When I first encountered CBIHP ATB 1966 (which will henceforth be referred to as “1966”), I concluded that it was a fairly blatant knockoff of Bond No 9 Fire Island. However, Basenotes informs me that Fire Island was actually released a year after 1966, making Fire Island the copycat. The two scents are not identical, of course, but both are based on the cheap-and-cheerful smell of sunscreen. Fire Island was famously modeled on the French sunscreen Ambre Solaire, while the sunscreen note in 1966 smells a bit more down market, probably Coppertone or Banana Boat.
1966 takes its beachy notes to their logical conclusion, adding aquatic notes to evoke the ocean. In my opinion, this is where 1966 stumbles. The ozone muddles what was otherwise a great-smelling scent.
The key difference between 1966 and Fire Island lies in the general feel of the two scents. To me, 1966 seems too literal-minded, more of a good smell than a perfume. Fire Island takes a more abstract approach to the “beach in a bottle” concept, and as a result it comes closer to fine fragrance than 1966 does. 1966 may be a more authentic representation of the beach than Fire Island, but I find Fire Island’s gardenia note to be frankly more pleasant than 1966’s marine effect. Full credit goes to CBIHP for originality, but as far as I’m concerned, Fire Island constitutes an improvement on its predecessor.