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The Smell of Lucre

The holiday season is shaping up to be merry one in New York’s financial district this year. The shopping season is off to a healthy start (except for those poor, bumbling schlubs at Wal-Mart), the Dow is up, and investors are confident, what with that nasty little election nuisance finally out of the way. Time to divvy up the bonus pool! With all that money littering the hallways, like balsam branches in Fairfield County estates, no wonder the scent in the air is… sea kale?

The holiday season is shaping up to be merry one in New York’s financial district this year. The shopping season is off to a healthy start (except for those poor, bumbling schlubs at Wal-Mart), the Dow is up, and investors are confident, what with that nasty little election nuisance finally out of the way. Time to divvy up the bonus pool! With all that money littering the hallways, like balsam branches in Fairfield County estates, no wonder the scent in the air is… sea kale?

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Yep, that and cucumber and citrus, ozone and musk, vetiver, and ambergris. Those scents make up Wall Street, a new fragrance, sure to be a hit among traders and investment bankers, hedge fund managers and equity analysts.

While strolling down Madison Avenue earlier this week, I stopped dead in my tracks in front of the window of Bond No. 9 New York, a perfume shop, that was promoting the stuff with the slogan: The First Financial Fragrance. What does the NYSE smell like, anyway? So I hurried inside for a sniff.

Can’t say that I loved it, but it certainly smells, well, green. The company’s founder and president, Laurice Rahme, said she wanted to create a scent that reflected the energy and bravura of New York’s newly re-awakened financial district. Indeed, she’s so committed to the come-back of lower Manhattan that she’s donating $1 from the sale of each bottle to the nonprofit organization Wall Street Rising.

An ounce of the stuff will set you back $45, or, if your portfolio is looking particularly robust, you might want to spring for the Masters of the Universe bottle, $190 for 3.4 ounces.

As for me, I think I’ll stick with something more my speed from Rahme’s New York suite of fragrances: “So New York,” a scent she describes as a Chocolate Fantasy, rife with scents of espresso, warm milk, plums and chocolate. In short, I’ll smell like a highly-caffeinated Sugar Plum Fairy. Even more alluring, for some gents of my acquaintance, than the smell of a wisely-minded mutual fund.

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About the author

Linda Tischler writes about the intersection of design and business for Fast Company.

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