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Ricci Launches Memoire

<CS:BOLD>PARIS -- Like a snap shot of a moment in a man's life, Parfums Nina Ricci's new men's scent is meant to conjure up a plethora of memories.<BR><BR>That message is apparent from the fragrance's name -- Memoire d'Homme (memories of man or...

PARIS — Like a snap shot of a moment in a man’s life, Parfums Nina Ricci’s new men’s scent is meant to conjure up a plethora of memories.

That message is apparent from the fragrance’s name — Memoire d’Homme (memories of man or memoirs of a man, in French) — to the lettering on its bottle enclosed with square brackets like a view down a camera’s lens or the adhesives fastening photographs to an album.

Strategically, the scent is meant to keep pushing the growth of Puig-owned Nina Ricci, which was repositioned in 2001, with the launch of its sister fragrance, Premier Jour.

“Today, Nina Ricci is like a form of urban poetry,” said Chrystel Abadie-Truchet, managing director of parfums at Nina Ricci. Whereas in the past, she said, it was more about sheer romanticism.

According to Abadie-Truchet, Premier Jour contributed 22 percent of the brand’s growth in 2001 and rung up some 80 percent of the brand’s blockbuster L’Air du Temps’ 2001 volume in 10 months.

While Abadie-Truchet would not speak numbers, industry sources estimate the new men’s scent could ring up $20 million in wholesale volume in its first year.

Memoire d’Homme is also meant to grow Nina Ricci’s men’s business, which, made up of sales of Ricci Club and Signoricci, represent a mere 2 percent of the brand’s total volume.

Memoire d’Homme’s bottle is in the same architectural vein as Premier Jour’s. The flacon for the men’s scent by Thierry de Baschmakoff is comprised of what looks like two, superimposed squares — one amber-colored and the other a grayish blue.

Quest’s Christine Nagel concocted the fresh spicy woody fragrance, which includes grapefruit pulp and vetiver sap.

The scent will be launched in France in mid-April; in the Mideast, Asia and other countries in Europe in June; in Spain and the U.K. in September and North America in 2003.

Accompanying the launch will be advertisements whose images were photographed by Satoshi Saikusa featuring models Malcolm Jackson and Madeleine Cox in Paris locales like the Hotel Raphael and Palais Royal.

“They are like stolen moments,” explained Abadie-Truchet, who said they were inspired by the New Wave movement and are inherently linked to Paris — which has historically been an integral part of Nina Ricci’s history.

There will also be 30- and 20-second video ads for TV and movie theaters featuring the pair.

The Memoire d’Homme line includes 100 and 50-ml. eau de toilette sprays, which retail for $48.70 and $33.90, respectively, plus five ancillaries.

All prices are converted from the euro at current exchange rates.