ROCHAS SEES THE LIGHT

Byline: Anne Rein

PARIS — With its latest women’s scent, Lumiere, Rochas is trying to take light years off its image.
The company, which has introduced 16 scents since 1936, is trying to “modernize and rejuvenate,” according to fragrance marketing manager Valerie Rivelois. “Lumiere corresponds to the l’air du temps,” she said, referring to the scent’s simple juice and minimalist packaging.
“After Alchimie, we wanted something more simple and pure,” added Rochas president Alain Joly, referring to the company’s last women’s scent, a sensual floral blend in a pumpkin-shaped bottle that was launched in October 1998.
In an attempt to create a light fragrance, Michel Almairac of Robertet, a fragrance supplier, conceived a “fresh erotic” juice, which includes notes of lily, honeysuckle, vanilla and apricot.
The scent will be introduced in France in early May and will be rolled out to the rest of Europe and Asia by August. No U.S. launch has been scheduled.
Although the company would not reveal its sales target, industry sources estimated Lumiere could generate more than $25 million at wholesale in the first 12 months.
Sunlight inspired the design of Lumiere’s bottle, which is a tapered column of dense, clear glass, said Rochas’s international marketing manager, Ioana Ratiu. House designer Franz Rudolph Lenhardt worked with Peter Schmitt Studios to create the bottle, which supposedly magnifies light and gives a warm, sensual feeling. Even the scent’s orange and silver box is meant to act like a mirror to reflect the sun’s rays, she said.
The fragrance will be backed with single and double-page advertisements in women’s magazines. These show a woman sunning herself on a beach. Promotional efforts will include a sampling campaign of 2-ml. vials and 5-ml. miniatures.
Lumiere will be available in eau de toilette sprays. In France, the 100-ml. size will be $57.20, the 50-ml. version will go for $42.60 and the 30 ml.-bottle will retail for $28.30. There will also be ancillary products, including a 200-ml. body milk for $23.20. All figures are converted at current exchange rates.