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Daisy Fuentes is well on her way to creating a chain of fragrances.
Fuentes, whose Dianoche scent project for Kohl’s Corp. quickly became one of the retailer’s top-selling fragrances after its launch last July, will add So Luxurious, a new women’s juice, in July.
And the budding fragrance creator can’t contain her excitement. “When I got my first TV job, I was actually in cosmetology school,” said Fuentes in an exclusive phone interview Monday. “I was going to be the next Vidal Sassoon. I’m a huge product junkie. I have more products than anyone in the world, and I’ve always said things like, ‘If this had a little less of this, or that applicator was a little different….’ And now people are listening to me and actually changing things to reflect what I’m saying. It’s great!”
Fuentes is completely hands-on with her beauty business, in fact. “This has been the most fascinating part of my career,” she said. “The whole beauty thing is a joy.”
Created by Fuentes, working in collaboration with International Flavors & Fragrances and Karyn Khoury, senior vice president of corporate fragrance development worldwide for the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., So Luxurious has top notes of wild honeysuckle, beach flower accord, mandarin and watery quince; a heart of magnolia, orange flower and Living Glorious Flower of Cuba accord, and a drydown of driftwood, amber and honey. “So Luxurious actually has its roots in the development process for Dianoche,” said Fuentes. “It was born from a finalist for Dianoche. In the final process, we came up with two scents which we loved equally. We went with the other, but when we decided to do So Luxurious, it became the base we built on.”
The Living Glorious Flower of Cuba accord is a nod to Fuentes’ Cuban heritage and is a rich white floral with a green note and a hint of vanilla, explained Khoury.
“Daisy is the type of woman who wears jeans and diamonds together — she’s casual and elegant,” said Julie Howard, senior vice president of global marketing and brand development for BeautyBank. “We wanted to reflect that in the packaging, which is a faceted round shape and is very elegant.” The bottle was inspired by a ring Fuentes wears everywhere, she added.
A 2.5-oz. bottle will retail for $42.50. While none of the executives would discuss sales figures, industry sources estimated that So Luxurious would do at least $5 million at retail in its first year on counter. It will be available in Kohl’s 834 U.S. doors.
The fragrance will be promoted in Kohl’s ads, in-store merchandising and via a to-be-determined number of vials on cards, added Howard. Fuentes will likely make personal appearances touting the fragrance.
Are the Dianoche and So Luxurious users different? Fuentes doesn’t think so. “We all have so many aspects of ourselves,” she said. “One of the beautiful things about being a woman is that you can change whatever you like as long as your values stay the same. You can be elegant one day and sexy the next.”
“We’re setting out to win Daisy a FiFi award,” said Jane Hudis, president of BeautyBank, of So Luxurious. Fuentes’ Dianoche was nominated this year, but the trophy was taken by BeautyBank’s American Beauty Wonderful Indulgence. “Not only is Daisy a superstar, she is a superstar in the Kohl’s world. She has a great business that reaches from apparel to many different categories. From the minute that Dianoche hit counters last year, it was a bestseller. We expect equally great things from So Luxurious. We see Daisy, in the broadest sense of the word, as being a big brand — and we will be venturing into other categories with her.”
While Hudis wouldn’t elaborate, that likely means a move into color cosmetics; the Fuentes beauty brand dipped its toe into those waters with a limited edition color palette in spring 2006.
Fuentes is already hard at work on her next several fragrances and is particularly enamored of a violet scent she’s creating. “It reminds me of a baby cologne that my mom used on me —it’s a scent that many Latina mothers use on their babies — called Violet Water,” she said. “It will be a light, almost-cologne type of scent that is so light and airy and young. I think it will bring out the baby in every woman.”
When she’s not working on her beauty projects, Fuentes is filming a new series called “The EcoZone Project.” The syndicated reality show’s premise is heading into celebrity homes and making them “green.” So far, said Fuentes, she and her team have made over the homes of Allison Janney and Ron Livingston.