With the addition of Givenchy’s first U.S. fragrance shop-in-shop and a devoted space for the new La Collection Privée Christian Dior, Saks Fifth Avenue is putting the finishing touches on a fragrance-department renovation of its Fifth Avenue flagship in New York.
This story first appeared in the April 25, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“These brands highlight the most elevated offerings of the fashion houses’ fragrance collections, adding to our portfolio of Tom Ford Private Blend, Chanel Les Exclusives, Hermès and Cartier,” said Deborah Walters, senior vice president and general merchandise manager for cosmetics, fragrances and intimates at Saks Fifth Avenue. “The other half or our portfolio focuses on the artisanally crafted lifestyle houses: Bond No. 9, Kilian, Le Labo, Creed, Penhaligons, Acqua di Parma and Jo Malone. The combination of these spectrums gives the Saks customer the utmost in luxury offerings, from the highest end of designer fragrances to the most curated of the lifestyle fragrances houses.”
The Givenchy outpost will be unveiled today, while the Dior offering makes its debut Saturday. Saks opened Viktor & Rolf’s first U.S. fragrance shop-in-shop on April 17. Walters noted that fall will bring changes for the color cosmetics area of the floor, but declined further comment.
L’Atelier de Givenchy is intended to be a combination of haute perfumery and couture, noted Walters. Each of the scents — Chypre Caresse, Ylang Austral, Néroli Originel, Cuir Blanc, Bois Martial, Ambre Tigré and Oud Flamboyant — is inspired by a different facet of the Givenchy apparel business and its designers, Hubert de Givenchy yesterday, Riccardo Tisci today. For instance, Néroli Originel was inspired by a dress worn by Givenchy’s first muse, Audrey Hepburn, while Chypre Caresse is intended to be the olfactory translation of a haute couture dress with embroidery and feathers. Each retails for $220 for 100 ml. “It’s really a true wardrobe of scents, upscale in every way,” said Walters, pointing to the “precious ingredients” and “elevated packaging” of the offering. Walters anticipates rolling out L’Atelier de Givenchy to about 10 key Saks doors going forward.
La Collection Privée Christian Dior will be in eight Saks doors, said Walters. Like the Givenchy offering, the Dior collection is intended as an ultraluxe play. François Demachy, Dior’s in-house perfumer, created the 14 scents in the permanent assortment — Cuir Cannage (out June 1), Gris Montaigne, Granville, Mitzah, Cologne Royale, Leather Oud, New Look 1947, Milly-la-Forêt, Oud Ispahan, Grand Bal, Patchouli Imperial, Bois D’Argent, Eau Noire and Ambre Nuit. Each retails for $180 for 125 ml. and $275 for 250 ml. Dior has created 450-ml., $420 versions of Ambre Nuit, Oud Ispahan, Grand Bal and Gris Montaigne exclusively for three Saks stores — the Fifth Avenue flagship, as well as Beverly Hills and Chevy Chase, Md., which will be on counter as limited editions. Saks is offering similarly luxe touches, such as premier sampling and specialized wrapping.
Walters also plans several in-store events for these brands, including a floral-arranging event, Bil Donovan portraits and a mother-daughter tea for Dior, and custom engraving and trunk shows for Givenchy. “We support our launches continually with major events and in-store theater,” said Walters. “We don’t just launch and move on.”