“Tuberose reminds me a lot of my grandmother because she would always have tuberoses in her homes right when you walked in,” Lauder said. “There’s something so delicious and luxurious and sweet…it represents friendship and love.”
Lauder chatted about her grandmother, jewelry and femininity at an event Thursday, where she’d partnered with Sotheby’s to celebrate the launch of the scents. Guests were invited to view and try on a collection of Sotheby’s fine jewels that are set for an Oct. 17 auction — Lauder donated two rings (one David Webb, the other Van Cleef & Arpels) — proceeds of which will go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, founded by her aunt, Evelyn Lauder.
“My whole life I saw my grandmother always wearing great rings,” Lauder said. Lauder also curated her day and evening jewel picks from the selection of more than 300 pieces of fine jewelry. In addition to draping themselves in items like a Cartier Diamond and Emerald Bracelet featuring elephants (curated for day, and estimated to sell for between $40,000 and $60,0000), guests could have a painter personalize their Aerin tuberose fragrance bottle.
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The Aerin tuberose collection is a duo — Tuberose Le Jour and Tuberose Le Soir. The former contains notes of tuberose, neroli, orange flower absolute, cashmeran and warm cedarwood. Tuberose Le Soir features notes of tuberose after dark, sandalwood, vanilla and coconut. The fragrances are housed in pink suede-like boxes with gold bases. Pricing is $215 for 1.7 ounces, or $305 for 3.4 ounces.
In connection with the fragrance launch, the brand also put out Tuberose Luxuriant Body Wash, $65, and Tuberose Luxuriant Body Cream, $90.
Lauder has never before launched a day and evening fragrance, but did launch a five-piece fragrance collection when the brand was just starting. She also put out weekday-weekend makeup palettes.
“It was her vision to create a collection of luxury fragrances at a time when that wasn’t necessarily the thing to do,” said Jane Hertzmark Hudis, group president at the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc.
“When we first launched the brand, we did makeup palettes — weekend, weekday,” Lauder said. “I’ve always loved that idea of day-night, weekend-weekday.”
The fragrances are expected to contribute sales to the beauty side of the Aerin business (which also sells accessories and home decor). Industry source estimate retail sales could climb to about $25 million for 2017 — a 25 percent jump over the prior year. Five years in, the brand’s products are distributed mainly through luxury stores, including Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue. In total, the brand is in about 750 doors in 36 countries.
The advertising plan for the launches is fully digital, according to Alexandra Hardyment, executive director of global marketing for the brand, adding the Sotheby’s event should help Aerin reach its target consumer.
“It’s a very feminine style brand,” Hardyment said. “In the world of artisanal fragrances, [the Estée Lauder Cos.] play[s] a lot in the unisex and masculine — this brand is definitely [differentiated] in its feminine point of view.”
Lauder described the positioning as “modern feminine.”
“I’m not supergirly — I have two sons who are super boy,” Lauder said. “Everyone likes a little pretty, but it’s not super, super girly.”
That standpoint is something that’s resonating with Aerin’s customers, according to Hudis. “Women are gravitating toward that truly feminine feel,” Hudis said.