Photo courtesy of Laurice Rahme.
Olfactive portrait of New York by Laurice Rahme.
After a first career in antiques trade and years of extensive traveling as international training director at Lancôme, Paris-born Laurice Rahme fell in love with New York and founded her own perfume label Bond No. 9 in 2003. The brand is entirely dedicated to the Big Apple and has produced over 60 fragrances that encompass many New York neighborhoods, beaches, and places. The company’s flagship is located at 9 Bond Street in the NoHo district of Manhattan. Several perfumes from the Bond No. 9 range have been awarded with the industry’s most prestigious prize, the FiFi Award. In 2012, New York Oud won the FiFi Award for Perfume Extraordinaire.
What is your personal secret “olfactive spot” in New York?
The High Line has been my secret “olfactive spot” in New York for the past 3 years. Their calendar of planning, featured on their website, explains why.
What smell reminds you of New York when you are abroad?
When I’m abroad the smell of warm pastries always reminds me of New York. In parallel to this, New York has a very sweet tooth.
Why are you in New York?
For freedom, creativity, openness, and adventure! New York inspires me to always try new things.
Your perfume advice to New Yorkers?
Always try the fragrance on your skin, not blotter cards. When choosing a fragrance, choose what smells good on you, not what the advertising campaign tells you to try.
Does New York offer more perfume stories than other cities?
Yes it does, because each neighborhood is its own village with its own culture, its own spirit. There are a few hundreds of different villages in New York, so I have a lot of work to do!
What is your favorite place in New York to discover and shop fragrance?
My favorite place to discover scents is at The New York Botanical Gardens, it’s always different, and it’s always well-kept, it is the most exciting place in New York for smelling.
Please share with us your best New York perfume anecdote!
In the middle of August 2006, before The High Line was built in the Meatpacking District, The Washington Post wanted me, a perfumer, to smell “the worst places in New York.” So, they took me to meet with the meat vendors, the smell of meat in 90 degree heat turned my stomach. After meeting with meat vendors they then took me to Chinatown to the chicken factories. The heat was so unbearable that not only my nose, but, my stomach could not take the smell. The article is available at the following link if you are interested in the full story! : www.washingtonpost.com
What is New York’s most exciting neighborhood at the moment?
NoHo is the most exciting place in New York at this time, specifically Bond Street where our headquarters are located.
This perfume story was brought to you in collaboration with Elements Showcase New York, 2014.