GUERLAIN CUTS LOOSE WITH MAHORA
Byline: Jennifer Weil
PARIS — With its new women’s scent, Mahora, Guerlain is taking a walk on the wild side.
“We needed to have a fragrance that’s about the [new] spirit of Guerlain — what we want Guerlain to be today,” said Veronique Cooper, international marketing director at the beauty house.
She was referring to Guerlain’s ongoing effort to transform itself into a contemporary beauty brand, where launches play a large role. In the next few months, for instance, it is expected to introduce more than a dozen new products, including a makeup line, called Divinora, and an antiaging serum for young women, called Serum Mythic, as part of the Issima skin care line.
“There is going to be a renewal of the brand, in skin care and makeup,” Cooper asserted.
And that goes for fragrances, too.
The company is banking on Mahora to kick off the next generation of Guerlain scents. While company executives refused to divulge estimates, industry sources said the scent could ring up about $44 million at wholesale in the first 12 months. (All figures are translated at current exchange rates.)
The fragrance’s inspiration came from a small island in the midst of the Indian Ocean. “We’ve never built [a fragrance] based on that part of the world before,” said Cooper. “It is a new story linked to femininity and nature.”
Jean Paul Guerlain, the house’s perfumer and also its founder’s great-grandson, is familiar with the territory. For years, he has had a house on Mayotte, an island in the region. He even took the scent’s name out of the local dialect.
Its juice, a sunny floral, is not constructed as most fragrances are in a pyramid structure, but rather as a circle, where there is little dry-down. The scent contains notes of tuberose, neroli, ylang-ylang and vetiver, among others.
Its bottle, which was designed by sculptor Robert Granai, is meant to be like a talisman, according to Cooper. Granai has been with the house for decades and created the bottles for Samsara.
Mahora will be introduced Nov. 1 in Europe. There will be a 10-ml. concentration, which will retail for $92 , and three eau de parfum sizes — 30-ml., 50-ml. and 75- ml. versions priced at $41, $57 and $70, respectively. A 75-ml. eau de parfum pour will cost $66.