PARIS — Celine Dion and Coty Beauty are banking on Sensational to be the songstress’ biggest fragrance hit, once it makes its worldwide debut this spring.
This story first appeared in the February 1, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
All facets of the women’s scent were fashioned with Dion and the rejuvenation of her touring career in mind, according to Steve Mormoris, senior vice president of global marketing for Coty Beauty, Coty Inc.’s mass arm.
“Every little bottle has some dreams floating in it,” said Dion, who explained that Sensational’s juice is a mix of fruit, flower and woody notes, plus no small portion of strength and sex appeal.
With the scent, Dion wants “to reach women of different ages. I think women have to lead their own destiny, have to be in charge of whatever they want in life.”
Sensational’s launch coincides with the kickoff of Dion’s 11-month “Taking Chances” world tour, to include 160 performances starting in South Africa and traveling to five continents. It marks the first time in half a decade that Dion will hold major shows outside The Coliseum, a 4,000-seat theater constructed for her in Las Vegas, where Dion had performed five nights a week to packed houses since 2003.
“This is the year of the relaunch of her career, and the same goes for her fragrance franchise,” said Marsha Brooks, Coty’s vice president of new business. “It’s a new beginning for her.”
Sensational is expected to be Dion’s best-selling scent. Coty, for its part, isn’t taking any chances that the singer’s presence will be missed at the fragrance bar. Sensational’s launch is to be backed by a bigger budget than any of her other scents, including Celine Dion Parfums, Belong and Enchanting, according to industry sources.
While Coty executives would not discuss numbers, industry sources estimate that, in the first year globally, the advertising and promotional spend for Sensational is $20 million and that the scent itself will generate $50 million at retail.
The Celine Dion fragrance portfolio has made more than $500 million at retail around the world since 2002, according to Coty.
Dion’s style has recently morphed to have a slight rock edge. And the new fragrance differs from her others, too.
“We were looking for a more sparkling experience,” explained Mormoris, of Sensational’s juice. He added that, while the earlier Dion fragrances also include floral notes, those in the new scent have different levels of intensity and character.
Symrise’s Maurice Roucel created a modern, luminous floral scent. He said he chose heart notes of orris and mimosa to reflect Dion’s sensual, delicate and vibrant sides. The fragrance also has top notes of icy pear, crisp apple and plum; heart notes including jasmine and freesia, plus base notes of amber, musk and sandalwood.
Dion particularly adores musks and woods.
“Even though I love fruits, flowers and femininity, I always love extremely woody scents and musks,” she said.
Sensational’s oval bottle, designed by Jane Tarallo, represents an aesthetic break from Dion’s other, more linear fragrance flacons. Its checkered glass imprint is meant to recall spotlights, and such motifs are repeated on the outer packaging, as well.
The ad campaign focuses on Dion’s modern, onstage persona, said Mormoris. Photographer Alexi Lubomirsky shot Dion wearing an Emanuel Ungaro dress for the single- and double-page ads, while Scott Lochmus directed the 30-, 20- and 10-second TV spots.
Sampling is to include 25 million scented impressions, including scented strips, and scent cards will be distributed in Dion’s new album. There are to be in-store raffles with tickets for her concerts as prizes, among various promotional activities.
As her first global rollout, Sensational will be launched in France and a handful of other countries, such as the U.S. (where the scent is to be introduced in Kohl’s, J.C. Penney’s and Sears), in March. By May, Sensational will be fully rolled out in the U.S. and in all of Dion’s other fragrance markets. Overall, its door count is expected to be about 20 percent larger than for her earlier fragrances for a total of 50,000 points of sale.
Sensational’s line includes a 100-ml. eau de toilette spray for $48, a 50-ml. edt spray for $32, a 30-ml. edt spray for $26 and a 15-ml. version for $16. Ancillaries are to include a 200-ml. body lotion for $12.50. The prices are for the U.S.