Chloé was a late bloomer in the fragrance world, with its first scent coming out only in 1974 — more than two decades after the brand’s inaugural fashion collection in 1952.
Simply called Chloé, it was created with Karl Lagerfeld, then the label’s designer, who tried to express olfactively the brand’s romantic, floral essence.
“I knew I liked heavy perfumes, old perfumes, and I knew I hated green scents. There are so many of them around today,” he told WWD in a 1976 interview. Lagerfeld was describing the initial stages of his work on the fragrance, which was developed with Elizabeth Arden, Chloé’s fragrance licensee at the time.
Working with an International Flavors & Fragrances perfumer, he learned a lot. “I learned that the extract isn’t like the flower at all,” said Lagerfeld. “Jasmine in extract is the worst, and I love jasmine flowers.”
Lagerfeld found the process of translating his ideas and feelings into a scent both fascinating and difficult: “It’s like asking someone without hands to do a sketch. You just can’t mix up a fragrance yourself.”
The designer predicted that of the 20 or more fragrance introductions over the two prior years, only two or three would still be around a few years hence, and he hoped Chloé would be among them. That dream became reality as the signature scent for women became a strong seller and still figures in the brand’s portfolio.
Chloé’s next major perfume launch came in 1992, with Narcisse, followed by some smaller introductions, such as Chloé Innocence in 1996 and Chloé Collection from 2005.
In May 2005, Coty Inc. acquired the brand’s fragrance business as part of an $800 million deal with Unilever, which involved the consumer goods giant’s portfolio of prestige scent licenses that also included Calvin Klein, Cerruti, Vera Wang and Lagerfeld.
At the time, that Chloé activity was “really small,” according to Françoise Mariez, senior vice president of marketing for European fragrances at Coty Prestige. Yet fast-forward to today, when industry sources estimate the business rings up more than $100 million in wholesale revenues annually and has been chalking up double-digit gains each year.
Right away, Coty began reconstructing the Chloé fragrance branch practically from scratch. To accomplish that, it looked at archives and the fashion collection, for instance.
Chloé stands for “femininity,” “effortless chic,” “strength” and “freedom,” explained Mariez. “Our first step rebuilding the fragrance house was to really encapsulate in one fragrance the core values of the brand today.”
So Chloé Eau de Parfum was born in 2008. That it would be a floral was evident.
“As soon as you mention Chloé to fragrance consumers, the first thing they’d say is there are two values: romantic and floral,” said Mariez, who clarified that it’s a modern romanticism.
The signature scent was created by Robertet’s perfumers Michel Almairac and Amandine Marie and includes notes of rose, magnolia, lily of the valley and cedarwood.
Mariez maintained that the signature scent, which is the brand’s bestseller, works so well “because it’s a perfect translation of the Chloé spirit and brand values.”
Chloé Eau de Fleurs, a trio of soliflore scents, was introduced in January 2010. Yet the second major fragrance launch for Chloé under Coty was Love, Chloé, in 2010. Fronted by model Raquel Zimmermann styled as a modern-day Charlie girl, it targets a slightly more mature consumer. The juice, concocted by Givaudan perfumers Louise Turner and Nathalie Gracia-Cetto, includes notes of orange blossom, pink pepper, lilac, wisteria blossom, musks, talc and rice powder.
The Chloé business, whose two main brands were subsequently expanded, is a particular hit in Japan, where it ranks first among prestige women’s fragrance labels. In Italy, Germany and Spain, Chloé figures in the top 10. It’s in the top 15 in the U.S., where it’s “growing quite fast,” Mariez said, and in France and the U.K., Chloé lands in the top 25.
The next major Chloé project will be a women’s fragrance launching next spring. It’s possible that the brand could ultimately branch out into other beauty product categories, as well.
My character, Dinah Madani, is just the coolest, [most] badass woman imaginable," says @amberroserevah. The actress stars in @marvel's newest series on @netflix, @thepunisher. To prepare for her role, Revah sat down with Homeland agents to get a real sense of with Dinah's day-to-day life is really like. Read our full interview on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
A scene from the 91st annual @macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade, which boasts 50 million TV viewers and 3.5 million on-site spectators, is considered one of the largest and most watched parades in the world. (📷: Jason Szenes/EPA-REX)
The circus came to @bloomingdales 59th Street on Tuesday night and lit up Lexington Avenue with acrobatic dancers, death-defying knife throwing, sword swallowing and aerial acts with no net. The 45 minutes of theatrics built up to unveiling the holiday windows depicting @swarovski crystal-encrusted circus pieces and scenes from “The Greatest Showman” – songs from the soundtrack included. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Joshua Scott)
The psychedelic fashion that pervaded the ’60s is back with an exhibit at the @museumofcityny. “Mode New York: Fashion Takes a Trip” chronicles the changing styles from 1960 through 1973 and features designers such as @ysl, @oscardelarenta and more. The exhibition, which is on display through April 1, is organized into four periods: First Lady Fasion, Youthquake, New Bohemia and New Nonchalance. Pictured here is model Pat Bardonella during the Garvey Day Parade in 1968. (📷: @kwamebphoto) #wwdeye #wwdfashion
“People should be a lot more honest in expressing both the dark and light of themselves. We need to give each other the space to do that because it’s the only way we can grow and evolve,” says @noelwells of her new film “Mr. Roosevelt,” which is largely based on her own struggles. Unexpectedly leaving @nbcsnl in 2014 after just one season, Wells felt set back in her self-esteem and career trajectory. She quickly refocused her energy to more personal projects, which led to the completion of “Mr. Roosevelt.” Read the rest of WWD’s interview with the “Master of None” actress on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
@barbrastreisand is giving fans a chance to see her perform up close in a new concert series, which makes its debut on @Netflix today. From behind-the-scenes takes to her concert performance in Miami last December, the two-hour streaming special captures Streisand in her element. Pictured here is the singer/actress photographed for WWD in 1963. (📷: Palmieri Tony) #wwdeye #wwdarchive
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)