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Sarah Jessica Parker’s newest fragrance, SJP NYC, includes a large dollop of her “Sex and the City” alter ego, Carrie Bradshaw — and Coty Prestige plans to leverage the relationship to the hilt.
While the actress kept mum on details related to the sequel of her 2008 blockbuster film, slated for a May release, Coty’s already working with the film’s producers and distributors to leverage the relationship, noted Carlos Timiraos, group vice president of global marketing, celebrity fragrances, for Coty Prestige.
This story first appeared in the October 16, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Details of the plan are still in development, although in-store appearances and promotions tied to the movie’s premiere are planned. Promotion vehicles will include cosmetics bags, bangles and a reversible tote bag. “We did some activity around the first ‘Sex and the City’ movie, but didn’t have another new scent coming out at that time,” Timiraos noted. “After that movie did around $500 million globally, we bet on the expectation that lightning would strike twice, and we began developing SJP NYC.”
Originally a code name for the scent, the SJP NYC moniker stuck, in part due to the fragrance’s inspiration.
“A large part of the inspiration was what I now understand to be people’s impressions of seeing Carrie Bradshaw walk down the street and what feelings that evokes for her and for them — a real sense of freedom and possibilities, a love for the city around her and, of course, fashion,” Parker told WWD. “We started with this idea that we wanted to create something fun. We wanted to create a party in a bottle and reflect that in the packaging with a real sense of whimsy, fun and joie de vivre. And then we took it from there. Portability and fashion played key roles in the development of the packaging and overall concept.”
The scent, a fruity floral by Parker and Firmenich’s Honorine Blanc, has top notes of Italian mandarin, white osmanthus and wild red strawberries; a heart of gardenia, honeysuckle, mimosa and red rose damascenia, and a drydown of sandalwood, vanilla absolute, rum flavor and creamy musks.
Parker noted the scent itself is something of a departure for her. “It’s unusual for me because this fragrance is surprisingly floral, which I keep thinking I am not sophisticated or mature enough for,” said Parker. Previous scents, such as 2005’s Lovely (still in the top 50 women’s fragrances in the U.S., according to NPD) and 2007’s Covet (which is winding down distribution in the U.S.), included notes such as apple martini and amber (Lovely) and geranium leaves (Covet). “But the most surprising aspect [of SJP NYC] is the strawberry note that looms nicely at the top of the fragrance,” Parker continued. “The reason it surprises me is because I have this idea in my head that strawberry is very youthful and juvenile, but this fragrance doesn’t smell candy sweet. It amazes me that this essence of strawberry mixes so beautifully with the more sophisticated floral notes and the musks that I love and will always have as part of my fragrances. In a million years I would never think, ‘Let’s work around strawberry.’”
The collection consists of eaux de toilette in three sizes — 15 ml. for $25, 30 ml. for $35 and 60 ml. for $49 — as well as a 200-ml. body lotion for $25. A cuff bracelet with solid perfume, tentatively priced at $35, will follow in May.
Packaging, designed by Parker and Coty Prestige’s Jon Dinapoli, consists of a simple glass bottle housed in a multipatterned reusable canister intended to evoke the look of Carrie Bradshaw’s famous closet. It is topped with a hot pink cap debossed with the gold SJP NYC logo. “Because we wanted to incorporate the sense of fashion, it was a different process [than my other scents have been],” said Parker. “And of course the packaging has to fit the juice. I love where we arrived with both the juice and the packaging.”
SJP NYC will bow first in Macy’s 750 doors in February. In May, coinciding with the release of the second ‘Sex and the City’ movie, the fragrance will expand its reach to an additional 1,500 department and specialty store doors in the U.S., and to 16 countries for a total of about 10,000 doors worldwide at full distribution.
Print advertising, shot by Solve Sundsbo with creative direction by Trey Laird of Laird and Partners, will break in February fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines, noted Susan Kelly, senior director of global marketing for Sarah Jessica Parker Fragrances. The visual is of Parker in a floral couture Oscar de la Renta gown. “What I love about Sarah Jessica is that she breathes life into everything she wears,” the designer told WWD. “She loves fashion and knows exactly what she likes. She is a designer’s dream.”
While none of the executives would discuss sales projections or advertising spending, industry sources estimated NYC could do upward of $50 million at retail globally in its first year on counter, with about half that figure expected to be generated in the U.S. Sources estimated Coty will spend about $20 million on advertising and promotion globally, with about half of that figure to be spent in the U.S.
No slouch in the work ethic department, Parker is already at work on her next scent. “We have been concentrating primarily on SJP NYC, and enjoying creating that entire package, which has been such a wonderfully different focus than other fragrances in our house,” said Parker. “Other than that, we have been working on another fragrance and that has been my sole focus outside my work as an actor-producer. ”