Tuesday, January 08, 2008

How I saved $230



I was getting close to caving in and buying the new Bond no. 9 Andy Warhol Silver Factory perfume. After all, it's a great scent and I really liked it (it's the last item in the linked post).

However, it seems that Bond no. 9 has not only a love for my favorite city and its icons but also a huge case of hubris. Apparently, this company which has used the names of nearly every NYC landmark for its perfumes, is now the owner of abstract nouns and concepts. Case in point: Artisan perfumer Liz Zorn got a nastigram from Bond no.9 attorneys, threatening to take her to the cleaners. Why? Because her fragrance "Peace on Earth" is an infringement on Bond's right to the word "Peace" that was established in their "Scent of Peace" perfume (which to my nose is a total bore, but that's beside the point).

Do you think that a similar letter was sent to LVMH, the owners of Kenzo's "Time for Peace"? My money would be on "No".

It looks like this isn't a new tactic for Bond no. 9. According to posts made by Anya McCoy (here and here) of Anya's Garden, she had a similar experience before she discontinued her Riverside perfume (Bond no. 9 also offer a perfume called Riverside Drive, and apparently they own that part of Manhattan, though I suspect The Donald might argue with this statement).

I find this nasty and ridiculous. I don't see Serge Lutens battling Keiko Mecheri over the rights to the name Loukhoum, nor D&G going after Bulgari in a battle of the Blue, not to mention the many blacks, reds, passion or loves that can be found in many perfumes from competing companies (how many others can you find?). But Bond no. 9 owns "Peace". Don't you love the irony?

What they don't own is my money, which will be spent elsewhere, on something from a very small and independent perfume house  that doesn't have a law firm on retainer.

More on the questionable peacefulness of Bond No. 9 is here and here.

28 comments:

  1. It makes you wonder....Did you know that you can even copy-right protect colors? If I remember properly, this is the case for Deutsche Telecom's magenta... Well. What a dull world this might lead to...

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  2. I will never buy a Bond. I think Chaya has hinted at her dislike of the company - I didn't realise the reason why until you mentioned Anya's Riverside (a wonderful frag btw). Bond can shove it up their diamante encrusted sphincters, as far as I'm concerned. Bullies.

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  3. I will never buy from Bond. Love perfume. Love spending money on it. Hate bullies. Peace.

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  4. I've heard stories about Bond, too. The Perfume House in Portland refuses to carry their line because of some sort of dirty tricks they played. Well, there are plenty of other perfume houses out there for my money.

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  5. Don't know if it will do any good, but I have just sent the company an e-mail expressing my opinion of their action. Maybe if all us perfumistas do the same?

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  6. This action is shocking. As you pointed out, Bond No. 9 doesn't go after the big companies, but rather after individuals with small businesses. These are actions of a playground bully. To think they own the words "peace" and "riverside" is preposterous to a pathological degree. Alas, I like New Haarlem, but I don't foresee needing a bottle ever.

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  7. well, I just saved $230.

    Not only do I think we should write to them, I think we perfume bloggers should make a pact not to write one word about the house until they lay off this kind of shite.

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  8. Andy- That's really interesting. I have no idea how it can work long term, though, unless only very unique colors/combinations are allowed to be copyrighted. I can't imagine Coke or Pepsi doing it with primary colors.

    Lee- I know. There have been rumours for a very long time and the owner never radiated warm fuzzies, so I'm not surprised. Too bad I never got to try Anya's Riverside. I'm willing to bet it's nicer and more original than just about every Bond creation.

    Anon- Great attitude.I feel exactly the same.

    Angela- Exactly. I'm happy to support houses that aren't playing dirty. There are plenty of them around.

    Gail- That's great! I'm all for it and will send my email shortly.

    Maria- I agree. I actually own a bottle of New Haarlem (bought long before I started hearing the rumours) and I love it, but not enough to replace when it's gone. I refuse to encourage this bully.

    Tom- Exactly. Some of Bond's success must be because of all the attention and endorsement they got on our blogs. We can just as easily take that attention away. I'm going to skip all the other releases in the Warhol series. No sniffing, no posting and definitely no buying. I hope the others join us in this little boycott.

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  9. That's ridiculous. I was considering a bottle of Bryant Park, but after hearing this, not so much. I like to vote with my dollar, as they say. I may even have to mark them off my 2008 list. Ugh.

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  10. No more Bonds for me I qwn New Harlem, so that's it.

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  11. Thank you for posting this, and I agree that I will not be purchasing from them. Just tried Silver Factory, so I can relate to your title! I'll try to write them when I have a chance. Makes me feel bad about planning to go to law school, since this is the really bad kind of lawyering. Honestly, did the lawyer feel really stupid when writing this, since it is completely contrary to common sense that the word "peace", particularly when used as part of (two completely different) phrases, can be copyrighted? Or did he just feel really crafty and clever?

    Their ad copy says it is the "most beautifully civic-minded fragrance ever devised" (Saks). How charming--if you slap the word peace on a bottle of perfume, you not only have exclusive rights to the word for all scented products, but you have contributed to society. If only the city of New York could bring a lawsuit against them for their use of its names, or demand a portion of the proceeds--perhaps for an urban renewal fund, some real civic-mindedness.

    I also wonder if they actually had an arrangement with UNICEF for their donations...many charities, including those listed by Barneys as beneficiaries, have no idea their name is being used to shill a scent, according to a recent NY Times article.

