HAMBURG, Germany — Lancaster is taking it two steps at a time in building up the Jil Sander Pure fragrance family.
This story first appeared in the July 13, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
In September, both Jil Sander Pure for Men and Jil Sander Pure Intense will hit the shelves of 2,500 perfumeries and department stores in Germany, Jil Sander fragrances’ largest market. The new men’s scent will also be launched at that time in Austria, Switzerland and the Benelux countries, followed by Italy in early February.
It is the first time Lancaster has simultaneously launched a men’s fragrance and women’s flanker under one brand. Jil Sander Pure, the women’s fragrance, had its retail premiere last summer. “Normally, you bring out something new one year later to keep the brand alive,” said Nicole Maier, Jil Sander product manager in Germany. “But Pure, an eau de toilette, is so light and transparent that it made sense to offer an eau de parfum with a more sensual note. And in timing the campaign together with [Jil Sander Pure for] Men, one gets much more media support. It’s a good way to build up the Pure universe,” she stated.
The trans-Atlantic duo of Nathalie Lorson and Ilias Ermenidis, the Firmenich perfumeurs who created Jil Sander Pure, teamed up again on Jil Sander Pure for Men. “Pure is such a feminine and particular olfactory signature, and it was a challenge to translate this into men’s,” Ermenidis said. The first step was to work around the “Pure molecule,” a transparent molecule created by Firmenich that was used commercially for the first time in Jil Sander Pure. It is the molecule, Ermenidis said, that gives Pure and Pure for Men that “fresh air feel.”
A fresh, woody fragrance, Jil Sander Pure for Men has a top note of mandarin, juniper and elemeni. The heart features the Pure molecule accord, bamboo and musk, and the bottom note, described by Ermenidis as a “second skin,” is a warm, sensual blend of sandalwood, vanilla and mahogany.
“When we did the three [notes], I found I could almost wear them alone, especially the drydown. They interact, talk and respond to each other,” the perfumeur remarked.
The product line consists of 50-ml. and 100-ml. eau de toilette sprays priced at about $55, or 46 euros, and $75, or 62 euros, respectively. There is also a 100-ml. after-shave lotion splash at $50, or 42 euros, a 100-ml. after-shave balm at $42, or 35 euros, a 200-ml. allover shampoo for $23, or 19.50 euros, a deodorant spray for $26, or 22 euros, and a deodorant stick for $23, or 19 euros. All dollar figures are converted from the euro at current exchange rates.
The bottle, inspired by a flask, was designed by Fabien Baron of Baron & Baron. Clean, architectural and pure in line, its front is slightly curved to sit well in the hand. The back of the bottle is sandblasted, the Pure logo appearing in transparent block lettering through the clouded surface.
David Sims, who has photographed the Jil Sander fashion campaigns since 1997, shot the black-and-white print ad. It was photographed on a yacht off the Canary Islands and features 21-year-old British newcomer Sam Beech gazing intently ahead. It will be placed in all current men’s business and lifestyle magazines in Germany, as well as in several women’s magazines, Maier said. Lancaster is also considering an outdoor campaign in key areas.
The launch will be further supported by “massive sampling” in the form of miniatures, and so-called fragrance fountains with integrated self-service testers.
Jil Sander Pure Woman Intense was composed by Nathalie Lorson. The eau de parfum has a fresh top note of white peach, jasmine petals and pepper. New airy molecules make up the heart, and the sensual drydown is made up of sandalwood, cedar, vanilla, musk and tonka beans. The 50-ml. eau de parfum is priced at $67, or 56 euros.
To underscore that Jil Sander Pure Woman Intense is not an independent fragrance but rather Jil Sander Pure in another interpretation, the ad campaign is a spin-off of the original visual, by photographer Mikael Jansson. For Intense, one sees only a portion of model Vivan Solari’s face as she draws the string of her bow.
The bottle is another variation of Fabien Baron’s Pure theme in transparent glass with silver sides.
While Lancaster executives wouldn’t reveal first-year sales targets, industry sources estimate Jil Sander Pure for Men could do 30 million euros, or $37.2 million, in retail sales, with half of that coming out of Germany.
Indeed, 70 percent of Jil Sander fragrance sales are generated in Germany and its neighbors, Austria, Switzerland and the Benelux countries. As for Jil Sander Pure Intense, it is expected to contribute between 15 and 20 percent of global Jil Sander Pure retail sales — about 8 million euros, or $9.9 million — sources said.
While the scents are having a twin launch, the men’s fragrance is independent, Steffen Siefarth, general manager of the Lancaster Group in Germany, emphasized.
“They are not brother and sister, though they fit well together.” The Jil Sander fragrance franchise is a strong performer in Germany, “and not only for women,” he pointed out. “Jil Sander for Men and Jil Sander Sun for Men have been very successful, and Sun for Men, which came out in 2002, did better than expected and is still going strong.” In the meantime, he added, “Jil Sander is the most successful brand in our portfolio” in Germany.