NEW YORK — Victoria’s Secret Beauty is trusting its instincts and offering customers a little more sophistication. In October, the brand will launch Basic Instinct, the 10th fragrance in its prestige portfolio.

And its positioning will offer more glitter than usual. For the first time in the beauty company’s history, it will offer a Fantasy Gift — similar in concept to the lingerie brand’s Fantasy Bra.

The Basic Instinct Fantasy Gift consists of a fragrance bottle, made of aubergine glass, that boasts four rows — and 52 carats — of step-cut diamonds and 18-karat white gold. The diamonds are detachable and meant to be affixed to a black leather choker and worn around the neck. The choker was created exclusively for VSB by Mouawad, the jeweler that creates the Fantasy Bra for Victoria’s Secret, which spent 125 hours hand-crafting it. The Fantasy Gift will be priced at $300,000 and only one will be available in the Victoria’s Secret Christmas Dreams and Fantasies catalogue.

Robin Burns, president and chief executive officer of The Limited’s Intimate Beauty Corp. and its Aura Science and Victoria’s Secret Beauty divisions noted that her boss, Les Wexner, chairman and ceo of Limited Brands, was the brains behind the bling boasted on the bottle. “He brought the opulence and luxury to the bottle and I think it was a beautiful touch.”

Burns continued, “Our objective in increasing our portfolio of prestige fragrances is to align the brand with being a little more dangerous and further out on the limb.” Burns was interviewed before announcing on Monday her decision to retire from Intimate Beauty Corp.

The juice, created by Harry Fremont of Firmenich, contains top notes of port plum wine, liquid honey and apricot osmanthus; middle notes of turkish rose, lily sampaquita, gardenia and tuberose, and bottom notes of orchid vanilla, ebony wood and patchouli.

“There is a level of sophistication to this fragrance that really sets it apart,” noted Sherry Baker, executive vice president, chief marketing officer at Victoria’s Secret Beauty.

While several of the brand’s other fragrances are positioned as sexy, feminine and sophisticated, Burns noted that Basic Instinct “is clearly distinct from anything else in the portfolio” and targets a woman that is a little more “dangerous, powerful and uninhibited.”It is also priced slightly higher than VSB’s prestige scents. The 1-oz. eau de parfum spray is priced at $42, for instance. The aubergine cylinder-shaped glass bottle with two rows of diamond-like stones that wrap around the bottle as well as the outer packaging, an aubergine carton with silver type, were designed in-house.

While Burns and Baker declined to talk numbers, industry sources expect the line to garner first-year retail sales of about $40 million.

The Fantasy Gift will be promoted along with the $10 million Fantasy Bra via the Christmas Dreams and Fantasies catalogue. There will also be print and TV featuring Gisele and Tyra Banks. “For the first time, [we will] be participating with lingerie in some of the TV that they are running both at the end of November as well as the first week of December,” noted Baker. “There will be a holiday TV commercial that will incorporate beauty.”

— Kristin Finn

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