Bond No. 9 founder and owner Laurice Rahmé wonders where all the women in the fragrance business have gone.
Accepting an award from the International Perfume Bottle Association, known as IPBA, on May 5 in Princeton, N.J., Rahmé lamented the lack the feminine touch in contemporary packaging.
“I find them [bottles] masculine…it makes sense because they are men,” she said referring the current leaders in the industry. “I don’t see many women, before there were a lot of women in the industry. I don’t know what they are doing, but they are not in our business right now.”
Rahmé was honored for her artistry in bottle design, her business acumen and passion by the IPBA, the first award of its kind for the association. Annette Green, president emeritus of The Fragrance Foundation and a member of the planning board for IPBA, and International Flavors & Fragrances’ Laurent Le Guernec accompanied Rahmé.
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During her presentation, she shared the history of Bond No. 9 including challenges finding a bottle to match her groundbreaking concept. Frustrated with companies showing her “the same round or square bottle,” she looked outside the industry for inspiration, landing on the star-shaped human-like bottle that can be “dressed” up to convey the concept behind the scent. “Wall Street looks very masculine, we can give a bottle a necklace or give it a lipstick,” she said referring to Bond No. 9’s new Nolita, billed as the first fragrance-lipstick duo. Many collectors in attendance purchased Nolita, which Rahmé autographed.
The award was part of a three-day event, which also included a perfume bottle and vintage vanity show, lectures on collecting, a bottle design contest and a Perfume Bottle Auction expected to bring in more than $450,000 — one Lalique bottle fetched $30,000 — when tallied. Among the 250 treasures up for auction were an 1820 Charles x Palais Royal Baccarat perfume fountain, a Twenties Czechoslovakian Ingride lapis crystal perfume bottle and stopper and 1926 DeVilbiss Imperial perfume bottle, according to Ken Leach, director of Perfume Bottles Auction.