As many of you know by now, Estee Lauder has purchased Les Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle after a two-month spending spree that included Le Labo and Rodin Olio Lusso. The sale of Le Labo — a niche brand seen as hip, edgy, and expensive — came as a shock, but it was nothing compared to the outcry which greeted the news concerning Frederic Malle. He was different, he was special, he was Frederic Malle! His Editions de Parfums was considered one of the leaders of niche perfumery, adulated for its elegance and class, and respected for its innovations. For example, it was Frederic Malle who truly made us all pay attention to the men or women who actually created the fragrances by featuring the name of the “nose” on the actual bottle, and giving them the recognition that they had heretofore been denied. Malle symbolized niche and sophisticated luxury to such an extent that the Estee Lauder news was greeted with cries of “Et tu, Brute” and claims of a sell-out.
My response was something else. The very first second, I was utterly astounded but my disbelief soon gave way to an inexplicable (and admittedly hard to explain), “I’m not surprised.” My real, main, and primary reaction, however, was to see the news through the lens of Estee Lauder as the flip-side of industry trends represented by Elizabeth Arden and Coty. Most of you will probably wonder what on earth they have to do with anything but, as I’ll explain here, the Frederic Malle acquisition symbolizes the way the industry leaders respond to market changes by diverging into two, very separate, polar opposite directions, and that may be telling for the future.
As a result, the focus of this piece will be as much on the perfume industry and its market changes as it will be on Frederic Malle himself. I’m afraid that means quite a lot of financial information and business figures from the middle section onwards, but I’ve noticed a definite trend over the last 8 months that I think is significant. The Malle acquisition accompanied by the latest Estee Lauder quarterly earnings report seems to underscore my theory, to my eyes at least.
I’ve decided to make “New Perfume Releases” a regular feature of the blog. As always, I will try to cover both men and women’s fragrances, niche and mass-market. So, yes, it will be long, but feel free to scroll through to whatever interests you. (Plus, there are some pretty pictures!) All posts are taken via Now Smell This (NST) or Fragrantica. Each site has some discussion of the fragrance in question so, if you’re interested in further details, be sure to check out the original listing.
Today’s entry will cover everything from the re-invention of a Laura Ashley classic to a new Guerlain lingerie spray, a new M. Micallef fragrance inspired by vintage cars, and the first entirely new perfume from Kerosene in seven years. There will be a return to the oldies with a special Youth Dew limited-edition issue, the clothing house of H&M‘s first “luxury” perfume (in conjunction with the Byredo perfumer), and even a brief foray into the Kardashian world with a fragrance from Khloe Kardashian Odom. (Mea Culpa. I couldn’t really resist.) With a few exceptions, it doesn’t seem as though there are a huge number of new niche scents that will be released in the next few weeks or month.
SONOMA SCENT STUDIO:
The much-loved Indie line, Sonoma Scent Studio (SSS), is releasing a new line of natural fragrances. Now Smell This provides the following information:
Indie line Sonoma Scent Studio has launched Cocoa Sandalwood, the first in a new range of all natural fragrances. Upcoming natural fragrances include Spiced Citrus Vetiver and Amber Incense. Also new from the brand is Rose Volupté, which replaces Vintage Rose.
Cocoa Sandalwood ~This all-natural perfume is a gourmand for lovers of natural sandalwood. A luscious cocoa absolute melds with New Caledonia sandalwood absolute, spices, and a lactonic natural peach note. Vanilla and a subtle hint of coffee make the chocolate richer, while woodsy cedar and musky ambrette seed reinforce and complement the sandalwood. For women and men. Additional notes include ginger, cinnamon, clove and rose.
Rose Volupté ~ Rose Volupté is a luxurious plumy rose with a rich base of woods, amber, spices, and labdanum. A warm and long lasting ambery rose. Additional notes include sandalwood, cedar, vetiver, heliotrope, clove, cinnamon, oakmoss and aldehydes.