    I'm thoroughly disgusted, and thanks for doing your part.

    --Jenny, a longtime lurker who really enjoys the blog and apologizes for the rant

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  12. I'm not shocked in the least. Bond was also a huge impetus behind decants being banned from ebay. I remember when they were getting individual sellers kicked off the 'bay, then ebay decided to ban those kinds of listings altogether. That was enough to make me boycott Bond! There are plenty of less obnoxious companies to spend my perfume $$$ on.

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  13. That's so obnoxious! Thank you for the information. I never liked Bond since being disappointed by Chinatown, the grossest juice ever, but now I'll never patronize it.

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  14. In response to standard actions regarding a Bond No. 9 trademark infringement, Ms. Zorn has personally waged war on us by Internet and by telephone.

    For the information of those who support her based on these postings, etc., we thought it only fair to publish the following document. While waging said war, she sent this letter to the attorneys of Bond No. 9, declaring her 'peaceful' resolution. She has, in essence, committed the very offense to which she claims (without merit) Bond No. 9 has affronted her.

    Bond No. 9 is a small, entrepreneurial company run by one woman who spends a lot of time and money protecting it—her life’s work—and the scope of this company includes her trademarks. As a small business owner, and given the significant portion of her budget required to secure the names and phrases that are essential to the success of her business, she strongly defends them all.

    The creative spirit of Bond No. 9 is copied every day by various companies, large and small, and we protect our rights in all cases. Laurice encourages everyone to be creative and to protect their ideas.

    Two Springs ago she had the idea to launch a Peace fragrance at the United Nations and donate to UNICEF for that first year. Since 2007, the donations have been to Seeds of Peace (http://seedsofpeace.org), and Laurice continues to donate for Peace. The Scent of Peace is a top selling fragrance which allows us to donate a large amount of money to charity, and we're very pleased

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    Replies
    1. This is ridiculous on so many levels. Bond is basically a knock-off house that copies successful fragrances from Creed and other perfumers.

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  16. For the record, neither I nor Lizz telephoned the lawyers. We laughed them off, I faxed my response, Lizz sent hers certified, which I doubt the lawyers have even received yet.

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  17. I blogged about this as well, I wanted to spread the information, and was going to copy that press release but they got there before me. : )

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  18. P.- I know how you feel, and voting with our dollars is the best way to go. And blogging about this, too ;)

    Nattygold- We're in the same boat. I'll keep using my New Haarlem, but I'm done.

    Jenny- Thank you for delurking. I'm always happy to "meet" readers. Don't apologize for wanting to be a lawyer. It's a great proffesion that gives one the ability to do good in the world just as much as to be an ass ;)
    I have a feeling you're there for the good.

    Trina- I heard the same thing about the decanting issue and wasn't impressed. We had no proof back then, so we could only badmouth eBay for that stupid action.

    Dain- I'm with you about Chinatown. So vile. Thanks for adding your voice to the discussion.

    Anya- It doesn't cost them anything to say those things here. I don't think attacking Liz here or elsewhere will do much for them as far as PR damage control goes.

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  19. My response to the PR spam is here:
    http://thenonblonde.blogspot.com/2008/01/war-and-peace-more-about-bond-no-9.html

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  20. I had considered exploring the array of Bond Frags until i read about this.

    now Bond has permanently lost a potential customer because of their greed and frivolous legal pursuit. I will also encourage my friends to abandon Bond as well.

    I hope Laurice is pleased with herself.

    PEACE OUT, BOND

    dj dickfirst
    NY

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  21. DJ- Thank you for commenting. looks like their behavior has cost Bond a pretty penny.

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  22. Don't forget about Ralph Lauren Blue (which is one of my fav perfumes) and the fact that there are tons of companies with their perfumes named "blue" "deep blue" or what have you...

    Unless they smell the same, what difference does it make?

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  23. queen of caffeineJanuary 16, 2008 9:27 AM

    shame on Laurice...i have met her, and I know she works hard, but honestly, the fragrances are a chem-fest, mostly unwearable
    ( love you silver factory decant, really love you, New Haarlem decant )and really expensive. I bought an ounce in the store of Park Ave so I know the options but there is no excuse for this kind of litigation!!
    The only ones making money there are the um...LAWYERS!!!
    I will not buy any full bottles of Ms Laurice juice.

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  24. Henna- Exactly. Can you imagine someone trademarking "blue"?

    QoC- Looks like we have similar tastes. I almost feel guilty for owning a full bottle of New Haarlem.

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  25. It was shocking, I actually considered buying their Park Avenue, which is a beautiful scent, but hey - not anymore. I'd rather buy something from L'Artisan and feel better! Bond no. 9 is a niche brand, so You'd never think They'd act like some super huge, commercial company. You'd think they have some good manners and stuff. I don't like them anymore and will not even look their way ever again. I'm so glad I didn't purchase anything yet! I always accused Ralph Lauren of being too characterless and too money hungry. Now what? An exclusive, luxury brand fights for a stupid name like it's gonna make em kings of the jungle, funny.

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  26. I never liked even one of their perfumes (they smell cheap and unoriginal) and now that I found out this unsavory information, boycotting them is easy.

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  27. The Perfumed VeilJanuary 30, 2014 8:51 PM

    I just found an interesting article about the owner of Bond being racist. Google it. To think that her last name means "merciful" in Arabic! How ironic.

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