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EXCLUSIVE: Mikimoto Launches First Fragrance in the U.S.

The brand’s first go in the category launches on its web site and with Scent Beauty today.

High jeweler Mikimoto has been in the beauty game for a while, but never in the U.S. Today, that changes.

The brand is launching its first fragrance, Mikimoto Eau de Parfum, in the U.S. market today. The scent is $275 for 75-ml, and will be sold on the brand’s web site and through Scent Beauty. The fragrance was previously available, starting at the beginning of this year in Mikimoto boutiques — of which there are only four in the U.S. Industry sources estimate the fragrance to bring in between $3 million and $8 million in sales for its first 12 months on the market.

While it marks the brand’s first foray into the category, it isn’t the brand’s first for beauty, having sold Mikimoto Cosmetics in Japan since 1943. “The fragrance business was a pretty natural extension,” said Yugo Tsukikawa, senior vice president of marketing and brand strategy at Mikimoto. “Working for Mikimoto, his dream was to adorn the necks of all women around the world with pearls. In addition to furthering direction as a high jeweler, the headquarters felt scent was a medium to further convey that excellence.”

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This comes in the middle of what’s proven to be a tough year for fragrance, with the category seeing double-digit declines in the U.S. prestige market for the first half of the year. Tsukikawa said the plan to retail digitally with Scent Beauty predates the pandemic, and the brand will also be selling sample sizes. “With a lot of people at home, it’s the perfect way to discover something new,” he said.

The brand is also rolling out digital communications on its website surrounding the launch, following an upswing in customer education for the category. Tsukikawa mentioned digital content would go live on the brand’s site, including interviews with the bottle designer and employees from the brand.

After expanding into the uncharted territory of the category, the brand only had a few hiccups. The bottle itself proved difficult for the jeweler to settle on, having an expertise in fine wares. The result is a metal and glass flacon that is symmetric from some angles, and asymmetric from others. Tsukikawa said. “The bottle was minimalistic, but very difficult to create. We did have a little bit of a challenge to effect our vision, and with the rounds we went through, we were really seeking perfection,” Tsukikawa said.

The scent itself has top notes meant to convey an ocean breeze with citrus notes and bergamot. The heart notes are magnolia and iris blossom, while the base notes are sandalwood, ambergris, saffron and sandalwood. Although initially intended for women, Tsukikawa said the fragrance was popular with men during its soft launch earlier this year. “It’s become a gender-neutral eau de parfum that has universal appeal. When you’re a 127-year-old jeweler, elegance spans generations, and we want to convey what it means in today’s world,” Tsukikawa said.

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