ROME — All roads lead to Rome for Bulgari. The jewelry firm unveiled here its newest women’s fragrance Goldea The Roman Night on Wednesday, at the 19th-century palazzo Casina Valadier, overlooking the ancient city. The fragrance was designed as a tribute to Rome and aims to recruit a younger clientele, as shown by the appointment of 20-year-old model Bella Hadid as the face of the scent. She has a following of 13 million people on Instagram.
“Rome has been pivotal for Bulgari,” said the brand’s chief executive officer Jean-Christophe Babin, retracing the city’s 2,700 year history and its role as a constant inspiration for the company’s jewelry designs.
Bulgari perfume division’s managing director Luis Miguel Gonzalez Sebastiani explained how the starting point in creating the chypre-type fragrance was the atmosphere of the city by night, where the young “Goldea Goddess” embodied by Hadid stands out with her free-spirited and spontaneous attitude.
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“I think Bella [Hadid] is all about that,” said Babin. “She’s very young, she’s achieved very much in her young years and she’s very determined and independent,” he explained, underscoring how the model was the best fit to convey the scent’s strong image. Hadid was already named the face of Bulgari accessories on February but her bond with the jewelry firm goes back to her childhood. The model revealed how her father gifted her mother a full Bulgari set of jewels once they got married, which she inherited once she turned 20 years old. “It’s funny that now we’re working together [with Bulgari],” Hadid said at the press presentation, where she arrived wearing a David Koma electric blue pantsuit accessorized with Bulgari’s Serpenti necklace and earrings. “Now I have all of [my mother’s] jewels to show off, so it’s perfect. More for me!” she joked.
Produced by Glen Luchford, the advertising images and short movie were shot in Rome. In the video, the model is caught escaping from a social event to join a group of friends on the roof of a building, while sporting a black backless jumpsuit and a one-of-a-kind Bulgari Haute Joaillerie Serpenti necklace, named “Eyes on Me.”
Babin underscored how the movie will be central in the communication strategy. It will appear in a number of application, which will involve various lengths and the creation of more content. The storyline of the ad was designed to further spotlight the fragrance’s mission of engaging Millennials.
“Its main role for us is obviously to recruit young people,” said Babin, underscoring how the goal is to fill the brand with new clients and build longtime loyalty between categories. In fact, the ceo explained how fragrances are the customers’ first point of contact in entering the brand, then proceeding more deeply with the possible purchase of accessories, like leather goods.
Babin also underscored how scents have to reflect and resonate the jewelry firm’s values and standards, if Bulgari is to attract Millennials, who prize authenticity. Usually they prefer eau de toilette fragrances, but Bulgari aims to make Goldea The Roman Night “one of Millennials’ first eau de parfums” by offering them a more sophisticated alternative.
“It’s a new era…the brand is becoming more daring, more contemporary,” said Sebastiani, who joined the company in January, moving from Procter & Gamble. Sebastiani underscored the importance of providing experience to these young customers and of keeping faith to the brand’s Roman roots.
The company’s new approach has been giving good results, as Babin said there’s a gradual rejuvenation of the customers purchasing Bulgari’s perfumes and other categories, especially in Italy and in the U.S. “But we are not obsessed at being significantly younger,” concluded Babin, adding that the company wants to remain selective and is more interested in a “slow shift.”
Created by the nose Alberto Morillas, Goldea The Roman Night is a sensual chypre floral musk scent. In order to achieve a “very modern, very Millennial” variant of chypre, Morillas added two new ingredients to traditional bergamot, which are mulberries and black peonies, to deliver fresh, intriguing and spicy features in the top notes. The floral core combines an extraction of tuberose from India with jasmine from China while black musk, patchouli and vetiver complete the essence, which Morillas defined as “a new style for Bulgari.”
The scent comes in a crystal bottle with curved shapes and black-and-gold tones. The signature Serpenti motif is introduced in the same colors on the bottle’s neck, while an imposing, translucent glass cap envelops a golden element that further highlights the luminous feature of the scent.
Goldea The Roman Night will bow in the U.S. starting from September and it will be available at Bulgari’s e-commerce, along with Sephora and a range of department stores, as Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Lord & Taylor and Dillard’s. The fragrance will retail at $95 and $114 for the 50-ml. and 75-ml. formats, respectively.
Bulgari executives declined to give a first-year sales projection, citing company policy. But industry sources estimate that the new fragrance could approach 30 million euros in retail volume for the first year.
To promote the launch of the scent, on Wednesday evening Bulgari hosted a big event at the renowned Spanish Steps, which served as a stage for the live performance of singer Róisín Murphy and for Hadid’s official debut as the fragrance’s ambassador. The model walked down the stairs wearing a vintage asymmetric gown with a side slit designed by John Galliano and sporting the Serpenti Eyes on Me necklace showcased in the ad campaign. An exclusive dinner followed the event.
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