I couldn’t have been Lilly Pulitzer in another life because…she’s still alive, but I’ve always had a soft spot for the preppy “pink-and-green” color combo Pulitzer often uses in her designs. I was initially attracted to Bond no. 9 High Line because of its pink-and-green bottle — not its juice; High Line is a type of fragrance (rather artificial, high-pitched and “Fresh!”) I usually shun, and yet….
Bond no. 9 describes High Line as “the scent of wildflowers, green grasses…and urban renewal” with “a hint of industrial grit.” High Line (perfumer: Laurent Le Guernec) was created to celebrate the “new” High Line* “neighborhood” of New York City which is: "An improbable aerial walkway lined with concrete planks and railroad tracks, landscaped with meadows, wetlands, and wildflowers, the High Line hovers 30 feet above street level as it meanders along its route from the Meatpacking District to the former 34th Street rail yards — sometimes bridging its way through buildings along the way."
High Line, the fragrance, is categorized as “an androgynous floral-marine” perfume (the “marine” notes reference the nearby Hudson River); it includes notes of bergamot, purple love grass (Eragrostis spectabilis), Indian rhubarb, red-leaf rose, orange flower water, Lady Jane tulips (Tulipa clusiana), grape hyacinth, sea moss, teakwood, bur oak and musk. (I found nary a hint of “industrial grit” in the notes.)
High line starts with a burst of bergamot and a clean and tart “vegetal-fruit” aroma; slowly a “sour” rose note peeks through and leads to the long-lasting floral heart notes (some “flowers” stand out like the rose and orange blossom, others are abstract and blurred — tulip and grape hyacinth). The floral element is glaring and though High Line is categorized as a unisex fragrance, everyone I let sample it deemed it “feminine.”
During High Line’s dry down, a warm/sunny “hay”-leaf fragrance note emerges (most noticeable when the perfume is sprayed on lavishly) and it makes the scent, for a short time, more unisex (I’m guessing this is the ‘bur oak’ note). The extreme dry down of High Line is very pleasant on my skin: a soft, almost powdery floral-citrus peel note coupled with lightest musk. A marine/fresh breeze accord (Calone?) wafts through the entire composition and keeps everything bright and transparent. High Line has excellent lasting power and sillage. A close perfume relative of High Line is Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey (but High Line is more forceful, more “up your nose” than L’Eau d’Issey).
While testing High Line, I was tempted to wear green jeans and a pink shirt…but didn’t. High Line provides such a jolt of “pink and green” energy on its own — with its fluorescent rose and unripe fruit notes — that I decided it was “safer” worn with black or navy clothes!
High Line’s bottle has a colorful (and textured) design of bright-green grasses and hot-pink tulips that are depicted growing through ‘railroad tracks’ (the metal plaque at the base of the bottle showing the HIGH LINE name). Bond no. 9 High Line Eau de Parfum is $220 for 100 ml and $145 for 50 ml; it’s also available in a body wash ($75/200 ml) For buying information, see the listing for Bond no. 9 under Perfume Houses.
* Bond no. 9 is a sponsor of the non-profit Friends of the High Line; for more information go to www.thehighline.org.