L'Artisan Looks to Up Male Clientele With New Scent
PARIS — L'Artisan Parfumeur is hoping its men's business will grow under the influence of its latest fragrance, Fou d'Absinthe (Mad About Absinthe, in English).

The scent, inspired by the potent hallucinogenic alcoholic drink, which was a favorite tipple among bohemian artists and writers, will bow globally later this month.

"Given that 90 percent of our clientele is female, we decided to launch a male scent to encourage men to push open the door [to our stores]," said Rémi Cléro, the firm's president and chief executive officer.

Working with only the word absinthe as a brief, independent perfumer Olivia Giacobethi created a spicy, woody juice. Its top notes include the bitter liquor and fruity accords of black currant. Its heart comprises spicy notes of rum, pepper, clove, nutmeg, ginger and patchouli, while its base features pine needles and balsam. Ingredients were supplied by Grasse, France-based Robertet.

Fou d'Absinthe will be available as 100- and 50-ml. sprays, which will retail in France for 95 euros, or $122 at current exchange, and 70 euros, or $89, respectively. Industry sources estimate the scent could generate more than 1 million euros, or $1.3 million, in its first year at retail.

Also in the L'Artisan launch pipeline for this year is a fragrance based on a harvest of narcissus flowers and a new addition to its line of scents inspired by countries. The privately held company, which sources estimate generated about $40 million in sales last year, plans to open 10 new stand-alone doors this year, including a door in Japan and a boutique in Paris' Caroussel du Louvre. Last year, the firm generated 45 percent of sales in France, 25 percent in the U.S. and 15 percent in the U.K. In 2004, 65 percent of its sales came from France.
Ellen Groves

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