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Reem Acra to Launch First Fragrance

During an interview at her home in New York City’s Fashion District, the Lebanese designer talked about incorporating her heritage into her debut scent effort.

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Designer Reem Acra’s gowns have been marching down red carpets and bridal aisles for years — now, the designer is giving her fans a fragrance to pair with them.

This story first appeared in the August 10, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

During an interview at her home in New York City’s Fashion District, the Lebanese designer — who founded her fashion line in 1997 with a bridal collection — talked about incorporating her heritage into her first fragrance effort. The namesake scent is set for an October launch.

“Fragrance, after fashion, tells the story of a brand,” Acra told WWD. “I was waiting eagerly for this moment, because I had something in mind. Basically, I think this fragrance is special because it’s not a made-up story. It’s my life story. Amber has been part of my homes since I was a little kid — we used to collect it [in Lebanon.] Peonies are my favorite flower,” she gestured to a large bouquet — “and every morning I drink orange blossom, steeped in hot water, to relax.”

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Created by Acra and her fragrance licensee, TPR Holdings LLC, along with Firmenich’s Pierre Negrin, the scent has top notes of orange blossom, pear and bergamot; a heart of ginger, jasmine, lily of the valley and blooming peony, and a drydown of amber, cedarwood, patchouli and warm musk.

Eaux de parfum in three sizes — 30 ml. for $35, 50 ml. for $90 and 90 ml. for $125 — will be offered, as will a 200-ml. perfumed body lotion, $50; a 200-ml. bath and shower gel, $40, and a 5.1-oz. body cream, $75. In December, a 90-ml. limited-edition parfum, $300, will be offered, as will a $125 gift set.

The fragrance bottle, designed by Doug Lloyd of Lloyd & Co., is a glass square bordered in gold and embellished with Acra’s trademark red dove insignia. Red trim also adorns the cap.

The scent will launch at Saks Fifth Avenue in October, followed by additional specialty store retailers in the U.S. and Harrods in the U.K., said Brian Robinson, president of TPR. U.S. distribution will top out at about 220 doors in the U.S. and 2,000 globally.

The print ad, shot by Tom Munro, features Crystal Renn and will break in October fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines. An ambitious digital campaign is also planned.

While neither Acra nor Robinson would discuss projected sales, industry sources estimated that the scent could do at least $15 million at retail globally in its first year on counter. Acra plans to do public appearances in support of the scent.

Acra continues to extend her reach in other categories. In late June, Acra also created a moderately priced bridal line with Nordstrom called Roses by Reem Acra. Available at all 18 Nordstrom Wedding Suites in the U.S., the line features dresses which retail for less than $4,000, about half the price of the designer’s red-carpet and wedding gowns. Acra plans to add an additional six gowns, as well as accessories and veils, in November.