By  on November 2, 2007

NEW YORK — It could be a breakout holiday season for niche fragrance marketer Strange Invisible Perfumes.

The firm recently launched a scent called Tropical Vial and simultaneously introduced a collection of eaux de parfum and a line of bath and body care products.

Until now, the seven-year-old brand, whose name is a reference to Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra," only produced those fragrances with the highest concentrations of essential oils — perfumes — as its moniker suggests. But the Tropical Vial fragrance is one of six scents in lighter, eau de parfum concentrations.

In addition to Tropical Vial, the eau de parfum collection features five existing scents: Moon Garden, Prima Ballerina, L'Invisible, Magazine Street and Fair Verona. Each 1.7-oz. eau de parfum is priced at $135.

"This is a departure for us," founder and Los Angeles native Alexandra Balahoutis said in an interview. She noted the existing Strange Invisible Perfumes assortment is made up of 22 perfumes, each priced at $185 for 0.25 oz.

The Tropical Vial scent "focuses on citrus notes," said Balahoutis. "I like the idea of having this little essence of the tropics or summer," she added.

In addition to Tropical Vial's citrus accords, the scent features notes of mango, basil, botanical musk and jasmine.

Strange Invisible Perfumes bills itself as a botanical perfumery. Balahoutis, who is the stepdaughter of producer Jerry Bruckheimer and has appeared in films like "National Treasure," "Bad Company" and "Coyote Ugly," eschews synthetic and commercial grade ingredients and preservatives for hydro-distilled botanicals like flowers, plants, herbs and resins. She contends that unlike "aggressive" methods of extracting oils with pressure, steam or solvents like hexane and benzene, hydro-distillation allows oils to be extracted in the gentlest way possible from more delicate plants.

Strange Invisible Perfumes' new bath and body care line features Invisible Body Lotion ($40) and Life Changing Body Wash ($35). Each lotion and wash comes in an 8.5-oz. bottle and is available in one of four scents — Sicilian Lemon, Wild Orange, Egyptian Rose or Lavender Vetiver.

"We wanted to create a line of body care that complimented the [existing] fragrances," said Balahoutis. "I didn't want to do a cream that literally mirrored our fragrances. They are designed to work well with some of the [existing] fragrances."She added that the lotions are designed to be "simple, nourishing and replenishing" and that the washes contain organic virgin coconut oil and olive oil.

Balahoutis estimates 60 to 70 percent of the ingredients used in Strange Invisible Perfumes formulations is organic. For instance, the brand's fragrances are produced using a base of organic grape alcohol. And Strange Invisible Perfumes seeks organic essential oils, or those derived from sustainably grown ingredients, from its suppliers. The firm, which uses a palette of more than 100 botanical ingredients, makes its own extracts of vanilla, saffron, frankincense, opoponax and benzoin to ensure they are "natural," or "green," according to Balahoutis.

Industry sources estimate the Tropical Vial scent, the line of eaux de parfum and the new bath and body products could combine to generate $500,000 in first-year retail sales.

While the brand's highly limited distribution network consists of a handful of doors, including Barneys New York locations here and in Los Angeles — as well as its two-year-old boutique and perfumery on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, Calif. — Balahoutis said she is "currently in talks with other retailers" to expand the brand's distribution.

At the Strange Invisible Perfumes boutique, one can create a custom scent through the brand's bespoke service. The service, personal consultation and all, is priced at $2,100.

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