By  on March 1, 2002

PARIS -- With its new women's fragrance, Histoire d'Eau, high-end jeweler Mauboussin wants to take a walk on the wild side.

Its scent, whose name is pronounced like that of the famed erotic French film "Histoire d'O," is the second women's fragrance for the firm in just two years.

"In order for a fragrance brand to become firmly entrenched in the market today, it needs to have at least two scents, plus ancillaries," explained a company spokeswoman.

Fragrances also need to make a splash in a saturated market, and Mauboussin is banking on its latest to be audacious.

"Histoire d'Eau is torrid, sensual," explained Patrick Mauboussin, president of Mauboussin, who gleaned inspiration for the scent from the orange jewel Imperial Topaz.

Histoire d'Eau's juice is also orange. The woody fruity fragrance, created by Quest's Christine Nagel, includes notes such as mandarin, ylang-ylang, leather, spices, guaiac wood and musk.

Its bottle, a glass globe suspended in an upright, Plexiglas tube, was created by Thierry de Baschmakoff.

While company executives refused to talk numbers, industry sources estimate the scent could ring up about $4 million in retail sales its first year. Histoire d'Eau is due to be launched in March in France, Belgium and Switzerland, at the end of March in the Mideast and in September in the rest of the world.

The fragrance's advertising, featuring a sultry woman dressed in orange, was created by Paris-based Jean et Monmarin and will break starting in April.

The 40-ml. Histoire d'Eau eau de toilette spray will be priced at $39, and the 75-ml. eau de toilette spray at $48. There will also be a 200-ml. scented body lotion for $31 and a 200-ml. fragranced bath and shower gel for $26. All prices are converted from the euro at current exchange rates and are for France.

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