When Rihanna launched her first fragrance, Reb’l Fleur, she asked her fans in a Web video if they considered themselves to be a rebel or a flower. A resounding 68 percent voted for the rebellious persona, and that became the name of her second women’s scent, Rebelle by Rihanna.
This story first appeared in the November 18, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The star’s licensee, Parlux Fragrances Inc., will launch the fragrance in early December at Macy’s with high hopes that it following in the lucrative footsteps of its successor. Distribution will then be expanded to Europe and Latin America.
The first scent, which was launched in late January, is expected to haul in $80 million at retail for the full calendar year. Industry sources expect the new fragrance, which is a packaged in a variation of the original bottle, is expected to generate sales equaling 70 percent of Reb’l Fleur. Fred Purches, chairman and chief executive officer of Parlux, said the company is planning on eventually launching a Rihanna men’s scent.
The scent is classified as a gourmand chypre, created by Caroline Sabas and Marypierre Julien at Givaudan. It has top notes of strawberry, ginger and plum and a heart consisting of cacao absolute, vanilla orchid and heliotrope. The base contains coffee, patchouli, musk and amber. Reb’l Fleur was considered a darker scent. The new one is a sassier sister, or as the perfumers say, it is “built off the sexy back of Reb’l Fleur.”
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The price points are $49 for a 1.7-oz. eau de parfum spray, $59 for 3.4-oz. version and $30 for a 6.7-oz. body lotion.
The Macy’s launch will be promoted with a special holiday packaging, consisting of Rihanna’s new CD, which will drop Monday, a 3.4-oz. Rebelle and a 3.4-oz. Reb’l Fleur — all for $118. The ad campaign was shot by Anthony Mandler, Rihanna’s music video director. According to industry sources, Parlux spent $9 million in the first quarter promoting the first fragrance and an estimated $7 million will be put behind the new scent.
The company’s optimism is reflected in its financial result. Parlux took a hit in the first quarter, posting losses as it invested in advertising to support the expanded Rihanna launch.
But the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based firm came roaring back in the second quarter, when net income increased threefold to $3.3 million, or 16 cents a share, from $1.1 million, or 5 cents, a year earlier. Sales for the three months ended Sept. 30 rose 19.3 percent to $46 million from $38.6 million. Gross margins rose to 55 percent from 50 percent as sales to U.S. department stores increased.