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Roberto Cavalli’s Serpentine Style
MILAN — For Roberto Cavalli, the snake is a symbol of good luck.
The story goes that when Cavalli was trying to get his fashion line off the ground, he kept stumbling on the sign of the snake, which led him to believe that it brought him good fortune.
That’s why the Tuscan fashion designer has used it as a motif for his fragrances — namely in the imagery and packaging of his original fragrances, Roberto Cavalli Woman and Roberto Cavalli Man. The scaly reptile also has inspired his latest scent, called Serpentine.
Cavalli’s new women’s scent, Serpentine, will be launched in Europe this fall. The fragrance was presented to a select group of Italian press by the designer’s wife, Eva Cavalli, at the couple’s Tuscan villa in June.
Roberto Martone, president of ITF, the distributor and manufacturer of Roberto Cavalli fragrances, said the company, in collaboration with the designer, had utilized the image of the snake at every level of the perfume’s conception — including the bottle design, the scent’s juice and the advertising campaign.
“The bottles, depending on their size, each feature a number of snakes intertwined with one another,” said Martone. “We selected one of the fragrance’s notes, mango blossom, because in Brazilian tradition it is the food of the snakes.” He added that the particular floral note was known for its long-lasting qualities.
The scent will be rolled out to 6,400 doors globally beginning in September and will enter the U.S. market with ITF’s new American distributor, Clarins, in early 2006. Martone said he hopes that Clarins will be capable of doubling sales of the Cavalli fragrance brand in the U.S. next year.
“It’s a difficult country to manage, and we know with this agreement with Clarins we are in the best hands to drive the potential of Roberto Cavalli,” said Martone. “We will benefit from their consistency, organization and persistence.”
Serpentine could generate between $27 million and $32 million in first-year retail sales volume globally, according to industry sources.
The scent’s transparent, rounded flacon features as many as three linked snakes on its front that have been gilded with gold leaf. The bottle, designed by Serge Mansau, is topped with an antique gold-colored stopper.
This story first appeared in the August 22, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The scent, created by Firmenich, features top notes of mango flower, mandarin and artemisia balanced out with middle notes of Tahitian tiare, violet leaves, frangipani and black pepper, and bottom notes of tolu balm, amber and sandal. Serpentine is part of the floral-amber family.
The scent has an accompanying advertising campaign picturing a model’s wet face held by her hands, one of which has a yellow and black snake wrapped around the wrist like a bracelet. The campaign was shot by photographers Mert and Marcus.
The scent will be released as an eau de parfum spray, with the 30-ml. size priced at 43 euros, or $52.35 at current exchange; the 50-ml. flacon priced at 59 euros, or $71.85, and the 100-ml. version priced at 80 euros, or $97.40. A bath and body line will accompany the launch, featuring a 200-ml. bath and body gel priced at 28 euros, or $34.10; a 200-ml. body lotion priced at 33 euros, or $40.20; a 100-ml. spray deodorant priced at 26 euros, or $33.15, and a 200-ml. luminescent body cream for 65 euros, or $79.15.
— Stephanie Epiro
Guess, Parlux Fete Scent
LOS ANGELES — A poolside party celebrating the launch of the new Guess women’s fragrance just wouldn’t be complete without having the featured band and boss’ son splash in the water in front of some 675 party goers.
Paul and Maurice Marciano, the co-chairmen and co-chief executive officers of the jeans company, and Parlux Fragrances hosted a mix of indie rockers, fashionistas and reality TV personalities at the Mondrian Hotel’s Skybar on Wednesday night.
DJ AM, who kicked off the revelry, was followed by a performance by the band Phantom Planet, which is known for its theme song to the hit show “The O.C.” Frontman Alex Greenwald didn’t heed women’s pleas for him to sing the Southern Californian anthem. But he jumped into the heated pool in his red sneakers after the set, inspiring five others to follow his lead. One of the impromptu swimmers was Isaac Lekach, the son of Parlux ceo Ilia Lekach.
Toward the end of the night, the senior Lekach was smiling by the pool, heartened most likely by strong initial sales for the Guess fragrance, which joins Paris Hilton, Ocean Pacific, Maria Sharapova and other brands in his Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based firm’s portfolio of scents.
Ilia Lekach said he projects first-year wholesale sales volume of the new Guess fragrance to reach nearly $50 million. The men’s fragrance is slated for a February introduction.
Guests included members of the band Rilo Kiley; Sara Scargall, who is collaborating with Gwen Stefani on the star’s Harajuku Lovers’ collection, Harajuku Lovers, and reality TV personalities from “Project Runway,” “Laguna Beach” and “The Princes of Malibu.”
The party was sponsored by Allure, which, like WWD, is owned by Advance Publications Inc.
— Khanh T.L. Tran