A maze of mirrors, a Mediterranean garden and a meditation session were all part of the immersive experience that Coty Inc. and David Beckham created for the press launch of Beckham’s Instinct Gold Edition fragrance at a London events space Thursday.
This story first appeared in the March 13, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The fragrance marks Beckham’s 10th anniversary of working with Coty, a span that began with the former soccer player launching the original Instinct in 2005. Since then, Beckham’s fragrances have gone on to become the best-performing celebrity brand in Coty’s portfolio, which includes fragrances by Beyoncé, Katy Perry and Jennifer Lopez. “It was the goal at the start.…I wanted to be part of something that in 10 years’ time, we could look back on and [it would]…not be perceived as old-fashioned,” said Beckham, who held a question-and-answer session in a room done up to resemble his own stylish study (the event was designed to mimic the sensory “journey” of creating the fragrance.) Yaël Tuil-Torres, vice president of global marketing, celebrities and fashion division at Coty, said over the past 10 years, Instinct has sold more than 10 million bottles.
Together with the original Instinct, there have so far been seven editions of the fragrance, with Instinct Gold Edition the eighth. “With each fragrance, we’ve put something in that means something to me — the notes that I like, the smells that I like,” said Beckham.
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The fragrance, created by perfumer Aliénor Massenet of International Flavors & Fragrances, combines top notes of lemon oil, bergamot oil and basil grand vert; a heart of cardamom LMR, Juniper berry oil LMR and rosemary oil LMR and base notes of cedarwood oil, patchouli and vetiver. “You want to give people something that they feel is new and modern, but also with that timeless effect,” Beckham said. Massenet pointed out that while bergamot, vetiver and cardamom were notes in the original Instinct, the Gold Edition is more “aromatic” and “deeper.” “In the Gold [Edition], you have a bit more contrast and sensuality,” said Massenet. The new edition is also in a gold lacquered version of Instinct’s flasklike bottle.
During the event, Beckham — who was sporting a beard and a slim-fitting dark suit — also chatted about his ever-changing style, and his children’s rising fashion-plate status. His eldest son, Brooklyn, has even taken to helping himself to clothes from his father’s closet, Beckham admitted. “I had a pair of Saint Laurent leather trousers that I’d never worn, and Brooklyn found them and wore them — they were my trousers and they’re definitely not anymore,” he said. And he noted that his four children’s senses of style is “all themselves” — even his three-year-old daughter Harper’s. “We let them make their own decisions in what they wear,” he said. “Harper’s wearing Victoria’s heels every single day. She’ll literally walk into the house and put her ballerina outfit on and a pair of heels — but she’s very funny, because she always puts the boys’ football boots on as well,” he said. “I think it’s important that children have their own ideas on style and individuality,” he said, noting that he predicts his son Romeo will take on his mantle as a style icon. But Beckham was happy to admit his own fashion record isn’t perfect. “I do look back and think, ‘What was I thinking?’ But at the time it was great — or I thought it was great,” he said with a grin. The fragrance will be priced at 26.50 pounds, or around $40. The limited edition — which Tuil-Torres said is designed as a collectors’ item — will be sold solely as a 50-ml. eau de toilette. It will launch at department stores and pharmacies in Europe, Australia, the Far East and South Africa this month and remain on counters through June. While Coty declined to provide sales estimates for the fragrance, industry sources predict that the limited edition could generate $4 million in retail sales while it’s on counter.
Following the Gold Edition launch, Coty is working with Beckham on what Tuil-Torres called a new “blockbuster” fragrance, that’s set to bow in August or September. While Instinct Gold Edition won’t launch in the U.S., the upcoming major launch will be sold there.