PARIS — It's ladies first for Paul Smith, whose new Rose fragrance is being launched in the fall.
Each of the other eight Paul Smith fragrances, on the market since Smith signed a beauty license with Inter Parfums SA in 2001, are part of masterbrands that began with the introduction of a men's scent.
Philippe Benacin, chairman and managing director of Inter Parfums SA, said the time was right for a Paul Smith women's fragrance. Not only would it come out on the market one year after the last Paul Smith men's fragrance and more than two years following the last women's scent, but it stems from a personal story.
The fragrance was a labor of love. It began when Smith's wife surprised him to celebrate his 60th birthday with a new, signature genus of rose. She worked for three years on the project with botanist Peter Beales, who unveiled the creation at the Chelsea Flower Show in London, where Smith was led for his birthday treat in 2006.
"My wife asked my assistant to leave that morning free to go with her somewhere," said Smith. "She never does that. I'm always working.
"There was the Sir Paul Smith Rose," said Smith. "It was really romantic. It made me have goose bumps.
"My wife wanted a rose that is tall like me," he continued of the choice of a climbing rose. "It's also energetic, like me. Lots of roses flower only once, but this one starts in April and flowers through September."
It is no wonder, then, that when Inter Parfums executives approached Smith about a new fragrance, the Sir Paul Smith Rose served as his inspiration.
"I always try to have a fragrance that has a true meaning," said Smith. "It is my personal way. There are so many fragrances created around the world in which the actual designers have no involvement. I always feel very nervous about something that is very commercial."
Smith's input is evident in all aspects of Rose, which was introduced in August in the U.K. and will be launched elsewhere in Europe starting in October. Asia and the U.S. are to get the fragrance in 2008.
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