Rochas’ French Twist

PARIS — Rochas is set to introduce Rochas Absolu this fall, a fragrance meant to break through as the second pillar in the brand’s women’s fragrance portfolio along with Femme de Rochas, its 57-year-old classic scent.

The Mission: Marketers said the fragrance was created to embody the values of the ready-to-wear brand and to embrace the house’s French heritage.

The Concept: "The idea is not to be ashamed of our French brand feeling," said Ann Boutigny, marketing vice president at Cosmopolitan Cosmetics, license holder for Rochas fragrances, noting that the advertising has a distinctly Gallic edge. Shot by photographer Satoshi Saikusa, the ad campaign features model Rie Rasmussen dressed in an avant-garde outfit with the backdrop of a bourgeois hôtel particulier. The ad is meant to evoke a modern-day Brigitte Bardot, Boutigny said.

The Goal: Absolu is being introduced worldwide starting this month, except for the U.S., which will get the scent in 2003. The eau de parfum will come in 30-, 50- and 75-ml. sprays that retail at $36, $53 and $67, respectively, in France. Industry sources estimate Rochas Absolu could do $5.8 million in wholesale volume in France in the three months after launch. Dollar figures have been converted from the euro at current exchange rates.

The Creation: Absolu’s juice, a fresh oriental, was concocted by Jacques Cavallier of Firmenich and features notes of mandarin, black pepper and labdanum. The hemisphere-shaped bottle was designed by Agence Love.

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