Saks Fifth Avenue for Her by Bond No.9, which will come out this fall, is both perfectly tailored and exuberant, then enigmatic. It starts full throttle and keeps amazing you with its originality and beauty. The tropical blooms have a hypnotic, psychedelic quality to them before they take you by the hand and lead you into a soft-smelling green jungle that is full of obscure parts and punctuated with pools of oniric light........
Saks for Her is a beautiful and mysterious perfume. From the initial floral fireworks that slowly fades into a very original and subtle jasmine and root-y, iris accord to our nose, colored butter yellow and violet and mauve to the dry-down that is indefinably secret, vegetal, and smells superlatively good, one finds oneself uttering a “Wow!” towards the end of the development as our admiration for the scent goes crescendo. Both Saks perfumes were created by perfumer Michel Almairac.
If we did not have a scent description, we would have thought that the perfume was built on a central and unusual accord of jasmine and iris, the vibrant, yellow, solar quality of the jasmine being contrasted with the muted pastel silk-like quality of orris. Bond no. 9 does mention another root, vetiver, but not iris. Our impulse however was to think that we should alert iris lovers to this scent. We do pick on vetiver but it smells iris-like at the same time. As the perfume progresses the mysterious tropical atmosphere of the scent suggestive of an emerald-green primeval jungle is reinforced by a very original impression, once more, of a refined sensual banana scent with both green and yellow facets. If you thought that anything with banana in it could ever be subtle, complex, and sophisticated, you would be proven wrong in this case. The banana facet is both creamy and fresh and delectable.
The dry-down is even more mysterious, evolving with facets of soft banana, bread, fresh coconut jam, an indefinable vegetal accord with a subdued sappy quality, with some of the leathery nuances of tuberose and gardenia peaking through. Tonka bean with its, also, leathery and smoky facets later lingers on the skin. There is a tinge of pepperiness and woodiness. It is difficult to analyze and if only for this reason, is fascinating. The vanilla smells more like the natural leathery, caramel-y, and slightly watery bean than powdery vanillin, reinforcing once more the evocation of a sophisticated tropical environment. It is not a sillage scent by the end, but a skin scent with medium range. It is very well constructed because however much we apply of the scent, it keeps its finely attuned balance.
Saks Fifth Avenue for Her is a fragrance that appears free of stereotypes, a rare feat at any point in time, but especially these days. It smells moreover wonderful. Somehow it feels both tropical and very New York. Maybe because New York is a little bit like a jungle, an asphalt jungle. A perfume so beautiful, you could call it torture.