MILAN — When sparks fly between a man and a woman, she calls the shots.
This story first appeared in the November 21, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
That’s according to Donatella Versace, whose new eau de parfum, Versace Eros Pour Femme, is due to hit shelves in December and is expected to surpass its 2012 male predecessor in sales.
Three perfumers from Firmenich — Alberto Morillas, Olivier Cresp and Nathalie Lorson — worked jointly on the new juice.
“Eros is the God of love, but for the campaign for Eros Pour Femme, I wanted it to almost seem as if Eros himself was being seduced, such is the strength of the woman,” said the designer, referring to the new video and images shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott at London’s Pinewood Studio, “in the water tank where also James Bond’s movies have been shot.”
Brian Shimansky, the face of the men’s Eros scent, is back in the campaign, but clearly plays second fiddle to his self-possessed counterpart Lara Stone, who emerges from the water in a flowing white dress and gladiator sandals, ready to rumba.
“For me, [Stone] is the dream model for Eros Pour Femme — she is powerful and intense, with a strength of character that hits you as soon as you look into her eyes,” said Versace, adding: “Lara stands for a woman who is giving into desire, yet is also totally in control and gets what she wants.”
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Versace Eros for men has sold an estimated three million bottles so far, according to Giovanni Sgariboldi, president of Versace’s licensing partner Euroitalia. Total distribution for the edp is slated at 15,000 doors worldwide, including 2,500 in the U.S., considered a fundamental area for growth.
Versace and Sgariboldi declined to discuss sales projections. But industry sources estimate that Versace Eros Pour Femme could break $200 million in global retail sales in its first year on the market, with as much as a fifth of sales coming from the U.S. In America, it could become the top-selling Versace juice, surpassing the Bright Crystal and Yellow Diamond lines.
“With Eros Pour Femme, we expect major results,” stressed Sgariboldi. He noted that after the fragrance debuts in Italy next month, the rollout will proceed across Europe in February and March and in international markets throughout 2015. For the men’s scent, the Middle East, U.K., Germany, Russia and Australia were strong sales areas, in addition to Italy and the U.S.
Top notes include Sicilian lemon, Calabrian bergamot and pomegranate, with a heart of lemon flower, Sambac jasmine absolute, jasmine infusion and peony. The drydown is composed of sandalwood, ambrox, musk and various woodsy notes.
The new Eros bottle is rounded, in clear glass with a mirrored aluminum cap, front and details — a departure from the square and blue men’s version — but the brand’s Greek key motif and Medusa symbol remain prominent. Instead of a box, the perfume will be packaged in a small case that pulls open on the side. The edp will be available in 30-ml., 50-ml. and 100-ml. versions, retailing in Europe for 66 euros, 89.50 euros and 121 euros respectively, or about $82.84, $112.34 and $151.9 at current exchange.