By  on July 7, 2006

LONDON — Stella McCartney is dividing her first signature scent into a solid and a liquid version, called Stella in Two, to try and widen her consumer reach and carve a path through the overwrought fragrance market.

The scents, created with McCartney’s beauty licensee, YSL Beauté, are due to hit counters starting in August.

The solid perfume, dubbed Stella in Two Amber, was inspired by amber notes in the Stella fragrance, while the eau de toilette, called Stella in Two Peony, is reminiscent of its rose accords. The duo can be worn alone or layered.

“I wanted to separate the two notes in a way that meant you can mix the two together and really make your own perfume,” said McCartney at the scent’s press launch here. “[Traditionally], the only control you have is over how much you put on or how long you wait to [reapply]. I wanted the customer to have more freedom.”

“Stella was always attracted to the two harmonies in the original fragrance,” said Chantal Roos, president and chief executive officer of Gucci Group-owned YSL Beauté. “This was an opportunity to play with both.”

Industry insiders lauded the idea of giving women the possibility to be creative with their fragrance. “When she mixes the two elements, the consumer herself becomes an actor in her own beauty — it’s a real innovation,” said Pierre-François Le Louet, the Paris-based ceo of the Nelly Rodi International trend forecasting agency. Le Louet added that while women often layer skin care and makeup products in a variety of textures, it’s a notion new to fine fragrances.

Roja Dove, who runs the Roja Dove Haute Parfumerie at Harrods department store’s Urban Retreat space, saluted the novel approach to fragrance application. “It sets a new trend in marketing,” he said. “It’s very creative, as the sales staff will have something different to talk about in a market that’s crowded, oversaturated and very often lacking in creativity.”

While he noted young customers will probably find the solid element of the fragrance novel, he said he thinks it is unlikely consumers will buy the solid and the spray, which are sold separately. “I’ll be very surprised if it really catches on,” he added.

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