LONDON — Procter & Gamble Prestige Products is banking on a punk princess to reign supreme in perfumeries. The beauty giant’s debut scent with Canadian songstress Avril Lavigne will bow starting this summer.
This story first appeared in the March 20, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Dubbed Black Star, the fragrance is meant to be an olfactive portrait of the singer and appeal to a core target of girls aged 11 to 19 years old.
“Young consumers love her — she has a very, very special relationship with her audience,” said Heike Hindenlang, global marketing director for Procter & Gamble Prestige Products. “We were looking for someone with global awareness, and she’s big everywhere.”
With prices starting at 16 euros, or $21.80 at current exchange, for a 15-ml. eau de parfum spray, P&G marketers consider Black Star a point of entry product.
“Teens like to experiment, so they buy smaller, rather than bigger, sizes,” said Hindenlang. “They like to play and test different fragrances and look for something new.”
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Lavigne took a similarly playful approach in creating her scent by requesting her favorite colors — black and pink — plus stars to be part of the fragrance’s packaging.
“I wanted to make sure it was really me — me in a bottle,” she told a gathering of press at the Punk nightclub in London’s Soho Tuesday night.
To wit, the scent’s star-shaped flacon features a studded ring around its neck reminiscent of punk-style jewelry, which may be removed and worn as a ring or a pendant. Its outer carton also features rows of mirrored squares. “The inspiration came from my love of studded belts and studded bracelets,” said Lavigne, adding the fragrance’s name also has personal significance. “It means it’s cool to be a black star, to be unique and to be different.”
The scent’s juice, which was blended by P&G’s fragrance development team and Givaudan, features notes of pink hibiscus, black plum and dark chocolate. “I find it young and fresh and edgy,” said Lavigne.
Print advertising for the scent, for instance, portrays Lavigne sporting a pink net prom-style dress cinched at the waist with a studded belt and accessorized with fishnet stockings plus fingerless leather gloves. The print ad was shot by Mark Liddell and the TV spot was directed by Billie Woodruff.
While Hindenlang declined to discuss projected sales, industry sources estimated Black Star will generate $50 million in retail sales in its first year. The fragrance is to launch in Europe in July, the U.S. in the fall and Asia in 2010. In Europe, it will be sold in department stores, perfumeries and drugstores.
Black Star’s lineup includes 15-, 30-, 50- and 100-ml. eaux de parfum priced at 16 euros, 24 euros, 33 euros and 49 euros, respectively, or $21.80, $32.65, $44.90 and $66.70. Its ancillary line comprises a shower gel, body lotion and deodorant spray.
Lavigne’s fashion line, Abbey Dawn, which is sold in the U.S. through Kohl’s department stores, is also slated to enter Europe in 2010.