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Annette Green

NEW YORK -- In a world where nearly every top designer has a scent or is working on one, a noted French couturier has decided to get into the game.<P>Rose Torrente-Mett, a member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture since 1971 and one of its few...

NEW YORK — In a world where nearly every top designer has a scent or is working on one, a noted French couturier has decided to get into the game.

Rose Torrente-Mett, a member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture since 1971 and one of its few female members, launched her Haute Boutique Torrente at the corner of Faubourg Sainte-Honore and Avenue Montaigne in Paris in 1969.

Now, she’s ready to take the fragrance world by storm with L’Or de Torrente, a nontraditional floral. The juice, by Jean Jacques of Takasago, includes top notes of baie rose, tangerine, lychee, kiwi, black currant leaves, magnolia leaves and angelica; middle notes of coffee essence and rose essence, and a dry-down of iris on cedarwood, vanilla orchid, white amber and precious woods.

“This is a unique scent that we think will do very well in the U.S. market,” said Alison Farn, president of Gary Farn Ltd., which is handling the fragrance in the U.S. “It’s a great mix of elements — it’s an appealing scent that is really quite unlike anything that’s out there right now, and it has a beautiful, unusual bottle. The response so far has been amazing.”

The fragrance’s rounded, heavy glass bottle has a textured gold spray-through top and was designed by Herve Van Der Straeten. The name is in gold near the bottom of the bottle. The outer carton is textured off-white with a shadowed image of the scent and the fragrance’s name stamped in gold.

L’Or de Torrente will be available in a 1.7-oz. eau de parfum spray for $60 and a 3.4-oz. eau de parfum spray for $80. It will also launch with two ancillaries: a 6.8-oz. bath and shower gel for $40 and a 6.8-oz. body lotion for $45. Two additional ancillaries will be limited-edition for Christmas 2002 only: a $40, 0.34-oz. purse spray that comes with a refill of the same size and a $60, 1.2-oz. dusting powder. Christmas gift sets are also planned, said Farn.

First-year distribution plans call for a rollout to about 250 Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and Sephora doors, along with selected regional specialty store doors, said Farn. While she wouldn’t comment on projected first-year sales, industry sources estimated that the scent collection would do upward of $6 million at wholesale in its first year on-counter in the U.S.

An advertising and promotional program is still in development, but known plans include a sampling effort designed to get more than 500,000 vials and more than 12 million scented strips out to consumers. National advertising is also planned.

“We will support L’Or de Torrente with large advertising and promotion budgets in the first 12 months,” said Farn. That will include extensive retail co-op advertising and placements in selected national publications, which are being evaluated now, she added. While she wouldn’t quantify that or give additional specifics, industry sources estimated that more than $2 million would be spent on advertising and promotion.”