New Perfume Review Sammarco Bond-T- Wonkalicious

One of my favorite movie and literary characters is Wiily Wonka. As created by writer Roald Dahl in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and assayed on screen by Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp Willy Wonka is a genius of confection. His factory turns out the most amazing candy but chocolate is his specialty. What I enjoy about the character on either the printed page or the silver screen is despite being childlike in his desire to create sweets there is a hidden sour underneath which peeks out when provoked by poor behavior. That concealed danger beneath the faux(?) innocence creates a complex character. When I was at Esxence 2016 I met a young perfumer by the name of Giovanni Sammarco. He showed me his line of four perfumes he has released under his name, Sammarco. When he handed me the strip with Bond-T on it I was immediately reminded of Willy Wonka. Bond-T is a chocolate gourmand with hints of danger within.

Sig. Sammarco was inspired to create Bond-T by his own visit to a real chocolate factory. On his website he wrote that he wanted Bond-T to be, “It is the smell of the chocolate factory, it is a smell of exotic place, the cocoa absolute with patchouli, and a touch of osmanthus.” If Bond-T was just that it would be a terrific slab of chocolate fragrance. Except Sig. Sammarco also has a bit of a subversive side as a slug of animalic ingredients provide the hidden sneer.

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Giovanni Sammarco

From the first moments I wore Bond-T I was enclosed in a deep cocoa and patchouli chord. This has been done many times over the years except Sig. Sammarco has elicited something different. I am not sure if it is the specific materials he is using or the amount of them in the formula but together there is a rich alcoholic component sort of sweet like brandy. I like the unpredictable arising from the predictable. Osmanthus provides a fascinating intermezzo as the apricot and leather quality adds the expected and sets the stage for the unexpected. That is the leather nature of the osmanthus is but a prelude to a feral stalking castoreum. The animalic nature transforms the innocence into something with a dangerous grin you might be best advised to be wary of.

Bond-T has 18-20 hour longevity and above average sillage.

I haven’t encountered a truly great gourmand in a long while. Bond-T ends that drought. This is a fabulously complex construct from the mind of Sig. Sammarco. It is so good I am going to check for Oompa Loompas the next time we meet. If you’ve ever wanted a bit of subversive growl with your sweetness Bond-T will fit the bill.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Sammarco at Esxence 2016.

Mark Behnke

The Sunday Magazine: The Return of Blink-182

One of the cynical aspects of the music business is the reunion album and tour. Most of the time is is easy for me to ignore. I am not somebody looking to pay a lot of money to remind myself of the time in my life when I saw the band. The reunion tour has an uncanny way of happening about the time the original fans have hit middle age perhaps looking for a blast from the past, for a price. Right now the cynic is at war with the optimist because a band I do acre about, Blink-182, has a new album and is about to head out on tour.

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Blink-182 was part of the skate punk movement in the 1990’s. I loved this second coming of punk. The skate kids were the kind of fans who made it so vital. Blink-182 was one of my favorites. Singer Tom DeLonge, drummer Scott Gaynor, and bass player Mark Hoppus made music which felt authentically punk to me. Along with Green Day they would become the biggest successes. In true rock band fashion creative differences would cause the band to split up. It was a slow decay as Mr. Gaynor left because he didn’t like the radio friendly feel he thought was happening. Travis Barker would replace him. Mr. DeLonge wanted a particular evolution of the band’s style. When that was rejected he would leave the band to pursue those ideas with his own band Angels & Airwaves. In 2005 Blink was on “indefinite hiatus”.

There have been a couple half-hearted attempts to get back together. Most notably in 2009 after Mr. Barker survived a plane crash. The recording of the album Neighborhoods took two years because the band members’ old friction resurfaced. It lead to them laying down tracks in separate studios in separate cities. Communication between band members mediated by a cadre of lawyers. This fell apart as quickly as it started.

Which brings us to 2016. Mr. Barker and Mr. Hoppus have decided to move on without Mr. DeLonge. Hiring Matt Skiba in his place. The first single has just been released called “Bored to Death”. Here is where the optimist sat up and took notice. This feels like classic angst-filled Cali punk. I am now looking forward to the new album coming out in September. Have I passed into the moment where I finally need to reawaken my thirtysomething self? I am not sure. But I have been looking to see which credit card I need to have so I can pre-buy tickets when the tour comes to DC.

Mark Behnke