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EXCLUSIVE: Rebecca Minkoff to Launch First Fragrance

The eponymous Eau de Parfum will hit stores this month, and could spell further beauty expansions for the designer.

Rebecca Minkoff is bringing her rocker-chic aesthetic to the world of fragrance.

Minkoff is launching Rebecca Minkoff Eau de Parfum with The Premiere Group. Available in three different sizes, the new scent will be available at Macy’s, Belk, Von Maur, QVC and, with prices ranging from $30 to $95. It will also be available for Scentbird members. Industry sources estimate $10 million in retail sales for the scent’s first year on the market.

Despite requiring a drastically different skillset from design, Minkoff said she had a clear vision for the fragrance since before its inception. “Fragrance is always something I’ve wanted to launch, and for a smaller brand such as ours, the opportunities were few and far between,” she said. “From the beginning, I had clear ways of how I wanted to think about fragrance, with sustainable packaging and ingredients, and [The Premiere Group] was on board.”

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The fragrance is vegan and gluten free, and two of the three bottles are designed for refill, and the outer carton is made of FESC-certified material.

The launch comes at a pivotal time for fragrance, which WWD previously reported as being in double-digit declines in the second quarter, according to the NPD Group. Minkoff was adamant about the launch. “We didn’t really talk about postponing it; we felt like we had the partners on board, and I was like, ‘Let’s just do it,’” she said. “It does make it harder for in-store experiences. That’s why we did our launch with Scentbird, and it’s key for us to get out ahead of the holidays.”

Rebecca Minkoff
Rebecca Minkoff is launching her first fragrance. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Minkoff

The fragrance also acts as a less expensive brand entry point for potential customers than the leather accessories for which Minkoff is most known. “Customers come to my brand for pivotal moments, ‘My first job, my first affair, my first raise, my first crush,’” she said. “She identifies our brand with, ‘I’ve reached this point in my life for an affordable luxury product.’ For customers that haven’t discovered the brand, this can be a great place for them to take that first step.”

Created by Givaudan perfumers Rodrigo Flores-Roux and Linda Song, the scent plays to Minkoff’s masculine-meets-feminine aesthetic sensibilities. “When I used to go to 39th Street and pick out the leather myself, I loved the smell of leather. People talk about ‘new car smell.’ I love ‘new bag smell.’”

The fragrance’s heart notes include jasmine and tobacco accord, and the top notes highlight bergamot and cardamom. When she had customers in her boutiques vote on their favorites from a selection of five scents, the two muskier options outperformed the others. “That was a happily surprising outcome. I was told Generation Z wants a very clean, crisp, citrusy scent. And that’s never been something I’ve been interested in,” she said.

Minkoff has plans to augment her offerings with another scent within the next six to eight months, but also dreams of expanding into color cosmetics. “It’s something that’s on our radar, my brother and I talk about it all the time,” she said of her firm’s chief executive officer and cofounder, Uri Minkoff. “We were aggressively pursuing it, and then when the pandemic hit, we decided to focus on the core business and revisit it after.”

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