By  on March 8, 2007

For designers, branching out into fragrance is a way to expand their brands and to heighten consumers' awareness of them. "Fragrance is a form of brand extension that is really complementary to designers," said Milton Pedraza, chief executive officer of the Luxury Institute, based in New York. "Names like Thierry Mugler, Cartier and Boucheron — when people see these names, they instantly ascribe higher value to them. It's yet more proof that luxury branding is something very special." Luxury also is targeting youthful consumers. WWD reported last week that an increasing number of fragrance brands, such as Thierry Mugler Parfums and Boucheron Parfums, has the younger sect on its radar. In the institute's Luxury Brand Status Index survey, the following fragrances ranked highest in luxury consumer awareness.

Respondents who said they were aware of this fragrance: 36 percent
Vera Wang's first fragrance was launched five years ago to rave reviews. As a result, the designer has continued to expand this arm of her brand. Initially known in the fashion industry as an expert in bridal, Wang felt this signature fragrance could lend even more emotion and importance to a wedding day. She is quoted on as saying, "Fragrance provokes the senses and conjures up memories in inexplicable ways. Incredibly intimate yet nearly imperceptible, a bride's fragrance remains with her long after the ceremony is over."

35 percent

It's one of the best-known fragrances in the world, and the longevity of the brand is proof that it's sure to stick around. French designer Jean Patou launched Joy in 1930. Patou created the fragrance as a gift to his American customers after the stock market crash in 1929. The fragrance, unchanged since 1930, is a mixture of jasmine flowers and roses. The bottle was inspired by the principles of Divine Proportion — a mathematical formula that reflects perfect proportions in architecture.

34 percent

Ralph Lauren Pure Turquoise was launched in September 2005 in 926 department store doors, according to WWD. The $350 fragrance features one-of-a-kind turquoise bottle tops. Heather Simmons, vice president of global marketing for Ralph Lauren Fragrances, told WWD that the stone "really ties into the heritage of Ralph Lauren," who has used turquoise in his collections for years. She also noted that the scent was developed for "a sophisticated, elegant and chic woman" in the 20- to 45-year-old age range. Nordstrom deems the bottle and its contents to be "a true collectible."

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