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Bulgari’s Upscale Spin on Jasmin

With a new women's scent called Jasmin Noir, Bulgari is putting forth its most upscale fragrance effort to date.

With a new women’s scent called Jasmin Noir, Bulgari is putting forth its most upscale fragrance effort to date.

This story first appeared in the June 13, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The Italian jeweler, which is set to initially launch Jasmin Noir at Nordstrom on Aug. 1, hopes to tap into a new segment of consumers — those willing to pay a higher price than that of existing Bulgari scents.

“It is going to be appealing for the audience that was purchasing Eau Parfumée, but it will also capture a new consumer looking for something more prestigious,” Francesco Trapani, Bulgari’s chief executive officer, said of Jasmin Noir during an interview last week.

Jasmin Noir, a woody-floral eau de parfum that targets women 25 to 45 years old, will initially be available in a 100-ml. size for $140 and a 50-ml. version for $95.

In comparison, prices in Bulgari’s Eau Parfumée collection range from $57 for 40-ml. sizes of Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert and au Thé Blanc, to $82 for a 100-ml. version of au Thé Rouge. Before Jasmin Noir, the most expensive scents were Rose Essentielle edp, 100 ml. for $130, and Bulgari Pour Femme edp, 100 ml. for $125.

Following its August introduction at Nordstrom, Jasmin Noir will be rolled out globally in September. While Bulgari is found in some 17,000 doors worldwide, Trapani noted, he added that worldwide distribution of Jasmin Noir would be more limited.

A rollout plan in the U.S. calls for Jasmin Noir to reach Bloomingdale’s on Oct. 1. It is then scheduled to enter Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Sephora locations on Nov. 1.

Jasmin Noir is to reach up to 300 to 400 doors in the U.S., or about 15 to 20 percent of the total number of doors that carry the Bulgari brand in the U.S., Trapani noted.

While Trapani would not discuss sales targets, industry sources estimate the scent could generate $8 million in first-year retail sales in the U.S.

Trapani said Jasmin Noir has a “dual inspiration” stemming from the fact that male and female perfumers — Carlos Benaïm and Sophie Labbé, both of International Flavors & Fragrances — composed the scent.

Benaïm said that the aroma of jasmine reminds him of his youth in Tangier, Morocco. He noted that for the new Bulgari scent he wanted to pair jasmine with the darker effect of precious woods.

The fragrance opens with notes of green sap and gardenia. The heart of the scent includes sambac jasmine absolute and satin almond notes, while its base includes precious woods, tonka bean absolute and licorice.

A bath and shower gel ($50) and a body lotion ($55), both 200 ml., will accompany Jasmin Noir at launch.

A visual for the fragrance, which was photographed on the Spanish island of Ibiza by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, features model Kate Moss reclining in a Bulgari diamond necklace. It also pictures Jasmin Noir’s black glass bottle, which has a gold neck and cap, and the name of the scent printed on it in gold lettering.

The visual is to appear in stores and in retailer catalogues, according to Bulgari, which has not confirmed if national advertising will be part of the Jasmin Noir strategy.

In addition to the visual, in-store events, scented pieces and sampling will be employed to promote Jasmin Noir. Industry sources estimate that Bulgari may put roughly $2 million behind the launch of the scent.

In other Bulgari news, the jeweler is marking the 15th anniversary of its first fragrance, Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert, a 1993 entry, with the launch of a special edition version of the scent at Nordstrom later this month. The anniversary edition will come in a 10.5-oz. bottle that features an atomizer, and will be priced at $350.