There is something in the air.
A booming collection of scents inspired by one of the greatest cities in the world is available in our own backyard.
Laurice Rahmé is the president and founder of Bond No. 9, an extensive collection of perfumes, colognes and uni-sex fragrances revolving around New York City.
The elegant Rahmé stopped by Saks Fifth Avenue Boca Raton to showcase her beautiful bottles, exquisite scents and meet with customers. We had an opportunity to speak to the founder about her brand.
On her fragrance New York Amber:
“It is the first time we’ve used amber as a single note in a fragrance,” Rahmé said. “It is very hot and sexy.”
Sexy, indeed. One whiff of the scent and you feel a certain spice kick in.
“It is an ancient, very expensive, ingredient that we wanted to give a New York twist to,” she said.
The bronzed glass bottle, etched with script, also contains notes of bergamot, saffron, nutmeg, white peppercorn, majestic rose and benzoin tears.
“[This scent is for] drinks, cocktails, dinner-- people will ask you what you wear all the time, and women love to get compliments.”
Her favorite fragrance:
The most recent release.
“Everytime you come out with a new fragrance I believe you have to love it,” she said. “But I believe not everyone is going to love it because there are so many. If [a customer] doesn’t love this one, they have another one and another one...With so many to choose from, it’s okay. There is not just one fragrance for everybody.”
On the Perfumista’s Perfect 10:
Bond No. 9 offers a 10 piece gift set of mini eau de parfums.
“It’s a great gift to give someone who you don’t know very well, so they can choose,” she said, with a laugh. “Men love that, because they sure don’t know what to buy.”
Mini scents include: Andy Warhol Union Square, Bleecker Street, Bond No. 9 Signature , Chelsea Flowers, Chinatown, Eau de New York , Hamptons, Nuits de Noho, The Scent of Peace and Wall Street.
On the design process:
“This line is specific to New York City,” Rahmé said. “If we do a neighborhood, I walk in the neighborhood. I shop there....And then I see what is the style of the neighborhood? Is it young? Is it old? Is it quiet? Is it noisy? And then we do a fragrance that matches the style of that neighborhood. It’s about the style. We match the people who live there.”
Her inspiration is always the city.
“The mission statement for the company is to make New York smell good again,” she said with a laugh.
39, 40, 41, 42...
The line currently has 43 scents and Rahmé said they could possibly produce another 30 fragrances, with about three or four releases a year.
The brand works a year ahead at a time.
“A year is pretty fast, most companies take two years,” she said. “It takes time to do it right and we want to do it right.”
The fast pace is in part to keep up with the bustling city...and society.
“People get bored very quickly in America,” she said. “You have to keep coming up with something better each time...You have to stand out. I love a challenge.”
Perhaps her scents are best known for the beautiful glass bottles in which they are kept.
“Each bottle is like a person,” she said. “It is not square or rectangular. It’s kind of difficult [to decorate]. We get it done, but it’s not easy.”
With 43 bottles and more on the way, Rahmé said a lot of her customers are collectors.
Finding a fragrance for you:
“Always put a fragrance on your skin, not just on the [testing] paper,” the founder said. “The first [sniff] is okay for you to know what you don’t want. If you don’t like it on the blotter, you won’t like it on.
“Once you like a fragrance, it has to go on your skin, and keep it there for a few minutes. Don’t be in a rush. Don’t rush it. People are always in a rush...but you don’t want to buy it, go home and wear it and find out it’s not good. You want to wear what you buy. You have to use it. It’s not a bottle to keep in your house.
“Everyone’s different. Every one of us. It’s your nose and your skin.”
For the love of the job:
“I love to meet people,” she said. “This is why I do this, to meet people. If I am home in bed, I don’t know what they like. I don’t know their reaction. I enjoy their reaction.”