House of Creed’s best-selling men’s fragrance Aventus is getting its long-awaited female counterpart.
Today will see the debut of Aventus for Her, billed by International Cosmetics & Perfumes Inc., the marketer and distributor for the House of Creed in North America, as the biggest U.S. launch for the almost 256-year-old brand.
Starting this week, the new fragrance will be available at Creed’s two boutiques in New York and Las Vegas and creedboutique.com. Next month, Aventus for Her will launch exclusively with Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman in the U.S. and Holt Renfrew in Canada, where each retailer will have a 12-month exclusivity period.
Pre-sales at 20 Neiman Marcus doors will begin on July 15 with a preview event where consumers can experience the scent, obtain a lab sample, view a short film and get a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Aventus for Her. The fragrance officially hits counters the first week of August.
“We hope to set a new tone in the luxury high-end market of fragrance retailing,” Emmanuel Saujet, chief executive officer of ICP, told WWD during an interview last month where he gave a preview of the scent, which ranges from $270 for 30 ml. to $1,060 for a 500-ml. size. The most popular size, a 75-ml. bottle will cost $405. “Everything we do is for a long life cycle. If we take the top 10 fragrances for Creed, you have ones that go back 20-plus years.”
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Thomas Saujet, president of ICP, added that Creed has never done a yearlong exclusive with a retail partner before.
“Typically, we’ve done a three-month exclusive and then roll it out. [But] we’re going wild — the proposal was so juicy and they [Neiman Marcus] are so behind it,” Thomas Saujet said.
Since its introduction in 2010, Aventus has been the best-selling fragrance in all Neiman Marcus doors. Saujet said Creed has tripled the volume of its business at the department store and continues to grow at double digits. The retailer has a significant marketing strategy in place to promote the new scent that spans social media to advertising with scent strips in the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book.
When asked why it took six years to develop a women’s version of Creed’s best-selling scent, Thomas Saujet likened the process to creating a sequel to a blockbuster film.
“The anticipation is so big on this that it was hard to finalize that juice,” he explained. “It took three years of making and the problem we had, was that we went all out with ingredients. It has raw materials that are expensive.”
Aventus for Her is the priciest women’s fragrance in the portfolio, which now includes 16 female scents (there are 48 in entire Creed range), and priced similarly to Royal Princess Oud. Described by Thomas Saujet as “fruity and fresh,” with top notes of Egyptian green apples, pink berries and Italian bergamot; middle notes of Bulgarian and Turkish rose and base notes of sweet peach, cassis and lilac.
The House of Creed — headed by Olivier Creed, the sixth member of his family to run the business since the Paris-based brand was founded in 1760 — is said to be a $100 million global business. In the U.S., Canada and Mexico, the brand is carried in about 100 specialty doors, 100 independent doors and in Creed’s own doors. According to industry sources, ICP is expected to see $70 million in retail sales for 2017 for its combined portfolio of North American brands. Sales projections for Aventus for Her in North America are $9 million for the first year.
Kelly St. John, vice president, divisional merchandise manager, beauty at Neiman Marcus told WWD that the retailer plans for this to be the largest launch “in the history of Neiman Marcus fragrances.”
She declined to give projected sales volume for the first year.
She said although Creed has been a perennial best-selling brand for over a decade, the last five years have seen a bump in the luxury and niche fragrance sector as a whole.
“The focus on the luxury and niche business has given Creed, which was a very established and strong business already, an incredible halo effect. It’s helped us fuel that,” St. John said.
She credits storytelling to the rise of this sub-category of fragrance.
“There is just such a rich history and story behind each scent and why it was created. These brands are concerned with, ‘What’s the story behind it?’ and the consumers are looking for that,” she continued. “They are romanced by this. It makes them feel like the fragrance isn’t a ‘me-too’ fragrance. They identify with it for more reason than it just being a pretty scent.”
Erwin Creed, the brand’s seventh generation and future master perfumer, will make two appearances in Dallas and Houston in October, and grand events will be held in the Fashion Island store in Newport Beach, Calif., and Atlanta in September. Creed is partnering with nonprofit I Am That Girl for the grand events, and Alexis Jones, cofounder of I Am That Girl, will host client dinners and conversations about women’s empowerment. Jones and Creed will try to encourage local consumers and influencers to get involved in the conversation and use the hashtag #empoweredelegance.