By  on June 24, 2005

NEW YORK — "Fragrance is something I personally love," gushed Narciso Rodriguez, celebrating the launch of his new scent, Narciso Rodriguez for her Her Eau de Parfum.

Over an intimate dinner with 17 newspaper and magazine editors, Rodriguez spoke about the process of creating a new fragrance interpretation, a new version of his original scent, Narciso Rodriguez for her, which launched as an eau de toilette in September 2003. The new edition sports a different, pink floral top note containing rose and peach pulp.

"The [original] has been so well received. Women have said so many nice things," he said. "It's great to be able to expand on the initial concept, but also keep the integrity and all of the creativity and passion that went into the first."

When the conversation changed to fashion, Rodriguez had celebrities on his mind, citing the recent influx of bold-faced names making their way on Seventh Avenue. "The nature of fashion has changed," he said, adding, "There are so many celebrity collections — but it's like comparing a comic book to a Eugene O'Neill play." Apples and oranges aside, the Cuban-American designer is not one to judge: "I think it's fantastic that fashion has reached a broader audience," he said.

And, with the launch of Her Eau de Parfum, Rodriguez is hoping to do just that, if not at least expand on the following he's been building since the launch of the original eau de toilette.

Nathalie Helloin-Kamel, vice president of marketing for Narciso Rodriguez Parfums, hopes the eau de parfum will appeal to existing Rodriguez fragrance fans and also attract a new contingent. "This is the chance to recruit a new customer, but it's also important to maintain the loyalty of the original customer," she said. Louis Desazars, president of Beaute Prestige International USA, Rodriguez's licensee, added that the original fragrance has been building a loyal following since its launch two years ago. "We have an extremely high repeat purchase," he said.

When asked if he has any plans to introduce an additional scent — women's or men's — separate from the "for her" franchise, Rodriguez would only say, "I have a long list. I'm always dreaming up new things. It's more, 'Can we get it done in this lifetime?'" He added with a grin, "The fragrance industry works in top secret — we have a lot of top-secret documents." Rodriguez did, however, grow visibly excited at the thought of moving into color cosmetics. "I have thought about it. Who doesn't?" he said. "I started thinking about it when I was a teenager. I love color."

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