By  on July 31, 2009

Juicy Couture’s fragrance business is adding a couture component to its lineup this fall: that’s when Pam Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor will unveil their latest scent, Couture Couture.

“We decided we wanted a decadent sister to our other fragrances,” said Nash-Taylor, who cofounded and codesigns the Juicy Couture line with Skaist-Levy. The fragrance license is handled by the Liz Claiborne fragrances division at Elizabeth Arden Inc. “We always like clean, fresh scents but wanted to try something a little different with this one.”

Art Spiro, executive vice president of Liz Claiborne Brands for Elizabeth Arden, noted that, even in a tough economy, there’s been a groundswell of support for the scent brand, which bowed in 2006. “Pam and Gela have an intense emotional connection to their consumers, and that’s been apparent since we began partnering with them on fragrances,” said Spiro. “There is always a bit of fun and wittiness to any Juicy project — and, particularly in this type of an economy, consumers need that.”

The scent, concocted by Honorine Blanc of Firmenich, has top notes of mandarin, succulent pink grape accord and natural orange flower; a heart of star jasmine, blushed plum and honeysuckle, and a drydown of moist amber, creamy sandalwood and vanilla extract. “The pink grape pushed it in the decadent direction,” said Skaist-Levy.

“It has that universal casual luxury, in our own specific California way,” added Nash-Taylor.

The collection comprises eaux de parfum in two sizes, 1.7 oz. for $65 and 3.4 oz. for $85; a 1-oz. parfum, $300; a .25-oz. eau de parfum rollerball, $16; a 1-oz. special edition eau de parfum, $55; a 6.7-oz. body lotion, $45; a 6.7-oz. shower gel, $40; a 3.4-oz. dusting powder, $55; a 6.7-oz. body cream, $55; a 10-oz. sugar scrub, $45; a 6.7-oz. dry oil spray, $45, and an 11-oz. candle in goblet, $350.

“We’ve always had the philosophy that everything is about the details,” said Skaist-Levy, pointing to the array of ancillaries and eaux de parfum, accented with gold tops, ribbons, charms and the like. One bottle even has a pink neon zipper around the neck. “That’s who we are. I always judge a book by its cover with fragrances — the packaging has to be outstanding.”

That involved eschewing stock packaging for beveled glass, intricate gold-toned caps and crystal on pedestals for the scents and ancillaries, noted Paul McLaughlin, creative director for Liz Claiborne Global Marketing at Elizabeth Arden. Display units are intended to be equally eye-catching: “One is a birdcage, which references an established Juicy brand hallmark,” he said. Skaist-Levy and Nash-Taylor have long used birdcages in their stores and in their advertising.

The Couture Couture collection will have a two-month exclusive with Bloomingdale’s and Juicy Couture stores, beginning in August, before rolling out to its full U.S. distribution — about 1,800 department and specialty stores, including Nordstrom, in October, noted Marcy Fisher, vice president, Liz Claiborne Global Marketing at Elizabeth Arden.

While none of the executives would discuss sales projections or advertising spending, industry sources estimated Couture Couture could do upwards of $40 million at retail in its first year on counter in the U.S. Sources estimated $15 million to $20 million would be spent on advertising and promotion in the same time frame.

Tim Walker shot the fanciful advertising campaign, which carries the tag line “Do the Don’ts.” “The muse is my daughter, Zoe, who starts at NYU this fall,” said Nash-Taylor. The ad will begin running in September fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines.

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