For Laurice Rahme, the founder of Bond No. 9, a new development project for New York City means a new fragrance for her brand.
This story first appeared in the March 21, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“When I see there’s a whole new neighborhood in New York that’s going to be built, I want it,” said Rahme, whose upcoming spring scent is based on the Hudson Yards development, to be constructed by 2018 atop Long Island Railroad, New Jersey Transit and Amtrak tracks between 30th and 34th Streets. “And if it’s a neighborhood with green [space] and a park and the water, I really want it.”
Inspired by the upcoming $1.5 billion project, Rahme’s 59th scent, which launches April 1, is meant as a study in modernity and nature, both elements incorporated in the Hudson Yards design. Spanning 28 acres, the more than 17 million-square-foot space on the West Side will house more than 100 shops, about 5,000 residential units, a school, a movie theater, restaurants, a 150-room hotel, 12 “super towers” and a public square. The square, designed by green-minded landscape architect Thomas Woltz, will be filled with artfully placed gardens, flowers, fountains and open-air space for art exhibitions and events.
“When you do a neighborhood that doesn’t exist yet, it’s so exciting,” said Rahme, adding that companies like Coach Inc. and L’Oréal USA have signed on to move to a Hudson Yards building. “This is the new fashion center in New York. It is the future of the city.”
The resulting “watery” scent, created by Givaudan’s Aurélien Guichard, is meant to be at once futuristic and natural. Housed in a “near-neon” chartreuse laser-etched bottle, top notes include lily of the valley, freesia and pink peppercorns, while the heart is a blend of peony buds, Bulgarian rose and lychee, set atop a base of orange flower, iris absolute and white musk. A large fabric bloom, also a removable fashion accessory, adorns the bottle. “It’s a fashion piece,” said Rahme. “It’s oversize, pretty daring, it’s supermodern, like the project itself.”
With her finger on the pulse of New York City Department of Parks & Recreation’s comings and goings, Rahme is a virtual trademarking machine, a trait that has allowed her to launch Bond No. 9 scents such as Bryant Park, Union Square, Wall Street and Chinatown, which pay homage to the city behind her brand.
“People ask me: What am I going to do next? Am I running out of projects? I won’t because New York City is always onto the next project, the next renovation to make the city attractive,” said Rahme.
Although the company would not share financials, industry sources estimate the $285 scent, which will be sold through about 2,000 global department store doors, 100 of which will be in the U.S., could generate $5 million in its first year at retail.