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Varvatos’ Rock ‘n’ Roll Turn

A new limited edition John Varvatos scent, called Rock Volume One, declares that the designer is the king of rock.

John Varvatos’ Rock Volume One.

A new limited edition John Varvatos scent, called Rock Volume One, declares that the designer is the king of rock — at least that’s the message four icons on the front of the bottle are meant to convey.

This story first appeared in the July 24, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The icons, which, left to right display the initials “JV,” a crown, a guitar and “EST ’00” are stamped onto the flask-shaped bottle’s Zamac shell. (The metal, which is a zinc-based alloy, lends a heavy feel to the flacon, as does its weighty cap.)

The scent is due to roll out to Nordstrom stores and international markets on Sept. 1, according to executives at JV Fragrances and Skincare, a subsidiary of Shiseido Americas Corp. It is currently carried at John Varvatos’ Boutiques and has been carried at Bloomingdale’s since early June.

“In the month of June, JV Rock sales accounted for close to 50 percent of the total John Varvatos fragrance business in the 59th Street [Bloomingdale’s] store,” said Howard Kreitzman, vice president of cosmetics and fragrances at the retailer. “This far exceeded our expectations for a limited edition considering we were able to achieve these numbers prior to the official launch this month.”

Industry sources estimate the scent has generated sales so far of between $250,000 and $500,000. About 8,500 of the 125-ml. scents were produced in total for the U.S. market, according to sources, and each is priced at $82. If the scents completely sell through in the U.S., sales will reach roughly $700,000. Some 17,000 of the scents will be distributed internationally, sources added.

“Like a great song, the right scent can also trigger a secret memory,” said Varvatos. “Rock Volume One plays on the emotions and, like a classic melody, it only gets better with time.”

Nicholas Ratut, president of JV Fragrances and Skincare, said of Rock Volume One, “This will generate excitement with the music element of the brand for the current [John Varvatos] consumer and increase market awareness.”

There are to be a total of three scents in the Rock collection. Rock Volume Two is due for fall 2010, while Rock Volume Three is to be launched in fall 2011.

Rock Volume One exceeds previous John Varvatos scents in price due to the cost of the materials that comprise the new scent, Ratut noted. The designer’s existing scents are priced at $77.

Both Varvatos’ original signature scent and Rock Volume One were composed by Givaudan perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux. New olfactive notes in Rock Volume One include rose absolute, tobacco and coffee beans.