By and  on May 20, 2005

PARIS — Parfums Christian Dior has a new darling.

The LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned beauty powerhouse is introducing Miss Dior Cherie — a follow-up to its 1947 classic fragrance, Miss Dior — starting this month in numerous markets.

The scent has a decidedly youthful feel. Take its spokeswoman — rock 'n' roll royal Riley Keough, the granddaughter of Elvis. Parfums Christian Dior's international marketing director, Thomas Du Pre de Saint Maur, said that while the fragrance is likely to appeal to women of all ages, its core audience will probably be between 18 and 25.

The Miss Dior Cherie launch, which coincides with the 100th anniversary of the birth of the house's founder, is meant to be an embodiment of the changes in Dior fashion. As Miss Dior was launched the same year as Dior's "New Look," so is Miss Dior Cherie to celebrate John Galliano's evolving designs for the venerable house, including his recent focus on jackets.

"Customers are looking for fragrances that are rooted in the heritage of the house," said Du Pre de Saint Maur. "We wanted to recreate the fragrance silhouette of Dior."

The result is a gourmand chypre juice, concocted by Christine Nagel of Quest International. It comprises top notes of green mandarin and strawberry plant leaf. Heart notes include caramelized popcorn and wild-strawberry sorbet. The scent's drydown features fresh patchouli and crystalline musk notes.

The fragrance is packaged in a bottle inspired by Miss Dior's. Both scents' flacons are rectangular and have angular caps, for example. Miss Dior Cherie's also has a metallic ribbon decoration at the base of its spray device and its name engraved on the front.

Industry sources estimate the scent could generate between 50 million euros and 60 million euros, or $64.8 million and $77.7 million at current exchange, in wholesale volume during its first year worldwide. Industry sources estimated that, in the U.S., where the scent will be in about 180 specialty store doors, it could do about $7 million at retail.

Advertising, featuring a Dior-clad Keough holding a bottle of the scent, will accompany the launch as single-page print ads and outdoor posters. It was shot by Nick Knight under the artistic direction of Galliano. A sampling campaign, including Sophisticates, also is planned.The eau de parfum is available as 50- and 100-ml. sprays retailing in France for 65.60 euros and 93.34 euros, or $85 and $121, respectively. In the U.S., the 50-ml. and 100-ml. sprays will retail for $65 and $85, respectively. A limited-edition color palette also will be available for the U.S. market and will retail for $70. At holiday, the U.S. market also will get a body lotion that will retail for $40.

Miss Dior Cherie bows internationally this month except for the U.S., U.K. and Asia, which are expected to get the scent in the second half of this year. (See accompanying story for more on the scent's U.S. distribution strategy.)

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