Sonoma Scent Studio Cocoa Sandalwood and Rose Volupté are available in 5, 17 and 34 ml. (via sonomascentstudio)
According to Fragrantica, one of the most talked-about niche houses in 2012 was the Spanish perfume brand Ramon Monegal. The brand recently announced an exclusive fragrance for Neiman Marcus called Pure Mariposa. The perfume will be released in February 2013, and Fragrantica has the following information:
Pure Mariposa will offer a floral-nectar accord with a festive tone in a dew-covered green forest, surrounded by a breeze of ozonic air, on a rich bottom accord of amber and musk.
Top notes: Orange, Grapefruit Bergamot, Yuzu, Black currant, Plum.
Heart: Oakmoss, Grass accord, Fig, Osmanthus, Jasmine, Lily of the Valley, Rose wardia, Tuberose.
Base: Sandalwood, Cashmeran, Iris, Anchouli, Peach, Tonka, Amber
Pure Mariposa will be available exclusively at Neiman Marcus stores beginning in February 2013. The fragrance is an Eau De Parfum, available in a 50 ml/1.7 oz size and priced at $200.
The Scandanavian clothing brand, H&M, will present its new luxury line called & Other Storiesin 2013. Fragrantica states: “The line offers high-quality clothing, fine lingerie, footwear, fashion accessories and a cosmetics line. The first collection of this brand comes out in Spring/Summer 2013. […] As part of this brand, H&M will launch a perfume called Rose Revival, whose creation is signed by Ben Gorham, the man behind niche house Byredo.” There is no information on the notes (besides the obvious rose one) thus far. However, there is a rather cool video if any of you are interested:
Not a new perfume, but a fabric spray. You see, Guerlain is temporarily going to release a limited-edition lingerie line. (Yes, really. That wasn’t a typo.) And this is the scent that goes with it. NST has the details:
Guerlain will launch Eau de Lingerie, a new scented fabric spray, in February. The spray is being released in conjunction with a limited edition Guerlain lingerie line from Absolutely Pôm.
The powdery floral fragrance will include notes of iris, rose, vanilla, sandalwood, ambrette and white musk.
Guerlain Eau de Lingerie will be available in 125 ml, €65, at Guerlain boutiques.
If you’re interested, NST has a small discussion on what it’s supposed to smell like, as well as links to articles about it in French Marie-Claire and French Vogue. Just click on “details” up above.
Following on the heels of his successful 1 Million fragrance, Paco Rabanne is launching 1 Million Intense. Fragrantica has the following information:
Masculine fragrance 1 Million from the designer house Paco Rabanne has experienced tremendous popularity since it was launched in 2008. The only previous reissue of this perfume is 1 Million Gold Absolutely, a pure perfume version presented in 2012. In 2013, there is also a new version launched – 1 Million Intense. The new perfume is announced as the embodiment of extravagance.
The spicy – woody – oriental compositions of this intensified and deeper version begins with fresh and spicy notes of blood mandarin, cardamom, black pepper and saffron. Rose absolute, neroli and cinnamon form the perfume’s heart, situated at the base of white leather, orris root, patchouli and sandalwood.
Top notes: blood mandarin, cardamom, pepper, saffron
Heart: rose absolute, neroli, cinnamon
Base: leather, patchouli, sandalwood, orris root
The fragrance is available as 50 and 100 ml Eau de Toilette Intense.
Laura Ashley has re-invented and re-launched their original 1981 fragrance, Laura Ashley No. 1. NST has the following information from the press release:
Exclusively designed for Laura Ashley in 1981, to complement the charming floral prints and delicate geometric designs of that era, the original No.1 fragrance has been reinvented for 2012.
Today’s modern interpretation, designed by renowned perfumer, Azzi Glasser, uses the finest ingredients to create an evocative fragrance with top notes of cassis, Victorian plum, violet leaves, marshmallow and green water stem. Heart notes of wild bluebell, purple rose, white gardenia and chamomile provide a beautiful floral scent, whilst base notes of sandalwood, patchouli oil and creamy musk, complement the blend perfectly.
Retaining all the charm of a very floral, fragrant and famous history, the perfume captures the heart of Laura Ashley’s style. The floral bottle replicates perfectly the brand’s identity of bold, beautiful stand-out print, which has defined their place in home decor and fashion as innovative experts, blending old and new to keep their charm.
