PARIS — The power woman is back, thanks to Paco Rabanne, whose newest feminine perfume, Olympéa, is due out starting this month.
It is meant to be the alter ego of the hit Rabanne masculine scent Invictus, whose man was a godlike hero all about victory. A modern-day Cleopatra, endowed with supernatural boldness and success, was what executives at Puig, the label’s owner, had in mind for the new fragrance.
“Paco Rabanne’s woman is very sharp and strong,” said José Manuel Albesa, chief brand officer of Puig. “It’s quite relevant for women today to show a more powerful woman than what we are used to in fragrance — which is more romantic and sensual. We thought it’s very Rabanne in a way — very daring.”
Puig is expecting nothing short of a blockbuster.
“Today, Paco Rabanne is a top-five brand worldwide,” said Albesa. “We aim to reach the top three in the next years. That’s why a feminine pillar is very important to us.”
Indeed, Rabanne already has enviable successes in the men’s scent category — with Invictus and 1 Million in the top five worldwide. Meanwhile, Lady Million, launched in 2010, remains among the leading 10.
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“So now is the opportunity to come back into the female arena with a strong launch,” said Albesa.
Company executives declined to comment on sales projections, but industry sources estimate Olympéa will generate $150 million in first-year retail revenues.
“We had this desire to have something which was very complimentary rather than [a mirror image of the Invictus man],” explained Jean Holtzmann, international marketing director of Paco Rabanne Parfums.
Model Luma Grothe embodies larger-than-life Olympéa in the advertising campaign lensed by Alexandre Courtès. In the film set to Kanye West’s “Power,” Grothe shakes up the bored gods lounging on the top of Mount Olympus. (Imagine, one is even sprawled out listening to a radio.)
“There’s this tension between the past and today,” said Albesa, who added there’s always a fun side in Paco Rabanne’s signature.
There’s no little dash of hyperbole, either.
In the spot, Grothe rolls up in her winged white car and catches the eye of statues and the gods, who snap to attention at the mere clap of her hands. As she walks around Mount Olympus Grothe shows interest in the leading god, played by Nick Youngquest (who fronts the Invictus campaign). And he, too, is smitten.
The film comes in numerous formats, including 20-, 30- and 45-second versions destined for TV, cinema and online.
Nick Thornton Jones and Warren du Preez photographed the print ad.
As with Invictus’ bottle, Olympéa’s circular flacon — designed by Marc Ange — is meant to seem like a trophy on a pedestal. But rather than taking the form of a cup, it was inspired by Cleopatra’s headdress with a central jewel, a laurel wreath and Victory’s wings.
International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. perfumers Loc Dong, Dominique Ropion and Anne Flipo worked on the scent, which is a twist on a traditional oriental. Its olfactive backbone is a salty vanilla accord, while the juice also contains two types of flower and aquatic essences — hydroponic jasmine, developed with IFF, and ginger lily. Notes of green mandarin and sandalwood and an ambergris accord are in the mix as well.
The line has a perfume extract, which was created like old-time extracts, as its own olfactive creation, explained Holtzmann. Just 5,000 bottles of it will be available.
At launch, the Olympéa range is to include 30-, 50- and 80-ml. eau de parfum sprays priced in France at 48 euros, or $53.05 at current exchange; 68 euros, or $75.15, and 88 euros, or $97.25, respectively. The 30-ml. extract will retail for 192.85 euros, or $213.10, and there are to be ancillaries as well.
Olympéa’s introduction involves a prelaunch in Sephora in Portugal starting on July 10. Then it will enter European travel retail between July 15 and 20. Also in July, the scent will come out in the U.K., Germany, the rest of Portugal, the Paris flagships of Galeries Lafayette, Sephora and Marionnaud, and Spain’s touristic areas. In August, the full France launch takes place, and Olympéa will be introduced in the Middle East before entering more countries in the fall.