Victoria’s Secret Enters “Exotic” Venture

Victoria's Secret Beauty has hooked up with Robin Coe-Hutshing, founder of the Studio at Fred Segal, to create Exotic Nectars, a fragrance and body care line that landed recently on shelves in both stores.

LOS ANGELES — Victoria’s Secret Beauty has hooked up with Robin Coe-Hutshing, founder of the Studio at Fred Segal, to create Exotic Nec­tars, a fragrance and body care line that landed recently on shelves in both stores.

While Coe-Hutshing has been a consultant to various Limited Brands entities for about five years, Exotic Nectars marks her first attempt to help craft a line rather than assist “with fragrance development of someone else’s brand,” she said. She added that the time was right with Victoria’s Secret becoming serious about its beauty business and not merely being an accessory to lingerie.

“They are moving forward in the beauty industry and definitely [are] set for world domination,” Coe-Hutshing said, half jokingly, of Vic­toria’s Secret Beauty. Shifting to her own store, she continued, “Hope­fully, we are known to have a discerning eye and palette. The order of the day was that I would feel comfortable stocking it [Exotic Nectars] because it was of the caliber that I would feel comfortable representing here.”

For the casual shopper, Coe-Hutshing’s role in the creation of Exotic Nectars could be unclear because the packaging, which mentions Victoria’s Secret Beauty under the ingredient list, does not say “Studio” as is the case with the retailer’s house candle brand, Burn. But her touch can be detected in the brand’s clear direction — she encapsulated it in the phrase “vacation in a bottle” — and a fragrance upgrade.

“Robin is a true fragrance artisan who brings an uncompromising level of style and innovation to her projects. We felt she would be the perfect partner as we articulated the sensuality of aspirational destinations in a fragrance and body care collection,” said Christine Beauchamp, president of Victoria’s Secret Beauty, in a statement.

The Exotic Nectars line comprises Bali Orchid, Moorea Passionfruit and Tahitian Vanilla Flower scents. “I developed many, many fragrances from many different corners of the world,” Coe-Hutshing elaborated. “These were the three that made a strong statement to launch with.”

The Bali Orchid fragrance includes orange and lemon blossom top notes; night-blooming jasmine, white orchid, peach blossom and chamomile flower middle notes, and Mediterranean honey, amber and musk base notes. Top notes for Moorea Passionfruit are kumquat and lemongrass; middle notes are passion fruit, pomegranate and ginger flower; and base notes are ginger root and bamboo sap. Tahitian Vanilla Flower has orange and pitahaya fruit top notes; Tahitian vanilla flower and tuberose in the middle notes; and black coconut, santal and tonka bean in the base notes.

This story first appeared in the March 6, 2007 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

For each scent, there are six products: a $16 perfume extract roll-on, $18 exfoliating body polish, $14 silk body wash, $18 body butter, $18 body lotion and $18 body mist. A stylistic pattern on the packaging is consistent throughout the line, however, scents are demarcated by unique bright color schemes. Bali Orchid is characterized by green and blue, Moorea Passionfruit by red and pink, and Tahitian Vanilla Flower by orange and yellow.

The Tahitian Vanilla Flower has gained the largest audience so far at Studio, according to Coe-Hutshing, who commented that typically vanilla is an approachable scent because it is “easy to wear.” The roll-on and mist are the top-selling items.

Exotic Nectars is slated to include subsequent fragrances, although, “We are going to use this launch as a learning experience because it is slightly different then anything you have seen in Victoria’s Secret to date,” she said.