NEW YORK — This May, Victoria’s Secret is hoping to tap into a consumer with a taste for the finer things in life, from old-fashioned romance to pricey perfume, with the launch of its newest scent, So in Love.
With price points reaching $55 for a 2.5-oz. bottle of eau de parfum, So in Love is the lingerie brand’s most expensive fragrance to date, according to Sherry Baker, president of Victoria’s Secret Beauty. “There’s an elegance to it that is distinctive, both in the fragrance and in the packaging,” she said. “If you want to create something that is timeless, you have to go about it in a very aspirational way.”
So in Love is not only aspirational in terms of price, but also in terms of its positioning: It was created for a woman who either is in love or wants to be in love, according to Baker. “As our portfolio develops, we look for those spaces on the emotional window of women that we haven’t captured yet,” she said. “It gives us an added opportunity to attract a new lingerie customer.” Building a fragrance around such a heartfelt emotion is indeed a bit of a departure from the company’s portfolio of sexed-up scents, including Very Sexy for Her and, most recently, Basic Instinct.
Although Baker declined to comment on sales figures, industry sources estimate So in Love could do up to $40 million in first-year sales.
The company’s 13th fragrance, So in Love was created by Annie Buzantian of Firmenich. It opens with notes of fresh violet leaves, cognac, Moroccan rose, rose orient and rose de mai. In the center are notes of natural jasmine, spicy carnation, honey, cardamom, hedione, ylang-ylang and rose buds, while musk, ambrox and mysore sandalwood are at the base of the fragrance. The combination of rose with ylang-ylang and sandalwood provides just a hint of sexiness to the fragrance, according to Mark Knitowski, vice president of fragrance product development for Victoria’s Secret Beauty. “It’s a subtle sexiness, it’s not as overtly sexy as other fragrances we’ve done in the past,” he said. “It’s more sensual and sophisticated.”
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The bottle is made of solid beveled glass, which creates more of a curvy, feminine effect, according to Marcia Mossack, executive vice president and chief creative officer for Victoria’s Secret Beauty. Mossack went on to say that each aspect of the fragrance’s packaging was inspired by the one possession that many women strive for, and the standard symbol of love in general: a diamond engagement ring. “We wanted something that was jeweled without having actual jewels on it,” she said. The So in Love bottle rests on a velvet-like platform inside its elegant, light pink-and-silver box. In fact, the experience of opening the outer packaging feels strangely similar to that of opening, well, a box with a ring inside. “The [outer] packaging has a velvet platform, like a ring would,” Mossack said.
This head-over-heels, storybook romance aspect runs throughout the So in Love experience, perhaps most explicitly in the ad visuals, which feature a sultry Adriana Lima lounging beneath the covers and sporting a rather stunning, 11-karat, emerald cut Mouawad ring. Lima was shot by Greg Kadel. “It’s about how she is so in love with being in love, whether it’s the moment she was proposed to or whether she’s remembering the moment they met or walked down the aisle,” said Baker of the visual. “What she’s clearly focusing on is love and how that has transformed her, and the fragrance has the ability to transform in the same way love does.”
So in Love will retail from $18 for a .25-oz. miniature purse spray to $55 for a 2.5-oz. bottle of eau de parfum. Ancillaries include a 6.7-oz. Body Lotion for $27 and a 6.7-oz. Body Wash for $22. In addition, a .5-oz. Shimmering Solid Perfume, housed in a jewel-like compact, will be available, as will a two-tiered So in Love Romantic Color Kit, featuring three shades of lipstick, one shade of lip gloss, four eye shadows, a highlighter and a bronzer. Both products will retail for $35 each.
The launch will be supported by promotional programs, including gift-with-purchase and a total of eight million scented impressions and samples, in addition to direct mail and package inserts, according to Barbara Calcagni, vice president of fragrance marketing for Victoria’s Secret Beauty. Calcagni said that the fragrance will be featured at front-of-store both in May, when it officially launches, and then again in August. Baker said the second launch will help the company capitalize on the upcoming fall and holiday seasons. “When we launch [a fragrance] in the spring, we have an opportunity to pulse in before we hit holiday time,” she said. “The objective is to widen the net as much as possible.”