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EXCLUSIVE: Judith Leiber Launches Customizable Fragrance

The brand’s first fragrance allows for up to seven scent combinations.

Another heritage fashion player is getting into beauty — Judith Leiber.

The accessories brand is launching its debut perfume, More Is More, which will launch on the brand’s web site on Nov. 10 for $125. Each bottle contains three juices that can be mixed for a total of seven scent combinations. Three juices, each housed in recyclable cartridges, can either be used independently or mixed in combinations of two or three, totaling in seven possible blends from one bottle. Industry sources estimate the product’s retail sales could reach up to $50 million in its first year.

“Fragrance hasn’t kept pace in terms of innovation with color [cosmetics] and skin care. We started to see a lot of consumer trends, like consumers were mixing fragrances in their own way, innovating on their own. We tried to bring what we thought would be the first innovation to the industry,” said Mike Edwards, managing director of Viviana London, owners of the Judith Leiber fragrance license.

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Each bottle’s three refillable chambers represents a different olfactory family, aptly named More Gourmand, More Zest and More Floral. Although perfume bottles are a far cry from minaudières, in true Leiber fashion the bottle includes Swarovski crystal sliders for users to switch between fragrance options. Edward said the Art Deco-inspired bottle took two years to develop and has 26 components, 10 of which move.

“Novelty is in Judith Leiber’s brand DNA. We select our bags to match our mood, so why not our fragrance? Find your signature scent. Make a statement and have fun with it,” said Dee Ocleppo Hilfiger, creative director of Judith Leiber, in a statement.

Aside from the technicalities of the hardware, Edwards said balancing the three juices took fine-tuning. “We worked with [perfumer] Jerome di Marino, and what we found, going through 50 different iterations of fragrances, and he’d say, ‘Do you want me to switch this accord,’ but it would affect how it mixed with the other two. It’s been a really interesting journey to create a formula that works, whether we know to balance the three and have them complement and not fight each other,” he said.

The results are three stand-alone options that Edwards said might not seem to mix well, but complement each other all the same. More Gourmand features top notes of blackcurrant absolute and mandarin oil; heart notes of gingerbread accord and rose oil, and base notes of cashmere wood and vanilla. More Zest includes top notes of bergamot oil and grapefruit; heart notes of sandalwood and cedar, and base notes of orris concrete and peony. More Floral showcases top notes of mandarin oil and pink pepper; heart notes of patchouli and coconut wood, and base notes of orchid and ylang ylang.

In the next 12 months, the brand will be further expanding its fragrance business — ”Now that we’ve worked out the yin and yang of the first three,” Edwards said — offering a More Is More for men, and capsule collections of vials for the refillable changers.

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