By  on November 2, 2007

Ashley Judd is saying "I do" to a new American Beauty fragrance this spring.

At a lunch held at the Cosmopolitan Club in Manhattan Thursday afternoon, the actress called the event "a blessed event" and a break from her latest film. Judd is currently filming "Helen," a drama about a talented professor coming to terms with clinical depression. Judd plays the title role. "I sometimes have to remind myself that the character is depressed — I am not," said Judd.

But she's relishing the role. "I'm having an astonishing experience — it is going unbelievably well," said Judd. "I come home sated creatively every night. But it is extraordinarily grueling. I have to drop into that dark place several times a day, every day. It's a lot of wear and tear on my nervous system, but I'm getting a lot of support and I have a very healthy life, which is fundamental to my well-being. And I'm really taking advantage of the healing arts in Vancouver [where "Helen" is being filmed]." She also credits her husband, Dario Franchitti, with "incredible support."

Judd has been the face of the American Beauty brand, one of five produced by the Estée Lauder Cos. BeautyBank division for Kohl's Department Stores, since the brand's introduction in October 2004.

"The introduction of Beloved captures the romantic side of the American Beauty brand," said Jane Hudis, president of BeautyBank. "In every aspect of the fragrance, from the juice to the packaging to Ashley, we tried to express that."

Beloved, concocted by Karyn Khoury, senior vice president of corporate fragrance development worldwide for the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. in cooperation with International Flavors & Fragrances, has top notes of golden apricot, calla lilies and bitter orange; a heart of tuberose petal, orange flower, orris and stephanotis, and a drydown of cottonwood, sandalwood and amber.

Beloved will be available in one size, 1.7 oz. for $39.50, exclusively at Kohl's beginning in March.

National advertising featuring Judd will break in March fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines, said Julie Howard, senior vice president of global marketing and brand development for BeautyBank. A major sampling campaign, designed to distribute at least 300,000 vials on card, is also planned.A personal appearance schedule hasn't been released, although Judd has done store appearances for her previous projects with American Beauty.

While all involved declined to discuss sales figures, industry sources estimated that Beloved would do about $5 million at retail in its first year on counter.

While celebrity fragrances are the trend du jour, Judd quashes any thoughts that an Ashley Judd fragrance is in the works: "I love being with American Beauty," she said firmly. "I am very happy here. And I think that Beloved is very much a reflection of the whimsical, romantic side of me. It suits me well."

In addition to her fragrances with BeautyBank, Judd also sells a fashion line through Goody's Family Clothing, a moderate-priced apparel firm based in Knoxville, Tenn. She is also very active in philanthropic causes, and is global ambassador for YouthAIDS, an international organization promoting AIDS prevention and treatment.

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