PARIS – His six-foot-five frame cloaked in Rick Owens jerseys, long hair caught in a samurai knot, Zlatan Ibrahimović is hard to miss when he enters a room.
The signature men’s fragrance the Swedish soccer star came to discuss, which bowed exclusively at Colette here Wednesday, is meant to echo his personality and style: direct and bold.
“The confident attitude of sport,” Ibrahimović said of the eau de toilette, created with licensee Amazing Brands of Sweden, which is expecting it to rapidly become number one in its home country after a wider Scandinavian launch this fall.
Ibrahimović, a striker with French club Paris Saint-Germain who is known for being outspoken, said he gravitates to Owens’ rock ‘n’ roll, against-the-grain fashions. Not surprisingly, among Ibrahimović’s first tattoos – which cover most of his torso – was a carp, known to swim against the stream.
That body marking, plus a Native American feather, are duplicated on the cap of the dark blue bottle and exalted in the fragrance commercial — all rumbling industrial music, rippling muscles and fierce expressions.
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Jessica Dersén, a founder of Amazing Brands, said consumer surveys show Ibrahimović is known to 97 percent of Swedish and French men.
“We think big, for sure,” Dersén said. “This guy, he likes to be number one.”
The fragrance, along with a range of ancillary products from deodorant and body spray to shower gel, will be carried in 300 doors of a select retailer in France. Dersén declined to identify projections or comment on market estimates that the scent could rack up retail sales of 20 million euros, or $22.4 million, in its first year.
Although he wanted a fragrance that makes a strong impression, Ibrahimović said he’s aiming at a wide audience, and considers the scent appropriate for 24-hours and all occasions.
“Even my wife, she could use it, and that’s a good sign,” he chuckled, referring to his partner Helena Seger.
Ibrahimović’s taste for nature and outdoorsy pursuits also fed his brief. “I like to be in the woods, for hunting; I like to be fishing in the sea — so different smells all came together,” he explained.
Ibrahimović worked with Givaudan perfumer Olivier Pescheux to create a scent whose top has accords of lemon spices and green grass; a middle with a marine accord and a white-lavender note; and a base of vetiver, leather and woody notes.
Ibrahimović confessed that he was not so interested in fragrances until he moved to Italy, where he played for clubs including Juventus, Inter Milan and A.C. Milan, and discovered how important fashion and beauty are to the country. “And when I came to Paris, it was extreme: I understood this is a very big business,” he said.
As for dressing, Ibrahimović said he favors casual, “easygoing” clothes. “I’m not into fashion 100 percent, but when I see something nice, I try it.”
The sportsman recently discovered he lives near Owens in Paris’ swanky seventh arrondissement, but has yet to meet the American fashion maverick synonymous with dark, gothic-tinged fashions.
“I’m a huge fan,” he said, flashing a big smile. “I just came from L.A. and I emptied one shop of his clothes, so I’m happy.”