NEW YORK — Urban Decay has struck oil. The eight-and-a-half-year-old brand is making a foray into the fragrance category with a trio of perfume oils in October.
But fragrance was not a natural next step for Wende Zomnir, creative director and co-founder of Urban Decay. Noting that her expertise lies in color cosmetics, Zomnir turned to perfumer Sarah Horowitz-Thran to create the fragrances. Zomnir’s decision to enter the fragrance category by creating perfume oils rather than a fragrance spray came from her desire to formulate a scent that she could wear herself. “I never wore fragrance, because it’s just so messy to carry with you, and it doesn’t last on me,” said Zomnir. “If I was going to do it, then I wanted to do it in a different way.”
Rather than test multiple fragrance submissions in focus groups, Zomnir measured the scents by the three criteria Urban Decay uses for all of its products: Are they feminine, dangerous and fun?
Though they are being launched as a trio, each perfume oil retails for $29.50 for a 0.15-oz. bottle, and has its own name, positioning and packaging. Pistol, touted as a “big floral,” is the feminine scent and contains notes of bergamot, gardenia, tuberose, pikake, star gazer lily and floral musk. Sin, the “dangerous” fragrance, is described as “a sexy love potion” and boasts a sweet blood orange top note, a middle note of jasmine grandiflorum from India and base notes of sandalwood, warm vanilla, exotic myrrh and oakmoss. Go, called the “fun” fragrance, has top notes of yuzu and grapefruit, a middle accord of crisp herbaceous notes such as fresh-cut grass, lavender and honeysuckle and a base note of oceanic musk.
Horowitz-Thran noted that the fragrance oils, which are manufactured by Mane, are designed to be worn alone or blended together. “When I blended the oils, the ingredients that I chose not only had to work within the composition of each scent, but within the composition of the three.”
While executives at Urban Decay would not comment on sales, industry sources estimate the trio will do about $3 million in the first year at retail in 2004 and $7 million in 2005.
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Each of the scents comes with a different pouch, as well as a different color gift box, complete with a bow, as its secondary packaging. Pistol has a dark purple pouch with a light purple image of a pistol; Sin comes with a leopard fur pouch in a red box, and Go has a white satin pouch decorated with purple and green polkadots in a light purple box.
The fragrances will be available at Sephora, Ulta and select Nordstrom stores. While advertising is not in the plans, sampling will include 250,000 rectangular air fresheners in each of the three scents.
Urban Decay, which is owned by the Falic Group, a Florida-based firm involved in travel retail, is available in approximately 490 doors globally.
— Kristin Finn