Broadway Nite was created by Maurice Roucel in 2003 for Bond No 9. Broadway Nite is a sweet, warm floral, with aldehydes aplenty and the potency & sillage of an 80’s perfume.
All of the above happens to appeal to me immensely. I’m finding myself with less and less tolerance for perfumes that don’t have presence or longevity. I’m also finding myself attracted to aldeydes, which is shocking, because about five years ago I avoided aldehydes like the plague. I also previously avoided perfumes that were inherently synthetic smelling, or “perfumey,” like Chanel No. 5, but now I’m finding that there are many scents in this genre that I love.
Maurice Roucel is brilliant. Roucel creates complex, abstract, perfumey gems but he also has the decency to ensure the scent has sufficient sillage and longevity. If I spend $185 for Broadway Nite, I want the bloody juice to last me all day! Roucel has created many of my favorite perfumes: Bond No 9 New Haarlem, FM Musc Ravageur, Gucci Envy, Hermes 24 Faubourg, all of which are wonderfully tenacious little critters.
Broadway Nite reminds me a bit of Chanel No 5. Not that it’s a copy of Chanel No. 5 in the least, because it’s very much its own fragrance, but because it’s a classy, aldehydic floral. Broadway Nite is sweeter, warmer and more overtly floral than Chanel No. 5, too. The most prominent note in Broadway Nite to my nose is rose ~ sort of a rose-violet blend ~ so I find there are similarities with Yves Saint Laurent Paris and Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose. I like Broadway Nite much better than YSL Paris, because Paris is a very sharp and piercing fragrance, where Broadway Nite is friendlier, softer and easier to wear.
When I set out to write about Broadway Nite, I did some research first, I scanned through the reviews on basenotes, MUA and looked to see if there were existing reviews on NST and other blogs. What struck me is that Broadway Nite is not well loved. Many of the reviews call it synthetic, perfumey and aldehydic in a negative way. This makes me think about Coco Chanel, way back in the early 1900’s, and her aspirations for Chanel perfumes.
The following is a quote from Coco Chanel:
"I want to give women an artificial perfume," said Chanel. "Yes, I really do mean artificial, like a dress, something that has been made. I don't want any rose or lily of the valley; I want a perfume that is a composition." No. 5 is famous for being the first perfume to heavily rely on synthetic floral aldehydes as a top note. Before synthetics, perfume either had to be applied heavily or frequently so that the fragrance would last.
Chanel applied the French aesthetic theory that "ugly" placed next to "beautiful,” by contrast, makes the beautiful object appear more so. In this era almost all perfumes were floral and "pretty" - designed to enhance a woman's beauty with more beauty. Instead of the scent of flowers, Coco wanted a perfume that "reflects my personality, something abstract and unique". She believed that a perfume should serve to spotlight a woman's natural beauty using contrast - i.e. the artificial perfume would make the woman's natural beauty more evident.”
Prior to Chanel, among others, perfumes were not artificial/synthetic, had very little, if any fixative and had to be reapplied constantly. Surely there are days when I’m not in the mood for a synthetic smelling fragrance and I reach for a more natural/organic, realistic and soft aroma. But there are just as many days when I want a true perfume of the Broadway Nite variety.
Broadway Nite notes
Top: Aldehyde, green violet
Middle: Rose, honeysuckle, iris, heliotrope
Base: Sweet amber, vanilla bean, cedarwood, musk
You can purchase Broadway Nite directly from Bond No. 9 in New York City