Simply christened Pamella Roland Fragrance, the fashion designer’s first push into beauty features top notes of sparkling bergamot, blackcurrant buds and pink peppercorn; heart notes of Provence and Persian roses, and base notes of green moss, tonka bean and velvet and amber woods.
Each bottle is priced at $165 for 100-ml. Although the fragrance is launching on the fashion house’s website this month, it is gearing up for larger distribution ahead of the holiday season in the fall. Industry sources estimate the fragrance to reach $1 million in retail sales for its first year on the market with limited distribution.
Roland sees limitless opportunities in fragrance. “It’s the last thing you put on before you go out, and people are wearing perfume more than they’re wearing cocktail dresses,” the designer said. She is, however, waiting to see how the scent fares on the market before planning more expansions into the market, but is planning to launch a complementary body lotion and candle.
Roland had been eyeing fragrance since the mid-Aughts, she said, but production obstacles kept preventing her from pursuing the project seriously. “We’ve been in business since 2002, and I started thinking about it in 2005,” she said. “Each year, I started looking into it. Then, there’d be something else we had to do. Finally, I just said, ‘Let’s do this.’”
Given that fragrance was new territory for both the brand and the designer herself, “It has just been a real experience. We’ve developed dresses from the ground up, but a perfume is so different. But we sell gowns and cocktail dresses, and it just goes together with perfume,” Roland said.
“The bottle itself, I always thought I wanted the shape of a dress because we make gowns. The shape came in, and it was too hard to hold,” Roland continued, noting it took several more bottles to find an option that was both practical and suited the fragrance.
Developing the scent itself was a family affair, starting with its inspiration. “We got down to two scents, one was more rose and the other was more masculine and sexy,” she said. “My grandmother grew roses, and my mother grew roses, so there’s a lot of history with roses in our family. I knew that, but it was kind of old fashioned. So, we put them together, and it was a lot of back-and-forth.”
Two of the juice’s main consultants were Roland’s daughters, based in London and New Zealand at the time. “I was shipping these samples over to them, asking what they thought. They were very involved,” Roland said.
Although Roland had to alter her launch timeline as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the brand’s timing is serendipitous. Earlier this season, other fashion houses, such as MCM and Oscar de la Renta, debuted new fragrance pillars.
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