PARIS — Yves Saint Laurent Parfums plans to inject youth into its fragrance business this fall.
In October, the brand owned by YSL Beauté — the beauty arm of PPR — will introduce Elle Yves Saint Laurent, a woody floral scent targeting women aged 25 to 35.
The fragrance is designed to bring more modernity into YSL's women's scent portfolio, according to company executives.
"Elle is very fresh, very different from our other fragrances and from the market," Andrea Barbier, president of YSL Beauté, told WWD in an exclusive interview.
Company executives would not discuss projections, but industry sources estimate the fragrance will generate more than $40 million in first-year retail sales.
Elle is intended to build on the momentum created by its L'Homme Yves Saint Laurent scent, introduced in September 2006. While the two fragrances do not form a masterbrand, they have commonalities, according to YSL executives, who say each is modern, targets a young consumer and channels the YSL identity.
"We always try to surprise — not simply to shock, but to offer something new and interesting," said Barbier.
In the Elle project, the advertising, bottle and juice are meant to play on contrasts between modern urban life and Yves Saint Laurent tradition. The single- and double-page print ad campaign, shot by Mark Segal, features model Coca Rocha wearing a YSL tuxedo (called a "smoking," in French) while writing Elle's name in pink spray from the fragrance bottle. A film ad, also featuring Rocha, was directed by Michael Haussman.
"She's a little mischievous, but always a lady," said Rocha, of the Elle woman she portrays.
"There's this magic contrast between her very manifest femininity and then the suit she is wearing," added Barbier. "It's a wonderful mix."
The masculine, rectangular Elle bottle, designed in-house to be easily portable and resemble a YSL lipstick, contrasts with its very feminine fuchsia pink-colored glass.
"There is no other color in the Yves Saint Laurent palette that is more Saint Laurent than this one," said Barbier. Its outer carton, like that of L'Homme, features swirling lines to give a hologram effect.Elle's juice is also meant to be a study of contrasts. Concocted by Firmenich senior perfumers Olivier Cresp and Jacques Cavallier, whose brief included an image of a chic urban woman and the color fuchsia, the juice boasts fresh top notes including cedar, litchi and peony; mid notes of rose and freesia, and base notes of traditionally masculine vetiver mixed with patchouli and pepper.
"The key was to create a scent that would be sensual and slightly masculine to recall the woman in a Saint Laurent 'smoking,' " said Cresp.
Elle will debut in Europe and the Middle East in October. The U.S. will get the scent in 2008. A 50-ml. eau de parfum spray will sell for 70 euros, or $96 at current exchange, and a 90-ml. version for 95 euros, or $130. There will also be a 200-ml. body milk for 39 euros, or $53, and a 200-ml. shower gel for 33 euros, $45.
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