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Gucci Aims for Luxury With New Scent

NEW YORK — This fall, Gucci’s out to define luxury once again with its newest woman’s scent — simply called Gucci Eau de Parfum. <br><br>The new scent is geared toward the classic Gucci customer — women aged 20 to 45...

NEW YORK — This fall, Gucci’s out to define luxury once again with its newest woman’s scent — simply called Gucci Eau de Parfum.

This story first appeared in the August 9, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The new scent is geared toward the classic Gucci customer — women aged 20 to 45 years old who appreciate luxury. Gucci executives maintain that the scent is very sophisticated and designed for a woman who knows and appreciates what the Gucci name stands for.

“I wanted to create a classic fragrance that is very, very Gucci, something that is incredibly feminine and chic,” said designer Tom Ford. “I felt the time had come for Gucci to offer a classic woman’s fragrance — something luxurious and elegant and authentic to the house of Gucci.”

The new Gucci scent will make its debut Sept. 15 in 150 U.S. doors, including Gucci boutiques, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman, according to Don Loftus, president and chief executive officer of Escada Beaute Ltd./Adipar Ltd. The scent will then roll out to additional specialty store doors. Loftus estimated that the scent will be in 400 U.S. doors by the end of the year. A global launch will occur simultaneously.

The amber juice, described as a floral oriental, was created by Givaudan and includes top notes of heliotrope, orange blossom, orris and vanilla absolute; middle notes of cistus, cumin and thyme, and base notes of deep musk.

To bottle Gucci, Ford designed a sculptural bottle made of thick, transparent glass. The chunky ice cube-like base is topped with a thick glass circle cap. “It’s architectural and sculptural,” Ford said. “Geometric shapes are what Gucci’s visual language is built upon.”

The outer packaging is classic Gucci — a dark chocolate brown box embossed with the Gucci name in silver.

With the scent’s luxurious positioning comes luxurious pricing — Gucci will be priced at $85 for a 2.5-oz. eau de parfum, $65 for a 1.7-oz. size and $45 for a 1-oz. version. Two ancillary items will launch with the scent — a 6.8-oz. Moisturizing Body Lotion will retail for $45 and a 6.8-oz. Bath & Shower Gel will sell for $35.

A value set, containing a 1.7-oz bottle of eau de parfum and a 6.8-oz. bottle of lotion, will be available for holiday.

Industry sources estimate the fragrance could reach $15 million to $20 million at retail in the first 12 months in the U.S.

Executives, confident about Gucci’s mix of newness and classic positioning, are gearing the scent to be in the top 20 in department stores and within the top five amongst specialty stores. “We intend to go very slowly into only the best stores,” said Loftus. “We are going to develop Gucci in the market as a classic.”

The company declined to comment on an advertising budget for Gucci, but industry sources estimate the company will reportedly spend in excess of $10 million.

The advertising campaign for Gucci, shot by Mario Testino, will consist of one-page ads featuring model Natalia Vodianova. “We coordinated with Gucci America since [Vodianova] is in the Gucci fashion ads as well,” said Loftus. “We wanted to have synergy within the Gucci brand.”

The ads will break in September and October books including Vanity Fair, W, In Style, Allure, Interview, Vogue and New York magazine. “I wanted the ad to feature a face that people could not just identify with, but that they would be attracted to as well,” noted Ford, adding that the picture is cropped tightly “because it’s not about what she’s wearing or where she happens to be. It’s about her beauty.”

In addition, the company will participate in co-op advertising with Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman.

In-store, about 1 million samples — consisting of spray vials, vial-on-cards and deluxe miniatures — will be distributed this year. Scented direct-mail pieces will also be utilized.

As for whether or not a men’s version of Gucci will follow, “we are thinking about it,” allowed Ford.