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Shiseido, Now and Zen

Shiseido's newest fragrance taps the venerable company's heritage, with an aim to build its scent fortunes for the future.

Shiseido's new Zen.

Shiseido’s newest fragrance taps the venerable company’s heritage, with an aim to build its scent fortunes for the future.

While Shiseido’s Beauté Prestige International handles most of the corporation’s scent business — including designer licenses Issey Miyake, Jean Paul Gaultier and Narciso Rodriguez — Zen has been an integral part of Shiseido since 1964, said Heidi Manheimer, chief executive officer of Shiseido Cosmetics America. The decades-old original, a heavy floral, remains on sale, but the new introduction is lighter and “represents modern Japan,” said Tomoko Yamagishi-Dressler, vice president of marketing for Shiseido Prestige Brands.

The new addition, launched in Europe last fall, marks the latest installment in its Zen series. Although Shiseido had launched another version, Zen Eau de Parfum Aromatique, in 2000, that version has since been discontinued in the U.S.

The newest Zen was concocted by Michel Almairac of Robertet. The scent’s top notes are of blue rose, bergamot, grapefruit, peach and pineapple; heart notes are of freesia, gardenia, red apple, lily of the valley, hyacinth, lotus flower and violet, and the drydown comprises patchouli, cedarwood, skin musk, white musk, incense and amber.

The fragrance logo is inspired by Japanese calligraphy and the outer box by a Japanese teahouse, noted Yamagishi-Dressler.

Zen will be available in three sizes — 30 ml. for $48, 50 ml. for $68 and 100 ml. for $88.

The scent will be available in September in Shiseido’s U.S. department and specialty store distribution, currently just under 1,000 doors. National advertising, shot by Jean-Paul Goude, will begin running in November fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines. Sampling will include 300,000 spray vials, noted Yamagishi-Dressler.

While Shiseido executives declined to comment on sales projections, industry sources estimated that Zen would do upward of $2 million at retail in its first year on counter in the U.S.