Laura Ashley No. 1 is available in 30 ($52) and 60 ($68) ml Eau de Parfum, and can be found now at the Laura Ashley US website.
There is a lively discussion on the NST site about the “modern interpretation,” so if you’re interested, have fond memories of the ’80s, or liked Laura Ashley, don’t hesitate to check it out.
In The “I Don’t Have Any Words” Category:
I truly don’t know what to say about this next one and its supposed “vortex,” so I’ll just quote verbatim from Fragrantica:
Married couple Khloe Kardashian Odom and Lamar Odom launched their first joint fragrance Unbreakable (now renamed Unbreakable Bond) in 2011. The fragrance has experienced rapid success, and so did its festive limited edition Unbreakable Joy from 2012. In February the 2013, the couple will delight their fans with a new fragrance called Unbreakable Love.The new creation is described as a lively and sensual fragrance vortex for women and men. Its top notes include delicate exotic neroli and the citrus freshness of bergamot, associated with a floral heart and deep notes of cedar and musk.
This may be the time to bring up, once again, how celebrity perfumes are made, and how marketing, branding, use of the cheapest or most synthetic ingredients, and the financial bottom line are the driving forces — not the desire to make great, original perfume. A fellow blogger, Scent Bound, has a really great discussion of those things in an article entitled: “The Making of a Celebrity Fragrance.”
Yet another flanker. This time for the Dahlia Noir line. It will be called Dahlia Noir L’Eau and will be released sometime in Spring 2013. Fragrantica has the details:
Dahlia Noir L’Eau is more vivid, livelier and a fresher scent than the original, but it is still elegant and sensual. With this composition Francois Demachywants to show the delicate side of the dangerous black dahlia flower. The top sparkles with cool crystal citruses and neroli, which lead to the floral heart of rose petals. The base is made of patchouli, cedar and musk, giving a chypre character to the perfume.
Top notes: citrus, neroli
Heart: rose Base: patchouli, cedar, musk
The fragrance will be available as 50, 95 and 125 ml Eau de Toilette.
Kerosene Fragrances has a new perfume called Unknown Pleasures. Fragrantica provides the following information:
About the fragrance: “You’re walking down a cold street in Manchester, listening to Joy Division, sipping on a warm cup of London Fog. This fragrance opens up with the smooth sweetness of honey with Earl Grey tea, with a zing of lemon. It dries down to a cozy vanilla, soft tonka bean and waffle cone base, sure to make any gourmand lover smile.” The perfumer of the edition is John Pegg.
Official notes: Earl Grey tea, lemon, honey, bergamot, tonka, caramel, vanilla and waffle cone.
Fragrance Unknown Pleaures has been available in a gold colored flacon 100 ml EDP since 2013.
Estée Lauder’s Youth Dew turns 60! In celebration, the company is releasing a limited-edition anniversary edition in March 2013. You can read all about the history of the famous original in a detailed article on Fragrantica. The site also provides the following information on the special, limited-edition release:
This year, in honor of the jubilee 60th birthday of Youth Dew by Estee Lauder, a limited edition with an unchanged composition has been introduced, in a glass bottle with a ribbon embellished with tiny crystals. The body of the bottle in this case is “tightened with a lovely gold-colored bow that highlights the’waist’ and emphasizes the silhouette.” Small crystals accentuate the festive mood. Youth-Dew Limited Edition 2013 arrives as 67 ml EDP and will be available from March 2013.
Youth-Dew is one of those fragrances that you must try if you really like perfumery. It is one of those that you either love with all your heart or you can never grow fond of it. A fragrance that belongs to history and ancient times, but is also so close and dear to us because it was worn by our grandmothers and mothers. Unique and characteristic. The fragrance that I remember from my early childhood. The fragrance that is respected because of its history and involvement in the development of modern perfumery.
Estée Lauder is also releasing a limited-edition flanker to its Bronze Goddess series called Bronze Goddess Eau Fraiche SkinScent. Fragrantica provides the following information:
Bronze Goddess Eau Fraiche SkinScent is a new, limited edition of the Bronze Goddess collection which will be launched in March 2013. According to Moodiereport, the new fragrance will be available in duty-free stores in Europe, Middle East, Asia and America.
