Scent of the Holidays: ANDY WARHOL SILVER FACTORY
By Mark David Boberick
“Andy Warhol is alive and well…and living in a fabulous perfume bottle“.
The first collaboration between the Andy Warhol Foundation and Bond No. 9, the edgy, extremely successful downtown perfumery is sure to impress. Incense lovers: pay attention! What may seem like an odd marriage actually makes a lot more sense than you might think. Andy Warhol loved perfume. A few years ago marked the 20th anniversary of his death and what better way to continue to celebrate one of the most influential artists of the 20th century than with a series of Warhol inspired fragrances. Behold Silver Factory.
Bond conceived Silver Factory as “a smooth, smoky, spicy blend of interlacing incense – a key scent of the ‘60s.” Created by Aurélien Guichard, Silver Factory opens with a lot of bergamot. Bond describes the bergamot as being “soft and gentle – as if it had a hangover,” and I couldn’t agree more. It mingles beautifully with the already present incense, right away setting the mood for this fragrance as being calm, cool, and collected. The lavender and the grapefruit in the opening are minimal to my nose, making their appearance only for several brief seconds at a time. In a few minutes the overture has finished and the curtain is now up. Andy Warhol’s favorite scent, violet starts to emerge. It is not a strong violet, and like all of the floral’s in this fragrance, it is supported by the incense. From the very start of this fragrance, there is a definite metallic quality – and there would have to be, right? The silvery Iris and the sultry jasmine are never strong, but they are there. It is around this time that things start to warm up.
The Incense is full, sultry, and smoky and it supports the dissonant floral’s which are now like “warmed-up, molten silver.” The rather extraordinary part of this fragrance emerges around this time, about an hour after application – when things are both warm and cool – we have the metallic coolness paired with the warmth and smokiness of the incense with the floral’s vying for sides – not sure where they belong. It is absolutely breathtaking. The dry down is a simple, soothing aroma of resiny amber with a touch of Cedarwood.
Decadent? Yes, Bond’s creation is indeed decadent – but it favors the more luxurious aspect of the word. It is luxuriously priced at $230 for a 100 ml. The reason? Bond has never been shy about their perfumes – they are very quick to tell you the percentage of perfume oil in their Eau de Parfums – much higher than other fragrance companies. With Silver Factory, however, Bond has gone above and beyond their standard, already high percentage of 22 percent to make Silver Factory a 28 percent concentration. They are calling it just that, in fact – a Perfume Concentrate, much in the manner of a can of soup. Remember, we are also talking about Warhol here and one of the most recognizable images of Modern Art is the Campbell’s soup can which Warhol painted excessively. This “Condensed” perfume comes in a textured silver signature star-shaped bottle that has a myriad of Warhol references. Silver Factory’s label takes its inspiration from the soup can, but in true Warhol style, the colors have been psychedelically flipped into a world of turquoise and purple. The Bond subway token, substitutes for the Campbell’s emblem, bridging the 2 color fields together. This bottle is kitschy – exactly what it should be. It never once compromises the artistic integrity of the perfumery or the artist but is a very happy solution to the marriage.
The fragrance is divine, the best release from Bond No. 9 since Chinatown. It has excellent sillage and superb longevity. It is quite avant-garde and thank god for that. In a market dominated by fruity floral’s, it is refreshing to smell a smoky, heavy scent. This is time-warp in a bottle. Most importantly for me, this scent truly represents everything Andy Warhol stands for. It’s not just about creating an evocative atmosphere – which Silver Factory certainly does. It’s about taking something that we as perfume lovers all know – a smoky incense scent – and re-interpreting it, because this is exactly what Andy Warhol did. He took a photo of Marilyn Monroe and gave it back to us in 7 polychromatic different forms. He took what we all know and spun it on its axis. This is precisely what Silver Factory has achieved; your typical Incense with a fascinating new twist. Thank you Laurice Rahmé and thank you Andy Warhol.
NOTES: Top: Bergamot, Grapefruit, Lavender Heart: Violet, Incense, Jasmine, Iris. Base: Amber, Wood Resin, Cedarwood
Andy Warhol Silver Factory is available AT all Bond No. 9 New York boutiques listed below and the Bond No. 9 website
Bond No. 9 website www.bondno9.com
Bond No. 9 toll free number: 1.877.273.3369
Bond No. 9 New York Boutiques:
897 Madison Avenue (73rd Street) 212.794.4480
680 Madison Avenue (61st Street) 212.838.2780
399 Bleecker Street (11th Street) 212.633.1641
9 Bond Street (Broadway & Lafayette) 212.228.1732