LONDON — British high-street brand Reiss, a favorite of the Duchess of Cambridge, is entering into the fragrance market with the launch of two perfumes — one for men and one for women.
This story first appeared in the August 30, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
David Reiss, Reiss’ managing director, tapped Azzi Glasser of Family Three to develop the scents for the brand. She is the nose behind the Agent Provocateur juices, as well as scents from Laura Ashley and Topman, and British boy band JLS’ fragrance offerings.
“David told me he hates commercial fragrances,” Glasser told WWD. “He said, ‘I just don’t like fragrances that smell the same. I can’t tell the difference between them. The only difference is the brand and the logo.’ So we set out to create something that would really stand out.
“I was really inspired by Reiss’ attention to detail and artisanal approach to working with fashion; I remember talking to David about cotton for half an hour once,” said Glasser.
Two years in the making and Glasser has come up with Reiss Grey Flower for women and Reiss Black Oudh for men. “I wanted them to smell really sexy,” she explained. “But not like every other ‘sexy’ fragrance out there. Sexy but something you can wear all day.”
For Grey Flower, she used armoise and pimento berry at the top, sequoia wood, jasmine noir and cocoa leaf at the heart, and olibanum, amber crystals, patchouli and baies as the base notes.
Black Oudh starts with laurel leaf and green Cyprus, moving into a heart of sequoia wood, clary sage and vetiver, with a base of black oudh, black musk and amber.
The packaging and flacons were designed in-house by Reiss’ design team. Grey Flower comes in a square golden glass bottle with a cylindrical cap and its name written in white, and is presented nestled within a foam cutout nest, inside a white box with a slide opening and the scent’s name simply embossed in gold. Black Oudh follows the same aesthetic, but comes in a gunmetal gray bottle and black box with silver writing.
Both scents will sell for 49 pounds, or about $74 at current exchange, for a 100-ml. bottle, and 35 pounds, or $53, for 50 ml. The women’s scent is also available in a 30-ml. size for 25 pounds, or $38.
The fragrances will launch exclusively at Selfridges and selfridges.com, as well as in Reiss stores and on its Web site, on Sept. 19 before it gradually rolls out to reach 1,000 doors internationally.
Reiss was founded in 1971 and has more than 100 stores worldwide. It’s known for its simple and elegant aesthetic at an affordable luxury level.
The brand declined to comment on its projected first-year retail sales, but industry sources expect it to make $10 million in its first year on counter.
Additional fragrances will be launched in 2014, and Reiss has not ruled out moving into color cosmetics when the time is right, although he insists, “For now we want to deliver exciting and sensual fragrances that fire our customers’ enthusiasm for the brand and explore the spectrum of what fragrance has to offer.”
The campaigns were shot in London by Brendan & Brendan and feature male and female models who never reveal their faces, giving an elusive and mysterious feeling to both the print and film imagery. The campaigns will break in September, with the print ads appearing in October issues and the film appearing in online advertising.