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Marchesa’s Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig plan to take their signature glamour from the red carpet to fragrance counters this fall with their first scent, dubbed Marchesa Parfume d’Extase.
This story first appeared in the August 10, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The fragrance will launch in September.
“Eveningwear evokes an emotion, and this scent does the same thing,” said Chapman, the label’s designer, who cofounded the line with business partner Craig in 2004. Much like the duo’s red carpet gowns, the bottle features plenty of detail and sparkle. Craig and Chapman worked with Malin Ericson of Vanessa Stevens + Company to create a clear faceted bottle that evokes raw quartz crystal banded with hand-set crystal accents resembling a bow. “We looked at our handbags and the signature crystals they have, and we really wanted to incorporate that element,” said Chapman.
“One of our main goals is to provide our clients with access to the hottest and most current trends and brands, and Marchesa fits into this category effortlessly,” said Michael McGeever, senior vice president and general manager of Sephora Strategic Partnerships. “With Marchesa, we are able to provide a universal experience that exudes the femininity, individuality and grace that the brand embodies.”
The scent, which Chapman and Craig created with Firmenich’s master perfumer Annie Buzantian, has top notes of iris, freesia and young violet leaves; a heart of night-blooming jasmine, and a drydown of iris root, ambrox and musk. “We didn’t want anything too sweet,” said Craig. “Georgina and I don’t like perfumes that can smell sort of sickly, so that was very important when we were going through the process.”
Eaux de parfum in two sizes, 30 ml. for $60 and 50 ml. for $85, will be sold, as will a $25 rollerball.
The scent is a Sephora exclusive and will be available in Sephora’s 320 freestanding stores and 370 Sephora-inside-J.C. Penney doors in September, and on sephora.com on Aug. 24. Sephora plans a presale for its VIB loyalty-card holders, which will begin Monday.
While Marchesa and Sephora executives declined to discuss sales projections, industry sources estimated that Parfume d’Extase could do about $1.5 million at retail in its first year on counter.
“We are putting our full support behind this launch with a robust marketing plan that includes animation, advertising, sampling, in-store signage, events, e-blasts and social-media support,” said McGeever. A campaign visual photographed by Patrick Demarchelier has also been shot, said Craig.
In addition to an affordable fragrance and tabletop items, the designers are also actively working to expand their touch to additional categories and channels of distribution. They have inked a deal with J.C. Penney to create shops-in-shop beginning next year, and partnered with Target and Neiman Marcus for a large designer collaboration project, which will bow in December. In May, the brand inked a licensing agreement with LF USA to launch a lower-priced contemporary line expected to launch in 2013.