LONDON — David Beckham is turning his attention from the soccer pitch to the scent lab with plans to launch his first eau de parfum with Coty. The eponymous collection of three fragrances, all inspired by Beckham’s personal memories of holidays, and the outdoors, carry a higher price point than his other scents, and take aim at the luxury customer.
The three complementary scents are called Infinite Aqua, Aromatic Greens, and Refined Woods and, according to Stefano Curti, chief brand officer, Consumer Beauty, at Coty they’re meant to work with the existing Beckham fragrance portfolio, which has been built over the past 15 years.
“It was important to him to curate a range that was authentic, new and different, so moving into eau de parfum was the perfect choice,” he said in an interview. “Together, we are constantly looking to evolve the brand, creating an offering that stands the test of time. This latest collection appeals to people who already follow David’s style — as well as people keen to try something new.”
Developed in collaboration with Firmenich and Symrise, the fragrances draw from the natural world — land, sea, English gardens and American woodlands. Infinite Aqua has notes of lemon, fig, lavender and waterlily, while Aromatic Greens taps into mint, absinthe and cedarwood. Refined Woods is an oriental woody fragrance with orris notes, lavender and geranium. It also includes tonka, cedarwood and vetiver.
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Each fragrance has its own, differentiated look from the colored liquid inside: azure blue for Infinite Aqua; fern green for Aromatic Greens, and pale sand for Refined Woods. The collection, packaged in 100ml bottles, is presented in a textured gray carton with contrasting black edging. The single bottles cost 35 pounds, although Coty said prices will vary by region.
Beckham said in a separate interview that he was looking to “capture personal memories from my travels with close friends and family to some amazing places I’ve been lucky enough to visit.”
The soccer star was involved with all elements of the fragrance, including the minimalist bottle design and the packaging. Of course, he tapped his wife Victoria Beckham — a fashion and beauty entrepreneur — for her advice, too.
“As with every business venture that me or my wife have, we discuss everything and use each other as sounding boards. Given how personal these scents are to me, it’s important that she likes them as much as I do,” he said, “especially how they smell on me, which is always a good thing.”
The campaign, which breaks in October, was filmed in Miami, “which has become my second home,” said Beckham, who owns the city’s professional soccer team. “I loved the freedom of the open roads, with the ocean on one side and forests on the other, and with my friend riding alongside me. Nothing better, and such a great way to capture the essence of the new collection.”
The campaign was shot by Lachlan Bailey with images depicting Beckham on his vintage motorbike against a range of contrasting landscapes.
Beckham added that positive memories are of utmost importance right now, given that people have been shut at home for so long.
“The thing about the scents is that they are designed to take you back to certain times and places in your life. You know when a fragrance reminds you of a location, a holiday, or something you did with your family, or someone? We have all needed those reminders in the last year. And, of course, fragrance can heighten our senses and make us all feel special. For me, scent is the final part of getting ready, so it’s really important to how I feel when I walk out the door.”
He added: “We have all been living through an extraordinary time, and now it feels like we are all enjoying being close again, getting back out there, being social and enjoying life. We think these fragrances are for everyone who has loved our products in the past and, hopefully, a new generation of buyers, too.”
Beckham said the process of creating the fragrances started by looking at his favorite scents and ingredients. Beckham worked closely with the Coty team which he said interpreted his preferences, came up with a variety of different options, and then eventually turned them into the three juices.
He said he loves all three equally, and described Infinite Aqua and Aromatic Greens as relating to specific experiences, “namely my memories of driving down the Pacific Coast Highway, and country walks. With Refined Woods I wanted to re-create something that I’ve experienced when traveling, particularly in Asia, and this scent has warmer, spicier and more sensual notes like orris.
Launching an eau de parfum dovetails with Beckham’s overall strategy of evolving and upgrading his portfolio of products, sponsorships and affiliations.
The David Beckham brand portfolio is a broad one, and the celebrity entrepreneur has been increasingly taking charge of his businesses and image. In 2019, Beckham set up an independent, eponymous company following an amicable separation from former business partners, XIX Entertainment.
Beckham’s portfolio includes deals with Tudor, Coty, Adidas and Biotherm and last April he became global ambassador of Maserati.
In addition to his new soccer team Inter Miami CF, Beckham also does charity work, invests in new businesses, and has media interests through his film, content and branding agency called Studio 99.
Beckham is not new to fragrances. The first Coty juice was Instinct, which hit shelves in 2005. Coty’s Curti said Instinct is still one of the most important lines for David Beckham Fragrances division today.
Beckham said he is “very proud” of all the fragrances that bear his name. “They are quality products which have stood the test of time, and I’m keen that people enjoy them and feel confident when wearing them.”
While Curti declined to give first-year sales projections for the new trio of juices, he said that Beckham’s previous releases have been “very well-received by consumers in many different markets.”
The response to the eau de parfum launch in Australia, he said, “has been really encouraging so far. We’re confident that as we roll out the range globally it will resonate with existing followers of Beckham’s style and aesthetic as well as those interested in trying something new and different.”
He said the launch strategy, which will take place in October, will have a strong social media skew, and noted that Coty has seen an 11 percent increase in social media conversations around fragrances since pandemic restrictions first began.
“We know that consumers are increasingly looking for information and engaging with brands online. We have also seen significant e-commerce sales growth across our fragrance portfolio in the last year showing that many more people are buying their fragrances online, too.”
Therefore, you will see a lot of our storytelling happening across social platforms.
Asked about the men’s fragrance market generally, Curti said that as restrictions lift, “we are seeing a focus for consumers on brands they trust. Our research shows that trust in a brand is the main factor influencing purchasing decisions of consumers.”
He said that while fragrance has long been a mood-lifter, “people also want it to have something more, whether it’s to add to their well-being routine or their lifestyle goals in general. So, we are seeing an appetite from consumers for a sense of escapism; perhaps unsurprisingly, consumers are looking to the beauty industry and fragrances, in particular, as an antidote to boredom, anxiety and fatigue.”
Curti said that’s one reason why Beckham’s new scents have been built around memory. “Fragrances with the ability to enhance mood and evoke memories are more than just a scent, but an experience, feeding Millennials and Gen Z’s desire to explore and discover. We believe David Beckham Fragrances transport our consumers to somewhere special.”