PARIS — Montblanc is heightening its beauty altitude with a new women’s scent.

This story first appeared in the June 21, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Called Presence d’Une Femme, the fragrance from the French luxury writing implements brand will hit counters this fall. Its male counterpart, Presence, was introduced last June, also by Montblanc’s beauty licensee Cosmopolitan Cosmetics/Intercosmetics Inc. of the Wella Group.

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“The men’s fragrance works very well, and now we want to secure the brand’s place in the fragrance industry,” explained Alain Joly, president and chief executive officer of Cosmopolitan Cosmetics France.

While Cosmopolitan executives refused to divulge figures, industry sources estimate that Presence has rung up $50 million in wholesale volume since its launch. These sources expect Presence d’Une Femme will generate about $30 million in wholesale sales in its first 12 months.

Strategically speaking, a master brand made sense, company executives said. “We’re building a brand,” explained Kally Hudson, an international marketing director at Cosmopolitan. “With that in mind, a feminine fragrance is very important.”

Montblanc already has some brand recognition among women. Hudson said that women are behind more than 40 percent of purchases made in Montblanc boutiques.

“They’re not only purchasing for men, but also for themselves,” she explained, adding that fashion-wise, Montblanc has already targeted women with a line of accessories. Now, the brand’s fragrance division is following suit.

Presence d’Une Femme will bow globally in September. It targets the 25-plus set, comprising women Hudson calls “strong and independent.”

The fragrance’s floral oriental juice was concocted by Robertet’s Michel Almeirac. Top notes include pineapple leaves, tangerine and pepper; heart notes feature cyclamen and orchid, and base notes comprise sandalwood, palissandre wood, vanilla flower and patchouli.

Presence d’Une Femme’s round glass bottle, partially encased in a silver-colored metal sheath, was designed by Franzrudolf Lehnert.

Advertising for Presence d’Une Femme will break at launch as single and double pages. The campaign, photographed by Mario Sorrenti, features an image of model Helena Christensen and a shot of the bottle.

The line includes 75-, 50- and 30-ml. eau de toilette sprays, which will retail for about $65, $50 and $33, respectively. All prices have been converted from the euro at current exchange rates and are for France.

Ancillaries include a 200-ml. moisturizing milk, a 200-ml. bath and shower gel and a 150-ml. deodorant spray for $31.50, $24 and $23, respectively.

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