PARIS — In a bid to raise its fragrance profile in Europe and attract new consumers there, Shiseido is launching a women’s scent called Ever Bloom this fall.
It is the Japanese beauty giant’s first fragrance to debut in Europe and the Middle East before the rest of the world and comes eight years after its last category entrant, a feminine scent called Zen.
“It’s a big launch for us, and our ambition is really to reenter the fragrance market in a strong, bold way,” said Florian Hanhausen, Shiseido’s vice president of marketing and communication. “By 2020 we have the ambition in Europe for fragrance to represent 10 percent of our product mix, when it is currently [about 4 percent].”
He called the goal “ambitious but achievable,” since fragrance is the largest beauty segment in Europe, where it represents more than 55 percent of the category’s overall sales, and in the Middle East.
“What our new organization is doing is really building strong regional head offices that will advocate the specificities of each [zone],” continued Hanhausen, who explained Ever Bloom’s launch was spearheaded by Shiseido’s European branch.
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The approach is part of Shiseido’s “Vision 2020” strategy, which includes an organizational structure based on a “think global, act local” concept.
“Today, we are a three-axes brand, but to a certain degree maybe have neglected the fragrance segment,” said Hanhausen. “I believe we have an aspirational femininity that we can share and I think resonates with modern women today throughout Europe.”
Shiseido turned to its historical link with Paris as an inspiration for Ever Bloom.
Shinzo Fukuhara, a son of the company’s founder and the man who became its first president, was in the City of Light in June 1913. There, he took a blurry photograph of a woman, whose image served as a muse – a symbol of the quest for ideal beauty balancing delicacy and presence – for the creative team that worked on the new scent.
Four years later, Roso Fukuhara, another of Shiseido’s founder’s sons, photographed a blossoming camellia, which was to become the company’s symbol.
“Ever Bloom is built on our heritage – our heritage as a maison de parfum and of encounters between East and West,” said Hanhausen.
Shiseido from its birth in 1872 was a fragrance house and by the early 20th century had more than 20 scents on the market.
Givaudan’s Aurélien Guichard worked on Ever Bloom, a white floral fragrance, in Paris and in Tokyo. The perfumer said he wanted a scent infused with a “universal femininity.”
The new fragrance is built on a round structure rather than the traditional triangular construction causing top notes to be perceived first upon a scent’s application. In the center of Ever Bloom’s olfactive makeup is an accord of Tunisian orange blossom absolute and notes of gardenia and Sylkolide.
It also includes a more transparent accord comprised of lotus and translucent jasmine notes plus some Bulgarian rose oil. The dry down has a touch of hinoki wood.
Ever Bloom’s bottle shape is meant to be evocative of a woman’s curves.
Model Tess Hellfeuer stars in the fragrance’s advertising campaign, whose tagline is “Because the beauty is already in you” and which was lensed by Ben Hassett. There are single- and double-page print ads, and a video destined for TV and the Internet coming in 10-, 20- and 30-second versions.
While Shiseido executives would not discuss sales projections, industry sources estimate Ever Bloom will generate 40 million euros, or $43.9 million at current exchange, in first-year retail revenues.
The fragrance is to be launched in 32 European and Middle Eastern countries starting in September and October. It will be rolled out to the Asia-Pacific region and the Americas in fall 2016.
In France, the 30-ml eau de parfum is to retail for 53 euros, or $58.10; the 50-ml eau de parfum for 76 euros, or $83.30, and the 90-ml eau de parfum for 105 euros, or $115.10. The line will also include ancillaries.
“It is the right moment to rejuvenate the brand,” said Hanhausen, adding it’s part of the vision of Shiseido’s chief executive officer Masahiko Uotani. “For us it makes sense to do so with a different segment. It is a unique opportunity to attract different customers, and hopefully younger customers, to the brand. I think it’s one of the key elements that will help us grow in the future.”