I am working my way through some decants I had and found this again - I hadn't used it because of a strong dislike upon first sniff. I revisited it to see if I still felt the same way and unfortunately the things I dislike about this fragrance outweigh the good things.
On my skin, the boozy top note turns into prune which isn't that great of a compliment to the underlying rose and peony - especially considering I was expecting a more sophisticated scent. Even worse, the prune never really dissipates, it just hangs around and makes it really tempting to just wash it all off. Compared to other Bond No. 9 fragrances like Chinatown and Andy Warhol Silver Factory, this is a disappointment.
I'm glad I only bought the 1.7oz bottle of West Side -- all the rest of my several Bonds are 3.4oz and I'm happy they are -- but 1.7oz is quite enough of West Side for me.
Rose, peony, vanilla, musk were the advertised notes, and with all the raves -- and esp including vanilla note (which I love), I thought I'd love West Side. Was disappointed at first sniff and have been ever since, although I've come around to liking West Side -- at times. Definitely a cold-weather fragrance for me.
This is heavy and strong -- not a light and pretty rose -- NOT a gourmand rose -- more mature and serious.
It smells to my nose mostly like red roses + red wine + sandalwood, maybe with a small splash of vanilla. It's supposed to reflect the music of the West Side, and with that boozy-wine note, they might have had jazz clubs in mind rather than an opera at the Met. For me not enough vanilla, not smooth enough, the low notes too rough.
Yet there were cold weekend days in winter when I sprayed West Side on, and I felt a strange comfort -- so I started to like it -- at times -- for that comfort effect. Must spray gently -- it's strong -- and heavy. I picture a bold, mature, black-haired lady wearing this.
I wore this perfume when Bond No 9 first released it, and then started wearing Nuits de Noho & Chinatown. I sort of deserted my old friend West side & then this month pulled it back out again and was blown away. It is as I remembered it - a beautiful blend of rose, peony, vanilla & musk. It's a scent that stays close to the body; it won't broadcast to those all around you but it's a feminine, sexy, floral fragrance and also a very modern, grown-up take on rose/vanilla. This fragrance also has really good lasting power on me. It wears for 10-12 hours and I can still smell it on my skin. Although out of all the Bond bottles; I hate this one - like a loud weird bottle from Spencer's gifts or a pop art gallery (not in a good way). Definitely worth a sniff or a little bon bon if you're near a Bond counter to test it for yourself :)
Another sweet scent fragrance, I found this scent quite similar to Bond no 9 Saks Fifth for Her but a touch of sweet rosy scent. Not too strong as China Town, I pick this one for feminine perfume.
One of my top, if not the top, on my fragrance favorites list. It's very unique, smooth, warm, feminine but not girly. It wears close to the skin, but isn't heady. I've never smelled anything similar- which is VERY important to me.
By the description on Bond's website, it wasn't something that jumped out at me or anything I thought I'd be interested in enough to buy. However, when I ordered another scent I received West Side as a sample and was hooked- wished it was the first one I bought.
Only downside is the price BUT I went to Overstock and got the 1.7 oz for about $50 less than I would've paid had I bought it full price.
If you like warm, sensual scents, you'll love this one.
This is what I was hoping Dolce & Gabbana Rose The One would be! I enjoy this fragrance all the way from first spritz to dry down & base notes hours later. it is a very delicate, feminine fragrance, and the combination of rose and vanilla is delectable! I don't have a bottle; a generous MUAer made me a sample - but to be honest I don't think I could buy a bottle - the bottles are hideous! who wants that ugly thing on the vanity? and, it is VERY expensive. to be honest, rose fragrances are not my favorite; so while this is nice & I am glad I tried it, I can move on to other things; but if you like rose, you HAVE to try this one, it is truly an artistic and high quality rose scent.
Having tried all of the Bond fragrances and being a certified fragrance junky, Westside was the only Bond fragrance (so far) that I have been compelled to purchase. I love the rich creaminess of it. The rose and vanilla blend beautifully and yes there is a boozy flair to it. I don't mind this, as it seems to be the first to dry down. If you don't like this at first spritz, you probably won't care for it after the dry down either. I love how feminine and sultry this fragrance is, as well as the compliments drawn when worn. I also love that is in not worn by everyone! It is a unique and gorgeous fragrance. It also lasts all day.
Each time I encounter the Bond line in Saks (and this is infrequent, since I live in rural North Florida), I make up my mind to finally work my way through the entire line.
And then I fail. After four or five scents, I become either confused or disinterested. If there is no prominent note for me to notice (like the ripe, runny gardenia of Madison Soiree), everything seems muddled and I walk away, vowing to do better next time.
I still have not tried the entire line. I am not even sure what I have tried. I am sure of what I have bought, and I am sure of what I have sold or swapped away, because I've done so for FIre Island, Chinatown, Bleecker Street, Coney Island, Nuits de Noho and West Side.
I started to feel guilty about buying Bonds. How many times would I wear them before I'd become blase about them? I wasn't wearing them much; if a year goes by without wearing something I feel compelled to sell/swap it.
I sold West Side after buying it right after it was released. And then,.a year later, I wanted it again. I've fallen into this trap with other scents (10 Corso Como, Tam Dao) and then have grown tired of them as fast as I did the first time.
This was not the case with West Side, a rose tightly nested in a bloom of pink peony. It was the rose/vanilla that attracted me. I wear Mille et Une Rose and Ghost and generally will only wear rose when it has a vanillic component (in other words, I am chypre-opposed). West Side's given notes are all present and accounted for, even if the vanilla and rose take a back seat to what smells to me of peony, tobacco, and a dusty kitchen spice of indeterminate origin. I suppose the peony is sweet enough on its own that it is masking the sweetness (but not the smokiness) of vanilla for me, but West Side wears on me ever so slightly smoky-spicy in what is given as a sandalwood drydown.
I also find an eccentric metallic element to West Side, as if a streak of mercury runs through it. This is a perception rather than an actuality. There is a definite tobacco vibe to the heart/base, and a sourness opposing the peony's sweetness that I suppose is what has other reviewers mentioning wine-like tones.
West Side is different enough to keep my interest. It even smells different on my right and left arms, with the right being floral/sweet and the left being smoky/spicy/woody. The two taken together as a puff of sillage are warm and intoxicating. Interestingly, the smokier part of West Side is outdoorsy to me and not terribly urban. I wear it in the woods, far away from concrete pavement and skyscraper, and it smells perfectly at home. continued >>
After pouring through a bon-bon of this little gem, I went for the big splurge and bought a bottle (it was the holidays!) I agree completely with previous reviewers on the uncomplicated, gourmand bent of this potent perfume. But in this case, straightforward isn't a bad thing. While there are no surprises in the dry down, this scent softens to a very sexy, honeyed-rose musk. At first spritz though, it's forward--almost to the point of brassy. Less is more with application. It marries two personalities: the ultra-feminine and the drunk. Vanilla-bourbon cuts through the rose and peony blooms--also too effectively. I learned this first hand: I had this on in a shoulder-crunched, crowded elevator. There were a few higher-up coworkers squished in the crowd with me, leaning on the other side of the space.
One sniffs quizzically, furrows, and asks the other: "Did you go OUT last night?"
"No, I didn't. Why--do I look tired?" responded the other.
"No, it's not that. Somebody still smells drunk in here."
This was first thing in the morning, mind you. I've since reserved this scent for cocktail hour!