Dsquared2 Knocks on ‘Wood’ Again

Dan and Dean Caten, the Canadian designers behind Dsquared2, looked no further than their men's scent He Wood for inspiration to create their debut women's...

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MILAN — Dan and Dean Caten, the Canadian designers behind Dsquared2, looked no further than their men’s scent He Wood for inspiration to create their debut women’s fragrance, called — what else — She Wood.

In an interview in Dsquared2’s Milan headquarters, the twin brothers revealed they wanted to create a modern woman’s scent for the “cool girls who wear men’s scents.”

This story first appeared in the May 16, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“We started from a men’s fragrance and made it feminine. We didn’t start off by saying let’s do woman’s fragrance,” said Dean Caten.

“It’s not that girly that we can’t wear it, I like doing fragrances that are a bit more unisex. Both of our scents are complementary and timeless,” Dan Caten added.

Though She Wood’s reviews aren’t in from the pair’s celebrity female friends Rihanna and Fergie, the Catens are counting on the scent winning in the retail stakes.

Although they declined to provide a volume projection, industry sources estimate that in its first year She Wood could generate 10 million euros, or $15.5 million at current exchange.

“We hope it does as well as He Wood,” said Dan Caten, who recounted an impromptu personal appearance that happened on a recent Alitalia flight. Dean noted He Wood on the cover of the in-flight shopping magazine, so he called over the flight attendant to ask how well it sold.

“He told me he sold a lot of it so I explained it’s our fragrance and next thing he’s making an announcement ‘Ladies and gentleman, we have the designers behind He Wood here on the plane today and they will sign every bottle purchased.’ We signed quite a few bottles, it was hysterical,” said Dean.

She Wood shares packaging and juice similarities to Dsquared2’s first men’s fragrance He Wood, launched last fall.

“They look like brother and sister when you see them together, and they both have woody notes of cedar and vetiver,” said Dan Caten.

A woody-floral, She Wood is composed of three accords, opening with light, composed of lemon, jasmine petals and neroli. At the heart of the scent is a sap accord of violet, heliotrope and musk, and the woody base notes are cedarwood, vetiver and vegetable amber. Perfumer Daphne Bugey of Firmenich, who also created He Wood, blended the scent.

Designed by the Catens, She Wood’s flacon draws inspiration from He Wood’s bottle, which makes a nod to the duo’s Canadian background. Dark North American walnut wood caps the clear glass square flacon’s shoulders, and is topped with an off-center rose gold metal cap. The perfume’s name, in rose gold lettering, appears in the bottom left corner of the scent, while the juice is a pale pink color.

The scent, created together with Roberto Martone’s fragrance licensing and manufacturing firm ITF, will be launched globally in September.

Martone, who is chairman of ITF, said the Dsquared2 license had fast become ITF’s sophomore star. “He Wood is moving ahead very nicely. We’ve had a lot of success, we doubled the sales of our original first four months’ forecast,” said Martone, naming Russia, the U.K., Canada and the Middle East as the hottest markets for the scent.

Martone predicted the Dsquared2 masterbrand would account for 30 percent of ITF’s estimated 2008 turnover of 75 million euros, or $116 million at current exchange rates.

A joint launch of She Wood and He Wood is planned for the U.S. in the fall. For the launches, the designers will make a guest appearance at Saks Fifth Avenue at a yet to be decided date during New York Fashion Week. By the end of 2008, Dsquared2 fragrances will be available in 300 doors divided between Saks, Nordstrom and Sephora.

“It’s important for us to keep the doors very selected, especially at the initial phase of the launch,” added Martone.

She Wood’s print advertising campaign, shot by Stephen Meisel and featuring Russian model Anna Mariya Urazhevskaya immersed in water and resting her head on a piece of wood, will break in key markets including Europe, the U.S. and Asia.

Prices for the scent were not available at press time. She Wood is an eau de parfum that will be available in 30-ml., 50-ml. and 100-ml. sizes. Accompanying the launch will be a body cream called Hydration2, which is formulated with hyaluronic acid. Hydration2 is packaged in a square jar, meant to resemble a vintage cold cream.

“We like the idea of a pretty jar that can sit on a dresser with jewelry and the fragrance,” said Dean Caten.

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