LONDON — When it came to the inspiration for its latest women’s fragrance, Boss Nuit Pour Femme, Hugo Boss looked to the sartorial world — and Gwyneth Paltrow.
The fragrance aims to capture the essence of the little black dress, and the anticipation it evokes of an evening ahead. “We’re launching Boss Nuit as a fragrance to be perfectly put together for that moment [that women] are anticipating,” said Gerd Von Podewils, global marketing director for Hugo Boss Fragrances, P&G Prestige. P&G Prestige holds the license for Hugo Boss fragrances. “It’s for women who have a certain style, who are modern, who are multifaceted and who want to accomplish things in their life.”
And to embody that contemporary spirit, the label has tapped Paltrow as the ambassador for the scent. The actress stars in a 60-second television commercial for the fragrance, shot by director Jordan Scott. It spotlights Paltrow, clad in an asymmetric Hugo Boss black dress, getting ready for the evening ahead. The print campaign has been lensed by Michelangelo di Battista.
“[Hugo Boss] came to me and approached me with the idea of the Boss woman, a very delicate balance of someone who’s hard working and focused but also soft and feminine at the same time,” said Paltrow at the launch at London’s Sanderson hotel. “I like that approach very much.…I’m a very hardworking woman, I’m a very loving mother, I’m a wife, I do a lot of different things and I think that the blend of femininity and strength is what really drew me to the [fragrance].”
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Paltrow added that she’s a believer in fragrance completing “the allure” of an evening out. “It’s a nice finishing off accent,” said Paltrow of Boss Nuit Pour Femme. “I’ve always been a person who’s had a wardrobe of fragrances and I like different things, but this [fragrance] is definitely for me. I can imagine wearing it at night, but…there’s also something really energetic about it.”
The scent itself has white peach and aldehydes as its top notes, to give a sparkling effect, with jasmine and violet at its heart and crystal moss, warm woods and sandalwood at its base, designed to evoke a seductive mood. The fragrance was blended by P&G’s fragrance creation team, who worked together with Firmenich and Hugo Boss.
The packaging, meanwhile, is designed to echo a sleek black dress — the bottle is a slim black flacon with gold edging at its neck, while the outer carton is black with spare gold text.
Von Podewils said that the firm isn’t targeting a specific demographic with the scent. “I would say it’s ageless,” said Von Podewils. “It’s really the idea to cater to women who have this multi-faceted approach [to life] and want to accomplish things in their lives in many different ways.”
The fragrance’s global rollout will begin with launches in Germany and the U.K. this month, with further countries launching the scent over the coming year. The fragrance will launch in the U.S. in the spring, beginning at Hugo Boss’ stores in the country and then launching with a wider distribution. The company is targeting high-end perfumery stores and department stores around the world with the launch, and plans to be in around 21,000 doors globally.
The fragrance will be sold as an eau de parfum as 1.6-oz., for $59, and as 2.5-oz., for $75. Ancillary products comprise a shower gel, body lotion and deodorant. While Von Podewils declined to comment on sales predictions for the fragrance, according to industry sources the scent is expected to achieve retail sales of around $200 million in its first year on the counter.
The launch will be supported by a sampling campaign, alongside the television and print campaign. The label has also launched a series of films on its Web site, fragrances.hugoboss.com, featuring interviews with Paltrow, the actress’ stylist Elizabeth Saltzman and Eyan Allen, creative and brand director for women’s wear for Boss Black, Boss Orange and Hugo, on creating the dress Paltrow wears in the commercial and how fragrance and fashion interact. “It will be a very interesting hub for women to really learn more about these perfect moments that you want to create when you go out,” said Von Podewils.
Paltrow said that working with Scott, who’s the daughter of Ridley Scott, was “a really nice experience. I really wanted to try and represent the anticipation of the evening, which is what the perfume is kind of about, so that was in my head,” said Paltrow of the commercial, which depicts the blonde Paltrow clad in a black mini dress, getting ready for the evening against the backdrop of a New York skyline.
And true to the persona she’s channeling for Boss Nuit, Paltrow said she’s in the midst of myriad projects. She’s currently working on a “healthy” cookbook, a follow-up to her 2011 title “My Father’s Daughter,” that’s set for release next year. “I find it’s really hard to find recipes that are really delicious and feel like comfort food, that are also really healthy, and so that’s what I set out to do with this book — create really delicious, comforting, filling food that’s very clean,” she said, perched on a plush sofa in one of the hotel’s suites.
As for her day job, she’s currently shooting “Iron Man 3,” and in September is set to play Dora Maar, Pablo Picasso’s mistress, when she begins shooting the film “33 Dias.” “It’s about Picasso when he painted Guernica,” noted Paltrow. In addition, she’s also working with Glee’s creator Ryan Murphy to produce a musical film, based on her own idea. “It’s different [from Glee] but has a similar energy,” she said. “I had an idea for the film [and] now they’re writing it.” And despite her packed schedule, Paltrow said that she’s become adept at switching gears from a full-on day into the evening mode she takes on in the Boss Nuit commercial. “For me it’s very much a work thing — I’m completely capable of having an absolutely regular day and then hopping in the shower and getting my hair and makeup [done] and then going,” she said with a grin.