PARIS — Groupe Clarins is wishing on a new star.
The French beauty company will introduce the debut women’s scent for fashion label Stella Cadente, starting in May.
Called Miss Me, the fragrance’s development was overseen by Vera Strubi, president of Thierry Mugler Parfums Worldwide and head of Stella Cadente Parfums, both divisions of Groupe Clarins. Strubi was the mastermind behind Mugler’s perennial bestseller Angel, which also boasts a star as a leitmotif. (Stella Cadente means shooting star in Italian.)
“It’s exciting to work on a completely different fashion universe,” said Strubi, who explained the concept behind the Cadente fragrance is very feminine. “[It’s meant to] appeal to every woman who has held on to her childhood memories of being a princess.”
While Miss Me’s packaging may be in hues of pink and purple, Stella Cadente princesses are a little edgier than the typical fairy-tale breed. “I like to mix [wearing cowboy boots] and a tiara,” said Stanislassia Klein, Stella Cadente’s designer. “I wanted a very traditional perfume, but one that was very modern as well — like my fashion.”
Dichotomy runs through many facets of the product’s concept. Take the scent’s name, which can be understood to mean “yearn for me” or could be interpreted as a beauty pageant title. “I love that double meaning,” said Klein.
The fragrance’s name is written graffiti-like in fluorescent pink on Miss Me’s purple book-like outer carton. Klein said this could recall how women of yesteryear would leave messages in lipstick on their lovers’ mirrors.
“Now she takes an aerosol and tags the wall,” she quipped.
Miss Me’s packaging also features Stella Cadente’s shooting star logo.
The fragrance’s bottles — designed by Sylvie de France with Klein’s creative direction — were made to suggest Stella Cadente fashion, which often features numerous layers of tulle and ribbon. The flacons appear to have numerous layers of pink-tinted glass and are topped with a cluster of crystals to resemble a crown. There is also a cord, which may be removed and worn as a bracelet, that hangs around the neck of the bottle.
This story first appeared in the February 11, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“[Cadente fashion] is all about poetry and colors,” said Brigitte Tara Wigand, international marketing director at Stella Cadente Parfums. “It’s very feminine, but it is internal femininity, not glamorous or sexual.”
In an unusual step, the brand created different shapes for the fragrance’s two stockkeeping units — round for the 30-ml. eau de parfum spray and rectangular for the 50-ml. eau de parfum spray. “The idea is they’re collectable,” said Strubi.
The 30- and 50-ml. versions will sell for 46 euros, or $59 at current exchange, and 62 euros, or $79, respectively, in France.
The Miss Me scent, by Annick Menardo of Firmenich and Pierre Aulas, olfactive consultant of Art of Nose, is a balsam oriental. In keeping with Cadente’s celestial sensibility, satellite notes of silk tree flower, peony and orange blossom orbit around a warm heart of tolu balm, Peruvian balm and Siam benzoin notes.
Miss Me’s ancillary line comprises a 150-ml. jar of body cream, a 200-ml. tube of body lotion and a 200-ml. tube of shower milk. These will sell for 48 euros, or $61; 35 euros, or $45; and 32 euros, or $41, respectively.
Although Stella Cadente may not be a household name, Clarins doesn’t see it as an obstacle to building a successful beauty business. “I don’t think it matters,” said Strubi. “Everybody started out as a niche one day.”
Indeed, Mojdeh Amirvand, marketing and sales manager U.S.A. for Stella Cadente Parfums, views the brand’s lack of consumer awareness as a positive, since it eliminates the problem of preconceived notions. “The field is very open to us,” she said.
To help customers learn about the Stella Cadente universe, a selection of crystal jewelry will be on sale with Miss Me. A small ring will go for 35 euros, or $45, a larger model for 45 euros, or $58, and a necklace for 55 euros, or $70.
While executives refused to divulge sales projections for Miss Me, industry sources estimate it will generate $5 million in retail sales in its first year.
To generate excitement at launch, Strubi said there will be a focus on in-store promotions rather than an advertising campaign.
Feathers, colored to reflect the shades used in the scent’s packaging and meant to be spritzed, will be used as samples. Dolls’ houses will display products, as well.
Miss Me will bow in less than 10 percent of selective perfumery doors in France in May and at Nordstrom in the U.S. in June, where it will have exclusive distribution until the end of December.
“We want to build a big brand for the future,” said Strubi. “So we’re going to start in a small way.”