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Nu Still Baring It All

PARIS — Skin remains in at Yves Saint Laurent Parfums.<br><br>But, rather than show intermingled male and female limbs like the advertising for Nu Eau de Parfum, the visual for Nu Eau de Toilette, which is set to break in late March, has a new...

PARIS — Skin remains in at Yves Saint Laurent Parfums.

But, rather than show intermingled male and female limbs like the advertising for Nu Eau de Parfum, the visual for Nu Eau de Toilette, which is set to break in late March, has a new face.

It’s French actress Emmanuelle Seigner who’s shown in a passionate — and, yes, naked — embrace.

“The choice of Emmanuelle Seigner was very clear to me from the start,” said Tom Ford, the creative director at Gucci Group NV, which owns Yves Saint Laurent Parfums. “When I met her she just embodied the spirit of Yves Saint Laurent. She is so beautiful and so French. She’s got a very strong sense of herself and her style.”

Ford further describes Seigner — whose films include “The Ninth Gate” and “Bitter Moon” and whose husband is Roman Polanski — as “warm,” “intelligent” and “complex. All of this comes across when you see her picture,” he said.

The ad campaign, shot by Solve Sundsbo, includes single and double pages, and will debut in French magazines on March 31 and then break in May in U.S. and some other European countries’ titles. Outdoor posters have also been slated.

But the visuals won’t replace the original Nu ad, which came out in fall 2001. Ford said each scent merits its own publicity, since “the two fragrances are very different.

“Nu Eau de Toilette is, in fact, a much lighter fragrance that is more accessible and made for a larger audience,” he added of the scent that will be launched globally on April 15. “So it needs an image that people can identify with, one that makes an emotional statement.”

In the Nu Eau de Toilette visual, Seigner is entwined with a partner, whose visage is hidden. “The way I see the image actually is of a woman’s private fantasy,” said Ford. “It’s a manifestation of the way scent makes her feel, as if we’ve zeroed in on her most intimate thought. After all, fragrance is the most evocative accessory a woman can put on her skin.”

The Nu Eau de Toilette and Eau de Parfum share some common characteristics, such as juices with orchid notes and incense absolute. Each also has cobalt packaging and a rounded bottle.

However, for Nu Eau de Toilette, Firmenich’s Jacques Cavallier created a juice that’s “more flowery, fresher than the Eau de Parfum,” an Yves Saint Laurent Parfums spokesman said. The Eau de Toilette includes top notes of bergamot and cardamom; middle notes of white orchid and jasmine absolute, and base notes of incense absolute.

Like its juice, Nu Eau de Toilette’s bottle is meant to be more accessible than Eau de Parfum’s. That’s thanks to the edt’s classical spray bottle, compared with Nu Eau de Parfum’s compact-like spray, the spokesman said.

YSL executives say Nu Eau de Toilette was long in coming. “Basically, it was our plan from the start to begin with an eau de parfum,” the spokesman said. “It is the most elitist way to start.” Then, he said, Nu Eau de Toilette and its ad were meant to widen the franchise’s reach some 18 months later.

Nu Eau de Toilette’s suggested retail price in the U.S. will be $78 for a 3.3-oz. spray and $55 for a 1.6-oz spray.