By  on December 17, 2004

NEW YORK — The Gap is hoping to make fragrance into a fashion statement. In March, the retailer will debut Gap Scent Editions, a collection of 12 mix-and-match fragrance oils inspired by the company’s clothing philosophy. “We wanted fragrance that addresses the same things customers are coming to expect from our clothing,” said Robin Forbes, vice president of Gap Personal Care. “[The customer] can blend the scents to make her own personal scent, or just wear one.”The collection is partly an offshoot of the brand’s recent print and TV advertising campaign, which featured Sarah Jessica Parker and the tag line, “How do you wear it?” Each scent was developed to be worn either alone or layered with as many of the other fragrances from the collection as one chooses, according to Forbes.“You get to change the fragrance with your mood and style, just as you do with clothing,” she said.Developed with Robertet and Cosmo International Fragrances, the collection ranges from Sheer Tuberose, with top notes of clementine leaf and red ginger, middle notes of tuberose and white frangipani and bottom notes of vanilla bean and creamy musk, to Silk Yuzu, with top notes of green mango and pomelo, middle notes of yuzu and rhubarb and bottom notes of fresh bamboo and white tea. A special guide at-counter will be available to help customers create combinations, from “rich” (sueded musk and delicate sagemoss) to “retro” (faded jasmine and smooth sandalwood). Other suggested combinations are labeled “saucy,” “nostalgic” and “friendly.”“We used emotional words to help people understand the blending process,” said Forbes.Retailing for $19.50 each, the perfume oils come in 7-ml. roller-ball bottles with the now-iconic Gap “Est. 1969” button detailing on the caps. The packaging features prints borrowed from the Gap archives on the inside of each box and corresponding canvas sleeves for each bottle.“It’s about buying something, taking it home and discovering something new — a pocket, binding, etc.,” said Pina Ferlisi, executive vice president of design and product development for Gap. “It’s about personalizing, how to make it your own and also make it fun and interactive.”The fragrance oils will be sold in approximately 180 GapBody stores and 900 Gap stores; all 180 GapBody stores will feature window displays devoted to the scents. While there is no print advertising planned, the company said it will support the launch with direct-mail initiatives. The scents are expected to bring in up to $8 million in first-year sales, according to industry sources. Possible plans for the future include a line of ancillaries, but Gap executives say it’s too early to say for sure.“We’ll look at the success of this and how it evolves,” said Ferlisi.

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