The Andy Warhol scent factory

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Andy Warhol's Silver Factory perfume, sponsored by Bond No. 9 and the Andy Warhol Foundation. Note the Campbell's soup can-like design of the label.
Andy Warhol’s Silver Factory perfume, sponsored by Bond No. 9 and the Andy Warhol Foundation. Note the Campbell’s soup can-like design of the label.

The odor of baking bread exerts a siren pull. Who can resist it? Perfume is, of course, far more subtle, and its scents tap into memories, perhaps of a mother or grandmother or girlfriend or lover or someone familiar who had a signature scent. I remember my mother’s perfumes. She liked Estee Lauder products and somehow their sophistication and lack of over-the-top sweetness fit her tailored style, and — in my mind at least — complemented her wit and her Ginger Rogers-like ability to break into a little tap dance step at any moment.

Stella went on a perfume kick last year and bought a high-priced (for her teenage pocketbook) bottle of Chanel’s Chance. I do not know why she bought it but probably the decision wasn’t based on the scent of it because soon she gave the almost-full bottle to me. Chance just wasn’t her and she knew it. It wasn’t me either — too sharp, too acerbic — but the perfume wasn’t bad really and, being a perfume addict, I used it all, every bit.

At the same time that Stella was buying Chanel she was also going wild in Bath and Body Works buying lotions and cleansers scented like a kitchen fruit basket. Why would you want to smell like a strawberry, I asked her? Why would you want to smell like vanilla? I could barely step inside the store for gagging on the overwhelmingly fruity odors.

To me the pleasure of perfume is to take you out of the house, especially out of the kitchen. Any scent that recalls a milkshake, smoothie, or fresh squeezed orange juice is to be avoided at all costs. I don’t want to be reminded of paring knives, juice squeezers and dish washing. Please, intoxicate me with flowers instead.

Recently the people of Bond No. 9, a perfumerie in Manhattan, emailed to say they had a new scent they were offering, Andy Warhol’s Silver Factory — worked up in conjunction with the Andy Warhol Foundation and keying off the authentic Warhol persona or aura if you will. I was intrigued and they were offering a free sample so I signed right up. The sample came in its little glass vial and, as the press material promised, the perfume was smoky and a little fruity (grapefruit) and a little flowery.

It’s a unisex scent and sophisticated and I think Andy would be happy to be memorialized in a perfume. He was a dreamy guy and perfume is nothing if not dreamy.

The perfume will be ready for the general public December 1 either from Bond No. 9‘s New York boutiques or Saks Fifth Avenue stores nationwide.

As for the Andy Warhol Foundation, this outstanding group has given out over 1,700 cash grants to artists, writers and others in the arts to date totaling more than $70 million–awesome do-gooding! They deserve a little scented fun in their lives. I have to believe they are fulfilling the foundation’s mission with the combination of handing out money and creating Warhol product.

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