The Controversial Story Behind This Andy Warhol-Inspired Fragrance

Andy Warhol’s unmatched ability to take recognizable tokens of pop culture and consumerism and twist them in a way that simultaneously mocks and embraces the original is the heart of his creative legacy, but it got him into trouble sometimes, too: In 1967, Warhol reportedly received a cease-and-desist letter from Coca-Cola for one of his lesser-known (and punnier) works, “You’re In,” which featured a collection of soda bottles spray-painted silver and filled with a cheap, citrusy pale-yellow cologne that the artist claimed was toilet water. The project was quickly abandoned.
Half a century later, Comme des Garçons is picking up right where Warhol left off with a new You’re In fragrance created in collaboration with the Andy Warhol Foundation. Inspired by the shiny bottles and unisex citrus notes housed inside, the eccentric brand put its own, less provocative spin on the controversial fragrance by turning it into a wearable scent. The combination of bitter orange, lime zest, jasmine, and coriander leaf with a musky, metallic dry-down keeps the fragrance weird, but nobody will be mistaking it for pee this time around.
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You’ll notice that Comme des Garçons wisely chose to leave out any possible references to a bottle of Coke for the new interpretation, instead opting for a simple cylindrical shape. The scent comes in six different variations of the same bottle, each one inscribed with a famous Warhol quote, including the one that perhaps best embodies the spirit of You’re In: “Art is what you can get away with.”
The fragrance launched today at Dover Street Market in New York, and will roll out in various CDG and Dover Street Market locations soon before landing in stores that carry CDG fragrances worldwide in October. Market sources told WWD that You’re In is expected to generate an estimated $1.5 million in the first six months, which seems like a lot until you remember that Warhol’s macabre 1963 painting “Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)” sold for $105 million in 2013.
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