By  on June 24, 1994

PARIS -- Nina Ricci will launch a new woman's scent in October, and the house has gone a little operatic with its name.

The fragrance is called Deci Dela, after an aria in the 19th-century operetta "Veronique" by Andre Messager, and will make its bow everywhere but in North America on Oct. 17.

Deci Delê, which translates as "from here to there" or "to and fro," is Ricci's first women's scent since Nina in 1986.

"I wanted a perfume that offered something that wasn't available in other scents," explained Ricci president Gilles Fuchs, at a presentation of Deci Dela at Ricci's plant in Ury, south of here.

Fuchs said his goal was to "rediscover the ambience of L'Air du Temps," Ricci's best-selling classic fragrance.

Deci Delê will roll out simultaneously in about 7,000 doors in Europe and Asia at launch.

In the U.S., Ricci is in talks with Saks Fifth Avenue to launch Deci Delê exclusively in 1995, possibly as early as Valentine's Day. The scent will then roll out in the summer to about 800 doors in the rest of the U.S.

Bernard Eloy, acting director general, predicted Deci Delê will do more than $40 million in its first year.

"That's our aim, and I'm convinced we can achieve it," he said.

The scent was created by Jean Guichard of France's Givaudan-Roure, who concocted a fruity juice with "head space" technology, a system for recreating the scent of living flowers.

Fuchs said the fragrance is an unusual structure, consisting of "harmonies that intermingle."

The notes are peach, raspberry and boronia; May rose from Grasse and freesia, and oriental echoes of cypress, cedar, chypre oak moss, balsam tears from Sumatra and Provencal cypress resin.

The eau de toilette comes in 100-ml. and 50-ml. sprays and splashes, the concentrated eau de toilette in 100-ml. and 50-ml. sprays, plus a 50-ml. splash, and a perfume extract in 15-ml. and 7.5-ml. sprays.

Deci Delê is priced a little higher than L'Air du Temps. Prices vary from about $73 (400 francs at current exchange rates) for a 100-ml. spray, to about $81 (445 francs) for a 100-ml. concentrated eau de toilette splash and $109 (600 francs) for a 15-ml. extract spray.The bottle was designed by Elizabeth Garouste and Mattia Bonetti, the French design team that also created the packaging for Ricci's makeup line, Le Teint Ricci. For Deci Delê, Garouste and Bonetti chose strong vibrant colors like blue-violet, raspberry and tangerine.

"The contrast in the colors is stimulating, while the top suggests a bird or a heart," said Bonetti.

Ricci will launch the scent with a 30-second TV spot by British director Patricia Murphy, starring Anne Brochet, the French actress who appeared in the French movie "Cyrano de Bergerac."

Backed by music from the Messager opera, the spot shows Brochet perched on a huge sphere, being bumped into by a half-dozen different suitors, each of them on a sphere.

Ricci plans to broadcast the spot worldwide in French.

"Most French people can't understand what's being sung anyway as it's an opera," cracked Fuchs.

French photographer Dominique Isserman shot the print ad.

According to Ely, Ricci has budgeted $20 million for advertising outside of North America. The North American budget remains undecided.

Nina Ricci is 50.6 percent owned by state-run Elf-Sanofi, which also owns the perfume businesses of Yves Saint Laurent, Oscar de la Renta, Krizia and Perry Ellis.

The Fuchs and Ricci family own the rest of Nina Ricci.

Fuchs, whose wife, Marie-Francoise, is a granddaughter of founder Nina Ricci, is an avid collector of modern art. He said he thought of the name for Deci Delê because the words appear often in French arts -- in the poetry of Verlaine and in the songs of Yves Montand, for example.

"We absolutely wanted women to dream," Fuchs said."We needed a perfume that included gaiety, joie de vivre and hope for the future.

"This bottle has a voluptuous and asymmetrical form," he added. "We did not want an object that is just a gadget that amuses."

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