Bond No 9 Andy Warhol Agreement expires, new neighborhoods to replace.
The relationship between perfumer Bond No. 9 and the Andy Warhol Foundation came to a recent conclusion with the expiry of their five year licensing arrangement. No longer will Bond be able to use Warhol’s name or images for their products or marketing. There is no immediate indication that the agreement was terminated, whether both parties permitted the arrangement to come to a natural expiration, or whether there was even discussion of a renewal to maintain the current products. The last bit seems unlikely since cosmetics maker Nars reached agreement in March for a licensing deal with the Foundation. This also removes speculation that recent legal allegations by former Bond retail staffers impacted the decision to terminate the agreement since the labor issue is much more recent.
The expiration of the agreement, however, appears to make business sense for both Bond and the Andy Warhol Foundation (AWF). AWF presumably gets a more robust marketing partner in NARS/Shiseido with a wider distribution channel, and that presumably reaps more royalties, in turn, for AWF. Bond is released from an arrangement that never quite seemed to fit with their New York City neighborhood marketing thrust. And anyone owning a Bond bottle with the rendition of the Warhol soup can or the circa 1963 picture of Andy Warhol has something that may be collectible as nostalgia.
For now, if you have the current Silver Factory bottle or any of the other Warhol inspired editions with the artistic assets adorning the bottles, they may have some value in due time. If you want those, they’re now limited to current stock and selling through quickly, not to be restocked.
But returning to the plight of Bond for a moment, since NARS is a company solely focused on cosmetics, the question remains of how NARS will actually use the AWF assets in their marketing plan, and what happens to the various scents commissioned for Bond No. 9 as “Andy Warhol editions”.
Allegedly, those become “neighborhoods”. Scents such as Andy Warhol (2011) will be packaged as something different, though the juice in the new bottle — whatever that will resemble, I’m told it’s quite nice — remains the same. Union Square and Lexington Avenue, too, will be repackaged as neighborhoods, bottle designs changing to suit. Same with Montauk, Success and Silver Factory, although I’m having difficulty seeing how the naming of the latter two can remain the same and still fit with the Bond No. 9 marketing image. (A Silver Factory neighborhood? Really?)
Time will tell, but it got us thinking about some New York neighborhoods that aren’t getting some Bond No. 9 love, and what the next neighborhood should be. (Are you listening, Bond No 9 marketing folks?) Here’s some ideas to consider:
- So Bronx – since So New York was focused on smelling like a cross between a plum pastry and Cafe Mocha, perhaps you could vary that theme for the northern borough. Instead of plum, how about “raspberries”?
- Eau de Staten Island – one of the five boroughs that is constantly forgotten, this could take some olfactory queues from Etat Libre D’Orange’s Secretions Magnifiques and employ some of the more notable aromas of the island. A mixture of sea breezes wafting past the urban decay of diesel exhaust, the aroma of over-ripe fruits combined with decaying organic matter.
- Brighton Beach – the very tony Hamptons set get their own fragrances, Coney Island gets one, Fire Island has a scent, so why is Brighton Beach so forgotten? The notes of vodka, borscht, cabbage along with burning tobacco against an aquatic salt-air backdrop seem apropos for such a scent.
- Eau de Subway – Bond No 9 makes superb use of the subway-token design on its bottles, but never once has it paid tribute to the inspiration that helped kick-start that marketing stroke of genius. We picture a very warm, close fragrance, very musky & animalic just like the subway in mid-summer New York City heat and humidity. Perhaps a civet note could add just the right touch to bring to mind the notion that the subway is a very human place…often without adequate facilities.
- The Scent of Meatpacking – No longer just the domain of butchers and tranny-hookers, the Meatpacking District has become one of the trendy go-to spots in the city. Flush with upscale boutiques and nightclubs situated adjacent to a variety of notable eateries and hold-overs from the neighborhood’s rough-and-tumble days as the city’s butchery. We envision the smells of nearby Spice Market (Coriander, Cardamom) mixed with a creamy tonka bean, smoked wood from a flame broiled New York Strip, and the gourmand scents from nearby Chelsea Market.
- Bond No 9 Murray Hill – This eclectic neighborhood has often been referred to as “Curry Hill” because of the influx of South Asian eateries and cuisines. With that inspiration, we’d envision a fragrance infused with aromatic caraway, cardamom, coriander, pink and black pepper, nutmeg, star anise, chilis and cumin against a fragrant backdrop of saffron, smoldering woods, bay leaf and other spices to create a very tantalizing pallet.
Just remember to give us credit when you finally use these.
Editor’s note: The above examples are provided for humor purposes only and do not represent actual Bond No 9 releases. Yet.