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PARIS — Niche beauty brands are aiming to prove that green can be glamorous by introducing organic fragrances composed to compete with traditional prestige scents.

This story first appeared in the November 21, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

This month organic treatment line Kibio will introduce its inaugural eau de parfum and nascent fragrance house Honoré des Prés will introduce a collection of five high-end scents. Jo Wood also recently added a pair of organic eau de toilettes to her Jo Wood Organics beauty line.

“Our objective was to create a ‘real’ perfume,” said Kibio’s marketing director Julie Wainberg, of the brand’s first fragrance. “Being 100 percent organic is the icing on the cake.”

“The goal was not just to create something organic, but to create something new in fragrances,” agreed Christian David, founder of Honoré Des Prés. “We wanted to create something that opens a new path for fragrances and offers new emotions.”

After skin care and makeup, fine fragrance is among new niche frontiers opening up for the increasingly segmented organic beauty category. While organic fine fragrance sales are as yet too small to track, the category has the potential to gain traction in the future, according to Amarjit Sahota, director of London-based tracking firm Organic Monitor.

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“Consumers are not actually looking for organic fragrances yet, but if they’re available they’re likely to try them,” he said. “That’s already true for organic cosmetics — people who were buying organic food progressed onto buying organic cosmetics. I can’t see why the story will be any different for organic fragrances.”

Organic fragrance novelties include:

Honoré des Prés

A Paris-based luxury brand, Honoré des Prés will make its debut later this month in the Scent Room located in Printemps department store chain’s flagship Boulevard Haussmann store. It will also be sold through about 10 independent doors in France and will be rolled out elsewhere in Europe next year.

To underscore its aim to position his organic offering at the higher end of the fragrance counter, the brand’s founder, Christian David, tapped perfumer Olivia Giacobetti to blend four of the brand’s five scents, which are certified by the classification body Ecocert.

While the eaux are unisex, some, like Sexy Angelic and Bonté’s Bloom, have a more feminine bent, according to the firm. Chaman’s Party includes notes of Haitian vetiver root and Egyptian holy basil; Bonté’s Bloom has sunflower and sage leaf accords; Nu Green incorporates hints of mint and tarragon; Sexy Angelic has angelica seed and calisson candy notes, while Honoré’s Trip’s blend includes lemon, lime and orange.

The edts, which are presented in heavy glass bottles and encased in cardboard outer cartons that open outwards thanks to concertinalike folds, will range in price from 128 euros, or $160.48 at current exchange, to 148 euros, or $185.56, per 100-ml. spray bottle. An initial run of 4,000 flacons will be produced at launch, according to industry sources.


Part owned by Groupe Clarins, treatment brand Kibio will introduce its first fragrance in France this month. In line with the brand’s clean-living approach to beauty, it claims its juice is 100 percent “bio,” or organic. It is certified by Ecocert.

The scent’s oriental chypre juice includes notes of ylang-ylang, vanilla, lemon, lavandin, benjoin, patchouli, tonka bean and geranium.

“Our desire was very clear and very simple,” said Wainberg. “We wanted an original juice, a ‘great perfume.’ It’s not a problem if everyone doesn’t like it.”

Key notes used to create the eaux are listed on the fragrance’s cylindrical outer carton. A 30-ml. spray bottle of the eau de parfum will retail in France at 39 euros, or $48.88. Ten thousand bottles of the fragrance, which will bow elsewhere in Europe in September 2009, will be produced initially.

Jo Wood Organics

Replacing the Body Dews, or scented body mists, which originally formed part of her three-year-old prestige Jo Wood Organics bath-and-body line, Amka and Usiku edts were introduced in the U.K. starting mid October.

“[The Body Dews] were bestsellers but they weren’t certified organic,” said Quentin Higham, general manager of Jo Wood Organics. “Over the last two years the fragrances have been tweaked to meet Ecocert requirements in order to be true to the brand and to offer the level of sophisticated luxury people have come to expect from Jo Wood Organics.”

Amka, which means “to wake” in Swahili, comprises notes of Iranian rose otto, Egyptian jasmine, neroli, bergamot, green mandarin, sweet orange blossom and cedarwood. Usiku, which translates as “night” from Swahili, includes notes of rosemary, pine needle, cardamom, hot ginger, coriander, clove, Moroccan cedarwood, patchouli, vetiver and vanillin.

The fragrances were blended for a largely female audience, though Higham noted men wear them, too. They are 95 percent organic, and retail in the U.K. at 36 pounds, or $53.74, per 50-ml. spray. Industry sources estimate the scents could generate first-year retail sales in the region of 250,000 pounds, or $373,123.

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