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Nooka Launches First Fragrance

Offbeat watchmaker Nooka has gotten into the fragrance business.

Offbeat watchmaker Nooka has gotten into the fragrance business.

The four-year-old, New York-based firm’s first scent, a limited edition signature fragrance, rolled out this month to several independent boutiques and was inspired by what founder Matthew Waldman called a “universal language.”

“Time,” he said, “[is a form of] universal communication and scent is universal. Scent fits into that Nooka world as a next step.”

While the scent is meant for both men and women, to Waldman, unisex is a bad word. As he describes it, “When men wear it, it’s for men and when women wear it, it’s for women. I wanted to make something futuristic.”

In addition to the scent, Nooka is doing new watches, belts and wallets for the second half of this year. The firm’s watches are carried in about 75 Nordstrom doors in the U.S., but are also a hit in Japan, where Waldman would like to develop a fragrance business.

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“I’m hoping it will do very well in Japan,” he said of the light, fresh scent. Time will tell as in September, Nooka is planning to open a pop-up shop in Tokyo.

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In total, Nooka’s watch distribution includes 1,000 points of sale globally, and executives at the firm would like to use the scent as a vehicle to open new points of distribution for the brand. The U.S. accounts for about a third of the brand’s total business.

There will be an initial production run of 10,000 Nooka fragrances and Waldman projected the scent could ring up first-year retail sales of $200,000. The 2.5-oz. bottle retails for $80 and the scent carries the tag line “The future distilled.”

Nooka, an eau de parfum developed by Waldman and Drom perfumer Pierre-Constantin Gueros, features top notes of Japanese yuzu, vintage leather and pink pepper. In the heart of the scent are notes of coriander, tonka bean and a gloss paper accord, while its drydown has notes of Ithaca cypress bark, musk and a pink sand accord. The low-profile, cylindrical bottle, which has a faceted silver-colored cap, was designed in-house at Nooka.

Waldman would like to do a series of four scents in total with the second coming next fall. It’s Waldman’s hope the Nooka fragrance business could quadruple to $800,000 in 2010.