PARIS — Jean Paul Gaultier has always been a master of gender bending, creating kilts and makeup for men and pinstriped suits for Madonna. His new fragrance, due out this fall, is no exception.
The scent, Jean Paul Gaultier to the Power of Two, is not specifically for women or men.
“I wanted to go back to my first idea of a perfume for humans — not a gender,” said Gaultier, referring to his original fragrance idea 15 years ago that (to his chagrin) never came to fruition. “The perfume is about the idea of sharing. It is not unisex. It is a fragrance for couples, a togetherness perfume.”
Perhaps the most tangible evidence of this is the scent’s packaging. Its rectangular flacon is studded with tiny magnets enabling it to “connect” to its other half, should the user desire.
The outer boxes’ faces have fragments of the fragrance’s name, which is spelled out in full when the containers are put side by side.
Gaultier uses the word “attraction” to describe the force uniting the two parts of his scent.
Its name is meant to convey the strength derived from togetherness.
“The name says everything,” said Eric Henry, chief operating officer of Beauté Prestige International, Gaultier’s beauty license holder.
“It came rather rapidly,” continued Sylvie Polette, vice president of Parfums Jean Paul Gaultier, who explained that the ideas of duality, meeting and one-plus-one were discussed.
“The name touched upon the math formula and alchemy. For Jean Paul, perfume is about alchemy,” she said.
For the new fragrance’s juice, Gaultier wanted a scent that doesn’t evolve.
“I get frustrated sometimes when I buy perfume that doesn’t smell the same when I wear it as it did in the store,” he explained. “I wanted one smell.”
So Francis Kurkdjian of Quest International concocted a scent incorporating leading notes of ambergris, musk and vanilla.
“From the outset, you smell all three,” said Polette.
BPI executives believe the market is ready for another Gaultier fragrance.
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