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Estée Lauder to Launch Sensuous Nude Scent

Beauty giant is aiming to build Sensuous franchise into a bigger brand.

The Sensuous Nude ad.

With its newest scent, Sensuous Nude, the Estée Lauder brand hopes to build its Sensuous fragrance franchise into a bigger brand.

This story first appeared in the May 6, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“Sensuality needs full expression — no one scent encompasses the full expression of what is sensuous,” said Jane Hertzmark Hudis, global brand president for Estée Lauder, of the scent, which unlike flankers is a permanent addition to the line. “We always intended to use Sensuous as a platform to explore that concept. We are building this franchise for the long haul.”

While the original Sensuous is intended to express a luminous, feminine aspect of sensuality, Sensuous Nude is intended to evoke the personal, uninhibited mature of modern sensuality with notes that suggest bare skin, said Hudis.

Another inspiration was Estée Lauder’s 1953 ad for Youth Dew, an image which depicted a nude woman in profile about to step into her bath. “Estée was a genius marketer and very ahead of her time,” said Aerin Lauder, style and image director for Estée Lauder, who recently announced that she is following in her iconic grandmother’s footsteps with her own lifestyle line. She will remain closely involved with the brand which bears her grandmother’s name, as well as continue to serve on the board of the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. “Doing that ad in 1953 was groundbreaking. We’re honoring our heritage with this launch.”

Due in August, the scent, concocted by Karyn Khoury, senior vice president of corporate fragrance development worldwide for the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. in partnership with Firmenich, is unusual for a women’s scent in that it has a strong musk note at the heart, rather than in the drydown. Top notes include Sicilian bergamot, mandarin, Baie rose and black pepper; the heart is of jasmine petals, muguet, coconut water, honey and musk, and the drydown is of sandalwood, amber, heliotrope, vanilla and Melted Woods NaturePrint. The last note is a signature for the Sensuous franchise and appears in the original as well.

Three sizes of eau de parfum will be offered: 1 oz. for $52, 1.7 oz. for $65 and 3.4 oz. for $90. The bottle is the signature round Sensuous bottle in gradated shades of nude to berry pink intended to capture the fragrance’s “textured sensuality,” said Charisse Ford, senior vice president of global marketing for Estée Lauder. Exterior packaging is a deep rosy pink with a reflective surface and pearlized nude center panel. Ancilliaries include Sensuous Nude Body Veil, a rich body cream, 6.7 oz. for $46, and Sensuous Nude Touch On Fragrance, a lightweight silky serum version which will retail for $44 for 0.33 oz.

Advertising, shot by Craig McDean and created by Doug Lloyd of Lloyd & Co. in collaboration with Aerin Lauder, features Brazilian model Isabeli Fontana posing in a sheer wrap on a California beach at sunset. It will begin running in August fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines.

While executives declined to comment on sales projections, industry sources estimated that the scent would do about $70 million globally at retail in its first year on counter, with about $35 million of that expected to be done in the U.S., where it will be available in about 2,200 doors. Sources estimated that Lauder will spend about $30 million globally on advertising and promotion, with about $15 million of that figure expected to be done in the U.S.