By  on November 7, 2008

PARIS — Jigsaw wants a piece of the beauty business.

The British fashion chain, which was founded in the early Seventies, began rolling out its first beauty line on Tuesday.

Dubbed Jigsaw Organics, the 10-unit collection of organic bath and body products was conceived to respond to customer demands for more than just apparel, according to executives.

“We wanted to create a premium organic range with a strong fragrance to give it all the qualities of a nonorganic product,” said Louise Trotter, Jigsaw’s creative director.

The Jigsaw Organics collection contains ingredients that are between 72 and 99 percent certified organic by the British Soil Association. The line comprises Body Cream, Body Scrub, Bath Sugar, Hand Cream, Hand Lotion, Body Wash, Bath Milk, Hand Wash, Peppermint Lip Balm and a scented candle. Prices range from 8 pounds, or $12.86 at current exchange, for a 20-g. jar of Peppermint Lip Balm, to 25 pounds, or $40.21, for a 400-ml. bottle of sweet almond oil Bath Milk.

The edited size of the line is deliberate, Trotter noted. “That’s exactly what our approach to the clothing business has always been. We’ve grown organically, no pun intended,” she quipped.

The collection was rolled out this week to all 43 Jigsaw stores in the U.K., as well as the retailer’s seven stores in the U.S. The line also bowed at John Lewis department stores in Britain, as well as on its online shopping site, in an exclusive deal for the next six months.

The retailer’s choice to start with an organic body care range stems from the company’s founder, John Robinson, who established Jigsaw in 1972, as an organic farmer in Wiltshire in southwest England. He helped choose the private label manufacturer Acheson and Acheson, based nearby, to formulate products.

“The brief we gave them was for an Old English feel, with a cologne scent that will make people reminisce,” Trotter explained. The resulting fragrance, which was used for all the products except the lip balm, is a blend of bergamot, lemon, sweet orange, mandarin and lime. If the line performs well, according to Trotter, Jigsaw may create the same 10 products employing a new scent.

In-house designers at Jigsaw dreamed up a packaging design meant to be reminiscent of old apothecaries, conjured by recyclable glass bottles and a handwriting-style font for the labels.

Trotter declined to comment on first-year sales projections, however, industry sources estimate it could generate sales volume in the region of 1.5 million pounds, or $2.4 million at current exchange.

An in-store sampling campaign will support the launch.

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