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A Cubist Spin for Bond No. 9

Bond No. 9's new fragrance Astor Place was inspired by The Cube sculpture by Tony Rosenthal, situated where Lafayette Street meets the Bowery.

Niche fragrance marketer Bond No. 9, which has launched some 30 scents named after areas in New York City, is infusing a bit of cubism into its mix with a new scent called Astor Place.

This story first appeared in the February 6, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The eau de parfum was inspired by The Cube sculpture by Tony Rosenthal located at the plaza in Manhattan where Lafayette Street meets the Bowery. The Cube (1967), which is poised and rotates on one of its corners, is emulated on the front of the Astor Place bottle, whose vibrantly colored triangles form an interpretation of the geometric sculpture.

Astor Place is to be launched April 1 at Saks Fifth Avenue and at Bond No. 9’s four boutiques. It is described by Laurice Rahmé, who founded Bond No. 9 in 2003, as “a unisex fragrance with a feminine tendency.

“I’m excited about Astor Place,” said Rahmé, whose firm is based at 9 Bond St. “It’s our neighborhood.”

The scent, which was blended by Laurent Le Guernec of International Flavors & Fragrances, includes top notes of violet leaf and mandarin zest; a heart of freesia, red poppy buds and iris root, and dries down into teakwood, musk and amber.

Astor Place will be available in a 100-ml. version for $220 and a 50-ml. size for $145. For Mother’s Day, the firm is doing a 100-ml. version of the bottle that’s dotted with Swarovski crystals for $300. A “stress relief” cube, a sort of toy for adults that resembles a Rubik’s Cube, noted Rahmé, will accompany the first 1,000 scents that are sold.

Also for spring, the firm is introducing a scent called Brooklyn. The bottle features street art — “‘graffiti’ is a rigid, not sexy word,” said Rahmé — that spells out the word “Brooklyn” in numerous colors all over the bottle. The bottle will ultimately feature eight different designs, two of which will be solicited from street artists. Like Astor Place, Le Guernec composed the fragrance.

Brooklyn is Bond No. 9’s 33rd fragrance, and Astor Place is the firm’s 34th. The company finished 2008 on plan, ringing up $30 million in revenues, according to market sources. Much of its growth came from its export business, which includes Russia, Japan, Dubai and Italy.

“The goal is to have it 50-50, U.S. [versus] international,” Rahmé said of her total business.

In addition to the two scents, which could each do $1 million in first-year retail sales, Bond No. 9 will launch eight body lotions called 24/7 New York Liquid Silk-8. The number 8 is for the eight scents in the existing fine fragrance collection that match the aromas of the body lotions.

The polymer bottles have collars that match the colors of the fine fragrance bottles. The lotions are due out this month while the Brooklyn scent is to be launched in March.