Factory Girl

In general, I admire Bond No. 9 more for their bottles than their juice. I don´t really have a “favorite” Bond, and if the entire line ceased to exist tomorrow, I wouldn´t go into mourning. Do I like some of them? Well, sure. I went through an Eau de Noho phase, because I like linden, and I wear Chinatown occasionally (okay, if I had a favorite, I guess that´s it.) Anyway, I wasn´t expecting to love the Bond Andy Warhol Silver Factory, even though it has incense, one of my favorite notes. Warhol the man/myth/artist doesn’t do much for me to start with, and Silver Factory’s price point ($250ish for 100ml) does even less.

I was so wrong.

Silver Factory is not a trip to the church. There´s nothing austere or meditative about it. Incense is a great note to pick if you want to get in someone´s face, and I recall reading that Andy Warhol thought fragrance should take up plenty of space, call attention to itself and its wearer. So let´s randomly pick on Armani Prive Bois d´Encens for a second. You want to take up space? Put some of that on. The problem is, on the wrong day, BdE will work your last fricking nerve. Incense can be like that. It can be great, or like a lot of other sillage monsters (rose and tuberose spring to mind) it can kill you.

So, I am fascinated by the way incense is wielded in Silver Factory. You don´t smell it and go, incense. You don´t think, church or cathedral or kodo or whatever instant cultural or religious associations you might make with incense. You think ….. ooooooooh, coool. Silver Factory smells cool. It smells glittery and jittery and alive. It smells like something that could have been in the Malle Outrageous bottle, but (sadly) wasn´t. I have zero idea how Andy would have felt about it, but I´m totally in love.

It´s a weird scent. Notes are: bergamot, grapefruit, lavender, violet, incense, jasmine, iris, amber, woods. There´s something totally, deliberately synthetic-smelling about it — in a good way. It´s strong enough but not deadly, and it´s got excellent lasting power. The opening is this peculiar, wonderful mélange of lavender, citrus, violet and … rusted metal? Burnt car? Ziggy stardust? For the record, I am not a huge fan of lavender, and this is completely missing that high-pitched, aromatherapy-like note. The incense and iris show up next, and while the incense is a permanent fixture, that iris has a really interesting way of fading out and coming forward again, for hours, on its little metallic wheels. The jasmine and violet add a taste of sweetness without ever moving this into a “floral” realm – a man could wear this easily. The amber and woods round out the scent nicely, tempering the metallic freakiness without really making a masculine statement.

Silver Factory has an echo of the mesmerizing hum of Lutens´ Encens et Lavande and Armani Prive´s oddball Cuir Amethyste. But it isn´t really like either. It manages a certain degree of glitter-ball fabulosity, but you could still wear it to work, or school, or the grocery store, and not feel like you were running around in platform go-go boots. It’s a scent that manages to be both unusual and really wearable. My guess is it’ll sell like hotcakes, and deservedly so, although I do wonder how lovers of the Bond line will feel about it.

Is this one of the Greatest Scents Evah? No. After all, how many times can you make Mitsouko or Narcisse Noir? But it is a great scent, and it definitely deserves a place in any incense-lover´s wardrobe. Even people who don´t love incense might be interested in giving it a taste.  Addendum:  early comments below say: spray it on for full effect, rather than dabbing.  I have mine in a teeny atomizer, and I concur.  In fact, unless I find a scent really, really strong, spraying is the way to go.

PS — Be sure to stop back by on Wednesday and Friday for this month’s Holiday Scent Club, hosted by Lee and Patty!

image: still of Edie Sedgwick from Walk into the Sea: Danny Williams and The Warhol Factory, 2007 (documentary), melbournefilmfestival.com.au

60 Comments
MattS December 11, 2007

Damn. I can't help it. I love Warhol. I love Edie. I love the whole Factory myth and even love the Studio 54 legend. I love violets and incense and I keep on waiting for my decant of this to arrive before I go ahead and say Merry Christmas to me and order a full bottle. Then you guys start talking Grace Jones and I'm lusting for this scent even more. It's almost inevitable that this one is gonna disappoint me, I want it so badly. False eyelashes and crystals glued to your face...there's the pictures you needed for this post.

Solander December 10, 2007

Bois d'Encens gets on your nerves? Wow. On me it just has no sillage or staying power whatsoever, it's a nice but very subtle and fleeting peppery/incensey/woody scent. In fact, incenses in general don't have much sillage on my skin. Staying power, perhaps, but sillage, naah. Except the really high-pitched and annoying ones I don't like, like Kyoto, but I'm not sure it's the incense note in that one. Silver Factory sure sounds interesting, despite my general dislike for cool scents!

