Five Minutes with Bond No.9 President and Founder Laurice Rahme

This past weekend, revered cosmetic veteran and president/founder of Bond No.9, Laurice Rahme, made a personal appearance at Saks Fifth Avenue’s New York City flagship to debut her latest scent, New York Amber. Rahme’s background includes working with the likes of Lancôme, Annick Goutal, and Creed, and when she struck out on her own in 2003, her unisex fragrances quickly developed a cult following. The brand was founded as a Manhattan-centric brand with fragrance names like Park Avenue and New Haarlem, but she recently set out to provide New York beaches with a scent of their own. I spoke with Rahme about what's to come for her brand, her personal favorite scents, what’s on her holiday wish list, and more.

The Fashion Spot: What fragrance are you wearing right now?

Laurice Rahme: I’m wearing a scent that we’re going to be launching next year called Central Park West. I’m testing it for long-lastingness because it’s very important that all of our scents last.

tFS: Is it a very floral scent? Are all the notes set already?

LR: Yes! It has big white flower notes and yes, all the notes are set already, we’re just working out the technicalities.

tFS: What scent do you wear day-to-day?

LR: You know, as a small brand, I don’t have the luxury to wear any of the existing fragrances. We don’t have the budget for focus groups so I’m always wearing and testing out the frangraces that we have in progress.

Bond no.9

tFS: How did the idea for Central Park West come about?

LR: We’ve done so many parks and I couldn’t believe we hadn’t done one of the city’s most beautiful ones!

tFS: Can you tell us about anything else you have in the works?

LR: I’ve been working on a Sag Harbor-inspired scent for over a year and its launch will follow the opening, this past summer, of a Bond No.9 boutique in Sag Harbor.

tFS: What’s the first step in creating a new fragrance?

LR: Picking the neighborhood.

tFS: Do you find that you’re getting more male customers?

LR: Yes! Men are becoming like us and collecting fragrances, which I love! Young men especially love Andy Warhol and Bleecker Street.

tFS: Where did the bottle design come from?

LR: From me! I just drew a star on a piece of paper because I wanted the bottle to be like a person – the neck, the shoulders – so you can dress the bottle up or down. Some bottles are more masculine, some have flowers, the idea is that if you dress different, you look different, and then you feel different and I wanted that reflected in the bottle.

tFS: What are some of your bestsellers?

LR: Chinatown, Wall Street, and Bleecker Street all do consistently well.

tFS: What’s your personal favorite?

LR: My signature scent called Signature.

tFS: Any suggestions for a holiday fragrance.

LR: New York Amber is perfect!

tFS: What’s on your holiday wish list?

LR: Vintage Van Cleef & Arpel – I can’t afford the new pieces, but there are some great vintage pieces.