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Scents and the City: Meet the Woman Who Captures Neighborhoods Through Smell New York's urban jungle inspires a global fragrance empire.

By Lambeth Hochwald

This story appears in the December 2015 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Adam Friedberg
The chic Bond No. 9 flagship was designed to encourage lingering.

It may be hard to believe that an entrepreneur could build a multimillion-dollar business inspired by the smells of New York City, which is not necessarily known for its olfactory charms. But that's what Laurice Rahmé has done.

Originally from Paris, Rahmé spent 10 years at L'Oréal before starting her perfume brand, Bond No. 9. "We launched because of 9/11," she says of her company, which is headquartered on Bond Street in Manhattan's NoHo neighborhood. "NoHo and all of downtown were so affected by the events of that day, and we wanted to make New York smell good again. It was a highly emotional time, but my idea was to map out every neighborhood and attach each one to a very different scent."

In the years since, Rahmé has created edgy and whimsical perfumes for men and women, all blended in New York by handpicked French perfumers and each recognizing a specific city locale, from Harlem to Wall Street and Madison Square Park to the High Line, the transformed elevated rail yard she "perfumed" five years ago.

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