Byline: Julie Naughton

NEW YORK — Cartier’s Simon Critchell and his team think water just may be the key to their next fragrance success story.
Called Eau de Cartier, the company’s new women’s juice is built around the concept of pure, clean H2O, said Critchell. “This fragrance’s message is all about lightness, relaxation and being yourself,” said Critchell, who is chairman of Cartier Inc. and president and chief executive officer of Vendome North America. And it has another selling point: “This scent’s notes help to round out our women’s fragrance assortment,” he said.
Created by Quest International, the sheer scent includes a top note of yuzu-bergamot, middle notes of violet, lavender and musk, and base notes of amber, cedar and patchouli. Joseph Giugliano Jr., general manager and assistant vice president of fragrance for Cartier, noted that the offbeat top note, yuzu, is a type of Japanese lime. “It makes for a fizzy, unusual top note,” he said, adding that the scent’s violet note is also far from traditional. “We used the whole plant, so you’ll smell some green in with the violet,” he said. “And the amber accord in the base note floats through the base note.”
Even the bottle — clear, cylindrical glass with platinum script lettering — continues the water imagery, said Alain Viot, president and ceo of Cartier Inc., noting that a bubble in the base of the bottle is meant to suggest a drop of water suspended in the glass. “Also, the bottle has a unique silver cap that slides up and down and locks to prevent spillage,” he said. “You don’t actually pull the top off, so you can’t lose it.”
In the U.S., Eau de Cartier will be launched first in all of Nordstrom’s doors in April, to commemorate the retail chain’s 100-year anniversary, said Giugliano. At the same time, it will enter Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus in a few key U.S. markets that do not have Nordstrom doors and will also hit Bloomingdale’s 59th Street flagship, he added. It goes global at the same time, with the exception of South America, the Caribbean and the Middle East. In August, it will roll out to Cartier’s full 400-door U.S. distribution and to doors in South America, the Caribbean and the Middle East.
The range includes a 3.3-oz. eau de toilette spray, priced at $55; a 6.8-oz. eau de toilette splash, $75; a 5-oz. Body Mist spray, $30, and a 6.8-oz. bath and shower gel, $35. A second round of ancillaries is likely to follow later this year.
While Giugliano wouldn’t comment on projected volume, industry sources said the new scent could top $4 million at retail in its first year. National advertising is not currently planned for Eau de Cartier, but Giugliano noted that it will have a significant in-store support program. One million scented impressions will be made at Nordstrom, including scented billing envelopes.