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Sonia Rykiel Gets Sassy With New Fragrance

PARIS — Sonia Rykiel aims to be sassy — from its retail strategy to the positioning of its new fragrance, due out this fall. <br><br>Called Rykiel Woman, the scent is meant to incarnate the saucy attitude that Nathalie Rykiel, Sonia...

PARIS — Sonia Rykiel aims to be sassy — from its retail strategy to the positioning of its new fragrance, due out this fall.

Called Rykiel Woman, the scent is meant to incarnate the saucy attitude that Nathalie Rykiel, Sonia Rykiel’s creative director and daughter of the house’s founder, has been infusing into the brand. Her latest stunt was to open last year in Paris the provocative Rykiel Woman concept store, which retails sex toys alongside cashmere sweaters and velour jogging suits.

“We want to [be in line] with that new brand attitude,” explained Gerard Angiolini, deputy general manager of Sonia Rykiel Parfums Beauté.

“With this fragrance we wanted to be very coherent with the brand and also be different [from other scents] with a real personality,” added Brigitte Wormser, marketing director at the firm.

Rykiel Woman will be launched exclusively in Marionnaud Parfumerie’s Champs-Elysées flagship in Paris, starting Oct. 25. It will then be introduced in the rest of Western Europe, Russia and the Middle East in November.

While Rykiel executives refused to discuss sales projections, industry sources estimate Rykiel Woman will generate $4.55 million (4 million euros) in wholesale sales in France its first year.

Rykiel fragrances have long been linked to the signature fashion brand. For instance, five of its six existing scents come in shirt-shaped bottles.

But this round, the fragrance flacon is even more Rykiel-esque. Created by Alain de Mourgues, it features alternate stripes of clear and brushed glass, meant to recall the designer’s striped knit sweaters. The bottle’s cap and outer packaging also include stud-like details, a reference to one of Rykiel’s best-selling handbag and leather goods lines, said Wormser.

Outer packaging for Rykiel Woman also features in hot-pink lettering the tag line: “Not for men!”

Those words will also appear in single-page print advertising that features the Rykiel Woman bottle. At launch, there will also be sampling, including miniatures, Sophisticates and blotters.

Rykiel Woman’s champagne-tinted juice, concocted by Charabot’s Anne Flipo, is also meant to have a strong personality, according to Rykiel executives.

The scent, which has floral, spice, amber, leather and musk accords, marries typically masculine notes, such as leather, with traditionally feminine aromas, such as rose and violet. There are top notes of baie rose, violet and date; heart notes of jasmine petals, solar flower, essence of Bulgarian rose and black pepper, plus olibanum (an incense from Somalia), agar wood, leather, amber and musks in the base.

The eau de parfum will come in 40-, 75- and 125-ml. sprays that will retail for $44.40, $66 and $85.40 (39 euros, 58 euros, and 75 euros), respectively. Dollar prices have been converted from the euro at current exchange rates and are for France.