By and  on June 16, 2006

LONDON — Sisley hopes its latest women's fragrance, Soir de Lune (moonlit night, in English), will stand out from the plethora of other scented products set to bow this fall. Its price point certainly will, at $100 for 30 ml. in the U.S.

"It's very romantic," said company founder Hubert d'Ornano, at a launch hosted by him and his wife, Isabelle d'Ornano, in their chic Knightsbridge pied-à-terre here. Their son, Philippe d'Ornano, general manager of Sisley Cosmetics Worldwide, introduced it to the American press in New York last week.

Soir de Lune is the third pillar in the French brand's scent portfolio, which comprises Eau du Soir, introduced in 1990, and Eau de Campagne, which bowed in 1974.

"You can do a fragrance for a season, or a lifetime," said Philippe d'Ornano. "We are choosing to build a fragrance that will last a lifetime."

In today's voracious market, Sisley's leisurely launch pace is highly unusual. "We're not in the business of launching a fragrance every year," said Christine d'Ornano, Sisley's founders' daughter and managing director of the company's U.K. and Ireland subsidiary. "It's really a very personal affair. My mother is very involved in the development of the fragrance, and we do what we think personally we want to launch."

The company has been ruminating over the launch for some time, explained Hubert d'Ornano. "Seven or eight years ago, we worked with Isabelle on a new fragrance," he recalled. "She found a new fragrance that she liked very much, and she put it in the cupboard to let it sleep a little bit." The project was resurrected in recent years and its development process was restarted.

Concocted by International Flavors & Fragrances perfumers, the floral chypre juice comprises top notes of bergamot, mandarin, lemon, coriander, nutmeg and capsicum pepper oils. At the blend's heart are notes of May rose centifolia and mimosa flower absolute, jasmine, lily of the valley, iris and peach. Woody moss, musk, honey, sandalwood and Indonesian patchouli notes are featured in the drydown.

Soir de Lune's round bottle is flat at the front and back, with its name engraved on its front face. It is topped by a silver-plated sculpture-like cap designed by Polish artist Bronislaw Krzysztof, and depicts a woman embracing a man's face carved into a crescent moon. "The artist came to have lunch with my parents, and the idea of a new fragrance was mentioned," remembered Philippe d'Ornano. "He asked if he could make some designs for it. Eight months later, he came back for lunch with 20 bottle cap designs."

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