This fascinating glimpse of a historical place is meant to be embottled in the new fragrance and it remains to be seen whether it succeeded.
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 Renaissance-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.) 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 to the 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.
According to Bond, "the Astor Place flacon echoes the angles and cubes of the Rosenthal sculpture, the famous marker of the neighborhood – and renders them in the richest array of colors ever seen. All this is placed again a golden background, paying homage to the Astor fortune and philanthropy". The scent aims at merging downtown with uptown. A seductive fresh floral – flanking freesia with poppy and violet leaf and flanked by the smooth, deeper notes of teakwood and musk. The description of the official pyramid is playfully over the top as per usual, so I will spare you the novelette and will get down to hard, specific notes for Bond no.9 Astor Place: violet leaf, mandarin zest, red poppy buds, orris, teakwood, musk, amber.
For Mother’s Day Bond no.9 is offering Astor Place in a limited-edition Swarovski bottle – delicately decorated with topaz crystals.
Available at Bond No. 9’s four New York City boutiques, www.bondno9.com, 877.273.3369, and at Saks Fifth Avenue nationwide at $145 for 50ml and $220 for 100ml of Eau de Parfum. Astor Place Swarovski Limited-Edition for Mother’s Day will be $300 for 100ml.