NEW YORK — With its first fragrance, accessories house Leiber is taking the high-end road in conjunction with licensee Pulse Points, the joint venture between fragrance house Mane and distributor Gary Farn Ltd.

In keeping with the brand's upscale positioning, the Leiber scent, a feminine eau de parfum, will be launched in 150 doors, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale's, in September. The scent also will be carried at Leiber's six boutiques in the U.S.

"The Leiber customer wants something exceptionally crafted, rare and not available to everyone," Leiber's president and creative director, Frank Zambrelli, said in a recent interview. "We wanted to express that in a fragrance." Zambrelli noted Leiber accessories are carried in about 200 doors in the U.S.

The Leiber scent will be available in three sizes: a 1.7-oz. edp for $110; 1 oz. for $75 and a 0.33-oz. purse spray with refill for $95. Ancillaries such as body cream, $80, and a candle, $65, will accompany the scent at launch.

Industry sources estimate Leiber's inaugural scent could generate $2 million in first-year retail sales.

The fragrance, which was blended by Mane perfumer Karine Dubreuil, features top notes of bergamot, mandarin leaf, pineapple and osmanthus; a heart of pimento, rose absolu, rose essence, jasmine absolu, mimosa absolu, gardenia and cyclamen, and base notes of cedar, amber, musk, patchouli and vanilla.

"It's a clear message," said Dubreuil, who described the scent as a modern chypre oriental. "It's a mixture of luxury and precious materials, especially the wood [accords]," she added, citing the absolu ingredients used in the scent.

"We're capturing a Leiber moment in a fragrance," said Theresa Plavoukis, vice president of marketing for Gary Farn Ltd. "The look is beautiful, sensual and luxurious."

The bottle is meant to resemble an Asscher-cut diamond, "an oversized cocktail ring," said Zambrelli.

Hinting at plans to create more Leiber fragrances, Zambrelli said: "This has to be the anchor for Leiber fragrances. It has to be as relevant 50 years from now as it is today."It is a first step into what I think will be a very significant part of the business," he added. "I could see a full-fledged color and treatment line someday, but we'll make a few nice fragrances first." — Matthew W. Evans

FIT Students Take On Loyalty

Fashion Institute of Technology students gave Capstone presentations on how luxury brands can establish customer loyalty during an event that included a graduation reception at the school Wednesday.

Design firm Ideo developed a framework meant to inspire new approaches among students who were encouraged to rethink consumers' relationship with luxury brands. With the help of Paul Bennett, co-creative director of Ideo, the teams of about five students each applied the concept to four brands — LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Motorola, Starwood Hotels and the Estée Lauder cosmetics brand.

Each project involved making up fictitious consumers and evaluated each company's target consumer.

This year, about 20 students graduated from the master's degree program in cosmetics and fragrance marketing and management. — Michelle Edgar

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