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Josie Natori Reenters Scent Arena

In mid-July, the designer will launch Josie, a women’s fragrance aimed at an age 25-plus customer.

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Josie Natori is back in the fragrance game.

This story first appeared in the June 27, 2014 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

In mid-July, Natori will launch Josie, a women’s fragrance aimed at an age 25-plus customer.

Natori said since the first day of her 37-year fashion career, she has had a kinship with fragrance. “The concept of the Natori brand is about making women feel good about indulging themselves,” she said, pointing out the sensual connection between lingerie and fragrance. “We have more right to be in this than someone making jeans.

“We wanted to do something disruptive,” Natori continued. “This addresses a younger demographic with energy and a vibrant spirit, not someone who is being so serious.” She described the fragrance as being “more modern. It has a sensual floral.”

Her licensing partner in this venture is Luxe Brands, a company headed by chief executive officer Tony Bajaj, who bought the Jean Patou license from Procter & Gamble Co. and this spring launched Joy Forever.

“My vision for Luxe Brands is to build an enduring portfolio of global prestige brands that resonates strongly with consumers,” said Bajaj. “The Josie fragrance is the first launch of the long-term partnership that we’re building with the Natori company to develop a series of lifestyle collections.”

Natori had previously launched a signature fragrance with Parlux Fragrances.

This Josie fragrance was developed by Noreen Dodge, who heads the creative arm of Luxe Brands, working with perfumers Frank Voelkl and Honorine Blanc of Firmenich. The formula’s most striking element is Sampaguita, a light and pure form of jasmine that is the national flower of the Philippines. Considered a symbol of love, the ingredient forms a bouquet in the heart of the fragrance with freesia in radiating a feminine point of view, Dodge noted. The scent opens with a vibrant accord of Asian pear and dewy leaves. The structure is finished with sandalwood and white musk to leave a trail of sensuality.

The eau de parfum will be available in two sizes, 1.7 oz. for $75 and 3.4 oz. for $95. A 0.25-oz. rollerball will be priced at $22. There also will be a 6.8-oz. body cream for $58 and a 6.75-oz. body lotion for $45. For holiday, a bento box set will be sold for $105 and a 3.4-oz. edp will be offered in a clutch for $95.

The scent will initially be launched in a tight prestige distribution, including Bloomingdale’s and Dillard’s. In the fall, HSN will be included. In 2015, the fragrance is expected to roll out to Japan and the Philippines. This summer, the Josie fragrance will be sold on a custom microsite on Natori’s Web site.

Executives would not discuss sales projections, but industry sources estimate first-year retail sales of $5 million, due to the extremely tight distribution, and $8 million to $10 million expected in the second year. The advertising and promotional support in the first year is estimated to amount to $2 million to $3 million.

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