To the Editor:
I read with interest your story about Andy Warhol and Bond No. 9 — describing Bond’s latest Warhol-inspired fragrance (WWD, Dec. 28, page 6). I would like to add to the historical record.
I personally produced the first Andy Warhol fragrance with Andy himself for a Pop Art Store called “The Museum of Merchandise,” held by the Arts Council of the YMHA in Philadelphia (now the Gershman Y). The show opened on May 10, 1967. At the time I was the chairman of the Arts Council and a creative director (along with Audrey Sabol) of the Museum of Merchandise, which featured useful objects designed by artists.
I asked Andy to participate and he suggested doing a perfume. I took him to a small perfumer who had a shop near Washington Square, around 12th Street in New York. The Arts Council paid for the manufacture. Andy said he wanted the “juice” to be yellow and smell like Canoe, a popular lemon-scented cologne. He decided to call it “You’re In” (say it fast). He wanted it bottled in a silver Coke bottle. I found a stopper that would hold a label and had labels designed and printed. When the show opened, it was written up in Fairchild’s Home Furnishings Daily and The New York Times, among other publications, and I was invited to appear — with the fragrance and other objects including Christo’s wedding dress — on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson. By then, Coke had threatened to sue. To avoid a lawsuit, we began selling the perfume in a plain glass bottle and gave the silver Coke bottle (spray-painted at The Factory) as a gift-with-purchase. I think we charged $10. I have one of the few remaining bottles with the label on the stopper and have loaned it to several museum exhibitions.
Records of the exhibit are in the Joan Kron Papers and the Audrey Sabol Papers in the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution.
Contributing editor at large, Allure magazine