SUDAN DELIVERY: As in years past, Hermes is marketing a limited-edition crystal bottle for its Eau d’Hermes fragrance. But this year, the design for the $650 lead crystal flacon originated in an orphanage for children whose parents were killed in the civil war in the Sudan.
A drawing of an elephant that is etched on the front of the 4-oz. bottle was done by a nine-year-old boy, according to Hermes executives. The connection between the Paris-based fashion, accessories and beauty company and the orphanage came through a doctor who knew Jean Louis Dumas Hermes, chairman of the company. What made the idea click was the fact that the company’s current promotional theme is “the year of Africa.”
Other winning designs became decorations for towels and scarfs.
The bottle has been produced in an edition of 500 numbered units with a scant 100 pieces earmarked for the U.S., according to Marjorie Saide, U.S. fragrance director. They will be in stores in November. That is also when the firm will distribute its decorative bottles. The bottles are decorated with a winter theme taken from a scene displayed on a scarf showing ice skaters in Holland.
The holiday spray container will be used to package two Hermes women’s fragrances — 24 Faubourg and Caleche, each in a 2.5-oz. size priced at $75.
A regular 1.6-oz. bottle of 24 Faubourg is priced at $85, and a 1.6-oz. size of Caleche is $75. The company did not provide a sales projection, but industry sources estimate that the company expects to sell 1,600 pieces in the U.S. this year, compared with 1,200 last year.
PAULINA’S NEW ROLE: Escada has a new model for its men’s fragrances — a woman. Namely, Paulina Porizkova. The mannequin, who has been starring in ads for Escada’s apparel and women’s scents, will be the centerpiece of a new campaign for Escada Pour Homme and its Light Silver version.
Shot by Albert Watson, the ads will begin appearing in November editions of both men’s and women’s magazines, as well as in an outdoor campaign.
SHOVING OFF: Marie-Jeanne Godard, founder of perfumery chain Marie-Jeanne Godard SA, will take an indefinite leave of absence from the company at yearend and move to Canada to conduct a study on the feasibility of opening stores in Vancouver.
Godard is now the administrator of the company she founded in 1985; her previous title was vice president.
In 1996, Marie-Jeanne Godard had a volume of $138.4 million (847 million francs) at current exchange rates.