Byline: Brid Costello

PARIS — A new day is dawning at Nina Ricci.
Premier Jour — First Day, in French — is the house’s latest fragrance, meant to embody the aura of today’s Ricci.
“For two years a new spirit has permeated the [Ricci] Pret-a-Porter and accessories lines, so we wanted to do the same with fragrance,” explained Chrystel Abadie-Truchet, managing director at Parfums Nina Ricci. That change is a result of a new company owner — the Barcelona-based Puig Group — and the appointment of Nathalie Gervais as artistic director.
“We wanted to do a new, big classic under the direction of Nathalie,” Abadie-Truchet continued. “Premier Jour is about a new era, not a revolution; we won’t forget the past. It’s the brand expressed in contemporary language,” or a modern take on femininity.
The sensual, luminous floral was developed by Sophie Labbe and Carlos Benaim of International Flavors and Fragrances. The juice includes top notes of yellow mandarin and gardenia morning dew; middle notes of sweet pea and orchid, and base notes of wood from Saint Lucie, Mysore sandalwood and musk. The white sugared almond note in the heart is meant to suggest treats traditionally given out here at weddings and christenings, Abadie-Truchet said.
The peach-colored fragrance bottle was designed by Gervais and Fabien Baron. For the 100-ml. version, one cylinder is perched perilously atop another; the 50-ml. version is a single cylinder. Each size has a white cap tinged with blue undertones.
Premier Jour will launch worldwide in March, save for the U.S., which will get the scent in 2002.
The fragrance is expected to fill a gap in the brand’s portfolio. It is meant to target women younger than the 35-to-50-year-old set that buys L’Air du Temps, yet older than the 15-to-20-year-old group that purchases Belles de Ricci, said Abadie-Truchet.
Ricci is banking on Premier Jour to become its second classic scent. The first, L’Air du Temps, still ranks in the top 10 in France 52 years after its launch, according to tracking firm Secodip.
And, while Abadie-Truchet refused to talk numbers, industry sources estimate the scent could bring in about $50 million at wholesale in the first year.
A double-page ad spread for Premier Jour, shot by John Akehurst, of the Publicis Etnous agency, will break in March 2001. It features the model Kristina reclining in skin-colored lingerie. There will also be single-page ads and a sampling campaign including scent strips, 2-ml. vials and miniatures.
The line includes eaux de parfum in 100-ml., 50-ml. and 30-ml. sprays, which retail for $58, $46 and $32, (FF 485, FF 350 and FF 245), respectively. The 15-ml. perfume pour goes for $102 (FF 780), while the 60-ml. eau de parfum spray will retail exclusively in travel-retail shops for $41 (FF 315). Ancillaries are due to be launched in September 2001.

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