Recently, I had the pleasure to meet Laurice Rahme Founder of Bond No 9 at the newly redesigned Bond No. 9 Flagship store for a discussion on all things Bond and to preview of her newest neighborhood muse, Park Avenue South. The flagship store has gone through a reformulation (much needed/ anticipated) and is ready to serve and entertain for the foreseeable future. The look is polished art deco. Everything shines. Laurice informed us that an addition of a screen to be installed soon will complete the transformation. This will visually showcase the different neighborhoods/ scents with interviews (forward thinking).
Arriving at the designated time of 4 PM, I was ushered in by James Slaba (Store Manager/ Master Blender) and taken to meet Laurice. The hour plus spent was enlightening and informative. First on the agenda was the presentation of Park Avenue South (Eau de Parfum) for us to sniff. As a licensed real estate agent, I'm always interested with Laurice's choices since her track record tapping one of Manhattan's legendary neighborhoods to next up incoming is spot on. Fifty eight neighborhoods and counting. Location, location, location!
With Park Avenue South, the scent heralds the much anticipated Spring season. This stretch of Manhattan has undergone quite a renaissance. From cutting edge businesses to the the chicest nightspots, Park Avenue South now encompasses it all. As Laurice put it, "it's our very own Boulevard St. Germain." This fringe to uber hot area is now ready for its fragrant prime time.
Photo Hernando for CaFleureBon
I find Park Avenue South contemporary in a effortless way. Inspiration from the location certainly enfuses this fresh floral. Straight up you get a crisp green apple that you can almost bite in to. This does stay throughout the wear. A sweet succulent peach is at the heart which fairly quickly glides into the earthy musk and soft amber in the drydown. While not a big floral it is flirtatious (without being naughty), clean with an edge. And yes, like the neighborhood a bit seductive. As a licensed real estate agent, I have been fascinated with Laurice's track record for choosing one of Manhattan's legendary or up in coming neighborhoods. Her choice of Park Avenue South is spot on. Fifty eight neighborhoods and counting. Location, location, location! The bottle is modern white with black polka dots (and a lone red one) and adorned with a festive red ribbon. The overall look draws attention to itself. Certainly on the table amongst all the other Bond bottles it stands out!
Michel Almairac of Robertet
Laurice chose the legendary nose Michel Almairac of Robertet whose previous Bond fragrances include Bryant Park, Coney Island, Fire Island, West Side and Scent of Peace, Saks for Her and Saks for Him.
Bond-to- Go box of 9 bon bons -Hernando for CaFleureBon
Throughout the conversation Laurice Rahme spoke of loyalty and giving. "A gift is only good if it's something you like", and she does like to give customers gifts (with purchase) such as the Bond To-Go box of 9 Bon Bons, which consist of current bestsellers scents Central Park West, The Scent of Peace, Central Park South, Chinatown, Nuits de Noho, Bond No.9 Signature, Bleeker Street, Chez Bond and New York Oud. As of December 2013, over 18,000 have been gifted. Now that's giving! For the Fall of 2015 a new GWP will make its debut. I am sworn to secrecy but I have no doubt that customers will be most pleased!
I love New York
Another staple of her giving is the popular Bond Recycling Program. She credits Mayor Bloomberg as the inspiration behind this idea. Who knew! And, as the official perfume house of New York State their I (Heart) Love New York line (also sold in Sephora) gives back a percentage of its proceeds to the city/ state.
Who collects the most Bond bottles? Men!!! Laurice believes that (men) have grown up as collectors (baseball cards, comic books, wine, watches, etc) and it could be more instinctive for them. Another surprise is that layering scent is more popular in the Americas than in Europe because she feels we love to learn and experiment. Again, men are participating in creating their own custom scent this way in larger numbers!
Bond No 9 Chinatown bottle A CaFleureBon Modern Masterpiece by Aurelien Guichard composed in 2005
All the iconic bottles are designed in-house and custom made in Italy. She has used the same company from the very beginning. Loyalty. The Bon Bons mini-sprays are all hand wrapped (also in-house). It was three years ago she switched to spray cap even though aesthetically the hand wrap does not look as clean but her customers demanded it, so she delivered.
Laurice Rahme of Bond No 9
I enquired what effect, if any, have the IFRA regulations had on the line. She said only on three or four of the oldest in the line were affected and it was mostly in the EU were the need to be comply is more stringent. In closing I asked if she would give us a hint on which neighborhood is being considered next and I received a wink with a just wait and see!
–Hernando Courtright, New York Special Event Contributor
Thanks to Bond No 9 we have a press pump of Park Avenue South for a US reader or a Bond No 9 Box to Go of 9 bon bons. To be eligible leave a comment with your favorite Bond No. 9 perfume and your choice should you win. Draw closes March 29, 2015
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