After golden-turquoise and sunny orange bottles sprinkled with golden glitter, here comes the golden edition—a bottle colored in gold evoking warm summer, hot and soft sand, a luxurious vacation full of excitement spiced with exotic and glamour. The fragrance contains notes of amber warming citrusy zests of mandarin and lemon, with a heart blooming with milky white petals.
The niche house, L’Artisan Parfumeur, will release a new woody-aromatic fragrance called Caligna. Now Smell This has more details via the company’s press release: “French niche line L’Artisan Parfumeur will launch Caligna, a new woody aromatic fragrance. Caligna will be fronted by dancer Gudrun Ghesquière.”
Addictive and aromatic. Take a stroll through the Grasse countryside, where mountains and the Mediterranean meet…
L’Artisan Parfumeur, together with perfumer Dora Baghriche-Arnaud, honours an emblematic but less well-known ingredient of the Grasse region: the clary sage. Fresh and sensual, green and woody, fruity and ambery, the highly-facetted clary sage was the starting point for this perfume, and is married to, and enhanced with notes of fig and a jasmine marmalade accord, with all the natural richness of this iconic flower, resulting in an incomparable freshness and luminosity. The warm woody effect of the perfume’s base comes from the resinous depth of lentisk, a native plant of the maquis, and from pine needles, redolent of Mediterranean hillsides.
L’Artisan Parfumeur Caligna will be available in 100 ml Eau de Parfum, £95.
The French luxury niche house of M. Micallef is launching a new fragrance called Royal Vintage in February 2013 that is inspired by beautiful vintage cars. Fragrantica provides information from the company’s press release:
M.Micallef is launching a new fragrance for men named ROYAL VINTAGE at the beginning of February 2013. The new fragrance is dedicated to men with timeless sophisticated elegance, and it gives intensive leather nuances harmoniously blended with strong woody notes and juicy fruits.
In the top notes Royal Vintage offers fruity notes of pink berries and bergamot, followed by leather and cypress in the heart of the composition. Strong masculine notes are warmed with a patchouli accord in the base surrounded with a sensual musky aura.
ROYAL VINTAGE pink berries, bergamot
“… For this atypical fragrance in our collection, I wanted to reinterpret the EXCLUSIVE bottle using the design codes of these beautiful vintage cars… ” says Martine Micallef. The new bottle of the Royal VIntage fragrance is colored with gray nuances and it comes in very elegant black packaging.
NST has details on a new Stella McCartney fragrance that was just released in the UK. No word on when it will hit the US, though Sephora carries most of the line due to its great popularity, so it’s bound to hit these shores soon. The new fragrance is a flanker to her original L.I.L.Y fragrance but is a stronger version called L.I.L.Y Absolute:
Stella McCartney introduces L.I.L.Y ABSOLUTE, her latest, very personal fragrance. Intensely sensual, the affirmation of a fulfilled and confident, modern woman. Mysterious and refined, it fully expresses the woods and lightens the floral notes to create a new, deeper fragrance. It begins with black truffle, spiced with black pepper. The heart is luminous, more illusive, layering lily of the valley, pink pepper and ambrette seeds over a signature of cool oak moss, dry white woods, patchouli and carnal notes of amber. Framed in gold, L.I.L.Y ABSOLUTE evokes a balanced sophistication.
Stella McCartney L.I.L.Y Absolute is available in 50 ml Eau de Parfum, and can be found now at Selfridges in the UK, £65.
Thierry Mugler seems to have developed some sort of refill fountain for his most popular fragrances. It’s called Source, and Fragrantica has more details:
The idea to refill a Mugler flacon will decrease the need for new ones and owners of empty packaging will be delighted with the refills and the somewhat lower price for their favorite perfumes. It is stated that it could save $30 or more on each fragrance if the service is utilized. The latest project of Thierry Mugler Source can be seen in over 2000 stores in France so far, where Thierry Mugler perfumes can be purchased.