with a blast of coffee, cedar and green leaves, slightly bitter, like the smell of the dark beans as I grind them – this is the part that I wanted in a bottle and here it is! Then the aroma becomes creamy from the vanilla, but I can assure you this doesn’t smell just like a cup of coffee. This is much different, and much more.

As the scent settles on my skin, a slightly herbal and powdery lavender note wafts up, a surprising contrast, like the curly piece of lemon zest that comes with the little cup of  Italian espresso (there is bergamot in this, too – can I smell lemon or am I imagining it??). Into the drydown, amber adds a soft sweetness,  fizzed up by an herbal patchouli, which leaves you wearing a scent with a delicious subtle sillage. The best thing is that this fragrance does NOT smell like food on my skin, it has a warm intriguing scent that lasts for hours and hours.

New Haarlem was love at first sniff for me, and like a steaming, fresh cup of dark roast, it’s become quite addictive. Many gourmand fragrances with notes like chocolate, vanilla or booze, make the food note the monumental centrepiece, and the other notes kind of fall off the edge of the plate……or cup…….or glass. This gourmond fragrance uses green herbal notes as a balance to the coffee, preventing it from becoming heavy, or too "foody" - the herbal notes cut the richness, and provide an unexpectedly elegant counterpoint to the coffee note. This makes all the difference, raising New Haarlem above the simple gourmand category, into the "best of" category.

I love the comment Tania Sanchez makes about New Haarlem in Perfumes: The Guide – the fragrance makes her think that the kind of guy who uses it probably has a five o’clock shadow by eleven a.m. ……….John Hamm from Mad Men, perhaps?

No matter who uses it, I think New Haarlem is the best of the coffee scents. You don’t drink this smell – just wear it and love it.


New Haarlem is listed in our Decant Store, Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml. 


Exciting Etat news!

Thanks for the news! Will definitely have to check Murale out...and from my POV, the lack of Secretions Magnifique is actually quite okay. I know it got a 5-star review from Luca and Tania, but for me, it was a scrubber--couldn't get past the bilge-like top, couldn't find a hint of the florals supposedly underneath. Though I love Rien and Tilda's Like This, and sniffed Putain de Palais yesterday and found it interesting too.

Have also been hunting for Andy Tauer and see that The Perfume Shoppe in Vancouver carries him...might be time for a mail order--tried Lonestar Memories and loooove that creosote/tobacco/leather combo. Delish! And his Vetiver Dance!

Lonestar Memories

I smelled this awhile ago. Yuck. It smelled like a railroad tie to me, and not much else. If you want a REALLY good creosote, try TAR by Comme des garcons becuase it least it ends up smelling like a perfume.

Will check out Tar

Guess we'll have to agree to disagree on Lonestar Memories. I thought it was amazing--but then I've always had an affection for railway ties! ;) But I'll definitely check out Tar as well--never thought I'd like tar/rubber scents so much, but turns out I do. (Bulgari Black is another fave, picked up at a perfume discount shop!)

Re: Will check out Tar

We are going to add Tar to our line-up, along with a bunch of other scents, next week. You can order a sample then if you like.

Good enough to eat

Gourmand scents: yummy! I looove 1270 by Frapin--the cognac, cocoa, vanilla, candied orange, honey, leather, woods. I also find myself compulsively sniffing myself when I wear Mauboussin, full of vanilla and dried fruit and spiciness. Then there's Lolita Lempicka Fleur de Corail by Maurice Roucel, which, while I'm not sure it's technically a gourmand, has the sweetness of cake to my nose: lists the notes as grapefruit and bergamont on top, frangipani and vanilla orchid in the middle and driftwood, musk and amber in the base, and I've never thought of driftwood and amber as edible, but hey, I want to eat it! Also like Sira Des Indes by Jean Patou--lighter than the others, sort of a softer gourmand.

Can't wait to try New Haarlem with the coffee touch. And wondering about what you'd suggest on the smoky or tobacco-y front? Just to round out the dessert, coffee and a cigarette trio!

tobacco sniffing

I've tried Habanita and it's yummy, and have just ordered your New Haarlem sample, so can't wait to try that too. I've been reading up about Havana Vanille and am tantalized by that too--think I'll have to take a little mid-week lunch break and head to Noor to have a sniff, and to Andrews to sniff Chenes. Is there anywhere in Toronto to sample Etat Libre d'Orange perfumes? I haven't found anyplace in my wanderings yet...and I looooove their Rien!

Re: tobacco sniffing

I haven't found Etat Libre d'Orange in Toronto yet, but Gravity Pope in Vancouver carries the line, but I'm not sure they carry all the scents. They also have a shop in Edmonton. You may want to contact them and see what they carry and what the cost of shipping it to you might be - or you may have a friend who can send/bring it to you in Toronto.

Re: tobacco sniffing UPDATE

I just learned that Etat Libre d'Orange is available in Toronto at Murale at the Shops in Don Mills. Checked it out yesterday and they have a great selection, but no Tilda 'Like This' and they are currently out of  Sécretions Magnifiques.

Free perfume too!

Woohoo--just realized I can use my Shoppers Drug Mart Optimum points at Murale, which means free perfume!