This fall, at Hanae Mori Parfums, all eyes are on HiM.
This story first appeared in the August 24, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
With the modern man in mind, the fragrance brand — perhaps best known for its ultrafemme Butterfly scent — is entering more rugged terrain with a new offering, HiM by Hanae Mori, its first eau designed for male consumers in over a decade.
“The brand has evolved so much, but we don’t introduce so much newness,” said Thomas Saujet, president of fragrance licensing, marketing and distribution company International Cosmetics & Perfumes Inc., or ICP, which is the worldwide licensee of Hanae Mori Parfums. “We felt we needed some newness.”
HiM was designed as a contemporary fragrance with classic overtones. “We wanted to do a real men’s scent — a rugged, edgy, spicy, woodsy, modern fragrance,” said Saujet. “Everyone [who’s smelled it] thinks we have a slam dunk.”
First introduced to Nordstrom stores in 1996, the fashion-inspired brand has — for the past two years — introduced seasonal limited-edition numbered scents under its Eaux de Collection series, which is created with alternative energy sources such as sun and wind.
Regarding Butterfly, which Saujet says is still a bestseller: “It’s a pivotal fragrance that appeals to any type of age group,” he said. “It is classic and feminine.”
Added Saujet’s brother Emmanuel, who serves as ICP’s chief executive officer: “HiM builds on the sustained strength and growth of the entire Hanae Mori line, which has attracted ever greater interest from retailers and customers.”
Although the brand has never before offered an exclusively male fragrance, Thomas Saujet says Hanae Mori’s unisex HM, a fresh, woodsy scent launched in 1998 — has resonated with both sexes, especially men.
“After 15 years in the men’s fragrance department in Nordstrom, it is still today in their top 10 fragrances,” he said of HM. “We realized we have an audience that is very loyal to the brand.”
According to Saujet, the brand’s namesake, fashion designer Madame Hanae Mori — whose boutique still operates in Tokyo — remains a source of inspiration for new scents.
“[My father] was very intrigued because her theme was always about the butterfly, which has so many meanings,” said Thomas Saujet. His father, Claude — chairman of Paris-based parent company Cosmetiques et Parfums International — offered advice from Paris as his sons launched in the U.S. the brand’s debut fragrance, Hanae Mori Butterfly, in 1996. “It is so feminine and symbolizes transformation.”
Housed in an ombré caramel-hued glass vessel, HiM has top notes of oils of bergamot, mandarin orange, gray pepper, violet leaves and cardamom seeds, set atop a heart of cinnamon bark, Mediterranean fig and tonka bean essence. The drydown is a blend of teak wood, white cedar, fir balsam, musk and amber.
Priced from $50 for 1.7 oz. to $95 for 3.4 oz., industry sources believe the scent — which will launch in 670 doors in November — could generate more than $6 million in its first year at retail. HiM will first launch at Nordstrom in the U.S. and Holt Renfrew in Canada exclusively, then roll out to Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s and regional chains such as Dillard’s. Thomas Saujet also noted that in fall 2013, Hanae Mori plans to introduce “a whole new” women’s scent as well as a men’s grooming line. “We want to be very strong in the men’s department,” he said.