Robin December 10, 2007

What I was thinking this morning is that we've got something like 11 more Andy Warhol scents to go (it was to be a total of 12, wasn't it? or did I dream that?) and I don't see how they'll top this one. Unless they've taken on Aurelien Guichard for the whole line.

sweetlife December 10, 2007

I have such a strong imagined scent in my head regarding the metal/incense/violet combo that it's going to be very interesting to actually smell the real thing. You know, I'm living proof that a kind SA can make all the difference for a line. Early in my sniffery I went to a great place in Austin called The Blue Elephant and was shocked to see the Bond's and many other fine things there. The SA was knowledgeable and enthusiastic about scents and very generously rounded up a bunch of Bond samples for me. I was so happy that it took me a long, long, time to realize I wasn't actually that much of a Bond fan... /:)

sara December 10, 2007

Loved your review! I felt exactly the same way--I got a bon-bon in the mail Friday and was stunned by how much I like it. Made me want to listen to Grace Jones's version of "Nightclubbing" as I spritzed (and yes, with this one you gotta spritz!) It's that kind of a scent. It's the olfactory version of false eyelashes and staying up way too late. Cheers, Sara

Divalano December 10, 2007

Bond is one of those lines I've never been able to focus on. Or maybe that's Creed? I can't keep those 2 apart in my head. Maybe because there used to be a Creed store & now it's a Bond store? Oh. But maybe it's not Bond, but it used to be Creed & it's on Bond Street. I think? Anyway, I can't focus on either line & none of their scents call to me, this one included. And thank you for using "fabulosity" in print, it made me smile :D

Anne December 10, 2007

So here I am again, excitedly waiting for my Silver Factory sample to arrive from you-know-where. Now I have a smile inducing visual "that iris ...., on its little metallic wheels" adding to my unreasonable impatience. I don't know what it is about Bond and me. The notes and the bottles always draw me in siren-song like. I always have such high expectations and I am always let down. This one sounds way out of the box for Bond, not in notes or bottle design but in actual scent. Maybe, maybe this is the one! Thank you March for a great review! :)>-

Judith December 10, 2007

Can you believe I still haven't tried this? I can't! But after reading this, I certainly must! Thanks, I guess. . .:)

marina December 10, 2007

I like this one too. Might be one of the most interesting Bond No 9s yet, along with Chinatown. Have a great week, March!

Patty December 10, 2007

Agree totally on this one. Also concur that it should be spritzed to get the full weirdness. I just can't think that dabbing would get you there. I, too, could care less about warhol or whatever, never followed, never cared, his 15 minutes, shall we say.... but I really love what Bond has done with this perfume.

Abigail December 10, 2007

Sparkling and weird? Is it sparkling like the time I glued small crystals to my face, or sparkling like a charming woman?

Louise December 10, 2007

I got very close to trying Silver Factory in NY this last weekend, but the SAs were so nasty I ran away with a paper sniff that faded quickly. And of course, wasn't intrigued. But if you find it cool, weird, peculiar, freaky, unusual, and great and wearable, I must revisit. While I still love my room-clearing churchy incenses (hmmm, NK Incense today?), it might be time to expand. Love the little iris rolling in on metallic wheels image!

JuliaForsberg December 10, 2007

I managed to score a sample vial of this before it was released and right there and then I was the happiest girl on the block. However, dabbing Silver Factory is not the way to go. When dabbed it had little staying power on my skin and the notes seemed muted and very quiet. When I decanted what was left into a small atomizer... Wow! What a difference! When sprayed on skin it stays forever and the notes does indeed dance in and out of the composition. I really admire this perfume and I can't wait to spritz some on my DH;)

Lee December 10, 2007

Like you, I don't hold much reverence for, or interest in, Warhol and the Factory machine. Well, my interest is more about why he remains culturally significant than his stuff itself... Anyway, I need to smell this. I thought I'd gone off incense (aside from Encens et Lavande). Very recent sniffing tells me it's churchy incense I've gone off, at least on my skin.

Gail S December 10, 2007

Oh, I'm seriously wanting to try this now! You mentioned one of my new favorites, Encens et Lavande! What I love about it is the simultaneously cool and hot vibe going on. Maybe this is similar? I have a small decant coming from TPC, hurry, hurry, hurry!!!!!

Maria December 10, 2007

Hey, March, do you know what my biggest problem with Armani BdE is? It vanishes quickly. Poof, it's gone. Doesn't come close to killing me. :d Wonder how it reacts with Louise? My two favorite Bond are (1) New Amsterdaam and (2) Chinatown. My DH seriously loves the first on himself, and I quite agree.

Elle December 10, 2007

Rusted metal? OK, must try. For some reason, that really appeals to me. I was put off by the grapefruit and lavender listed in the notes and I'm not much of a Bond fan to start w/, but now I'm seriously intrigued. I also rather enjoy full out synthetic scents from time to time (I'm one of the four people who actually really liked a few of the CdG Synthetic Series). And, of course, I'm a hard core incense fan. Yep, a bouncing baby lemming has just been born.

tmp00 December 10, 2007

I just got a sample of this from Saks and I was sure that the saleslady said it was $190 for 100ML...