By and  on May 6, 2005

NEW YORK — One of the most hotly anticipated scents to hit the city — Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker — was unveiled Thursday afternoon at the Plaza Athenée.

Parker’s first scent will launch exclusively with Nordstrom in August and enter its full U.S. distribution of department and specialty store doors in September.

The actress and her fragrance licensee, Lancaster, have said Lovely is likely to be the first in a series of scents. How many that series will include depends on how well Lovely performs, and Parker and her camp aren’t talking sales projections. However, industry sources estimated that Lovely could do upward of $30 million at retail in the U.S. in its first year on counter. The scent will launch in selected international doors — including the U.K., Asia, Austria, Switzerland and Australia — in September as well. Sources estimated that the scent could do an additional $30 million at retail outside the U.S. in its first year on counter.  To spur sales, Parker plans on making store appearances.

Clad in a strapless pink vintage Lanvin dress with a black bow at the bodice — and a pair of diamond earrings that technically belong to Fred Leighton but which Parker joked spend more time on her ears than in the store — Parker focused her attention squarely on this scent, questions about future fragrances notwithstanding.

“I see this as an absolutely signature scent — something that a woman in her 20s or a woman in her 70s could wear,” she said. “This is not the trendy dress of the moment; it is the classic. And it’s not a second or a third scent.” She had a few other requirements: “I didn’t want it to assault [its users], to dictate the rest of the room,” she said with a smile. “I didn’t want it to be the fragrance where you had to explain, ‘That’s not mine, it’s left over from hugging someone who was wearing it.’ Fragrance should have social skills. It shouldn’t dominate.”

While the original concept was built on a homemade concoction — which included an expensive perfume she declined to name and an oil she bought on the street — that Parker has worn for years, she estimated that only about half of those notes ended up in the scent, including patchouli, musk and lavender.

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