Laurent’s new women’s perfume Mon Paris straddles the past and the present. “We wanted to pay a tribute to the incredible fragrance that Monsieur Saint Laurent created,” Stephan Bezy, international general manager of Yves Saint Laurent Beauté, told WWD, referring to the scent Paris from 1983. Besides their similar names, the other commonality between the two fragrances is faceted flacons. The idea with Mon Paris is also to “bring a very modern twist” while still staying true to YSL’s DNA, Bezy continued. Mon Paris’ bottle gives a nod to Saint Laurent’s fashion with the black lavellière, or ornamental pendant, that hangs around its neck.
The new fragrance’s June introduction comes two years after YSL Beauté launched Black Opium, the scent that helped rejuvenate the brand with a Millennial, rock ‘n’ roll spirit. Black Opium, with a core consumer target of 20- to-25-year-olds, has been a blockbuster, ranking fifth among women’s prestige scents in Europe’s main markets last year. And it keeps gaining popularity. By the end of this April, the fragrance had jumped a notch, to fourth place, in Europe’s charts. In the U.S., Black Opium figured in the top 10 in February, a half-year after its countrywide launch, said Bezy.
The executive explained that a key objective with Mon Paris is to build a second pillar of feminine fragrance for Yves Saint Laurent Beauté, a license of L’Oréal. He wouldn’t discuss sales projections, but industry sources estimate Mon Paris will generate 100 million euros, or $111.9 million at current exchange, in retail sales during its first six months on counter. Bezy called Mon Paris “complementary” to Black Opium. The new scent’s bottle is translucent — versus the other’s, which is opaque — and Mon Paris’ core consumer is expected to be slightly older, 25 to 30 years old. While Black Opium’s advertising is set in Asia at nighttime and tells a story with an element of danger about a woman’s quest and addiction, Mon Paris has a different take.
Its highly sensual ad spot features a couple — Canadian model Crista Cober and French actor Jérémie Laheurte. They are shown together in various parts of Paris, including a club, the Metro, near the Eiffel Tower and on the Opéra Garnier’s roof, both during daylight hours and at night. “It’s about love — intense, incredible love,” said Bezy. “It’s about vertigo, love that makes you lose your senses. The world turns upside down. That was the interesting challenge for us: How do you express love in a modern, young and edgy way while still being luxury?”
French film direction duo Clément Durou and Pierre Dupaquier, of the agency We Are From L.A., shot the campaign, which comes in formats ranging from 20 seconds to 60 seconds and is set to singer Leela’s interpretation of U2’s “Love Is Blindness.” The still ad was photographed by Billy Kidd. Another objective for Mon Paris was to rework a modern chypre fragrance, which was created with Firmenich perfumers Olivier Cresp, Harry Fremont and Dora Baghriche. “We invented a [white] chypre,” said Bezy. At the top of Mon Paris’ juice are accords of bergamot from Calabria, raspberry and strawberry.
“It’s like love at first sight,” the executive described, adding the scent’s heart is made up of white flowers, including accords of datura flower and peony, plus jasmine sambac absolute with a note of jasmine from China’s Yunnan Province. The base has notes of two types of patchouli — from Indonesia and Guatemala, giving woody and spicy aspects — associated with notes of three white musks and ambrox. Mon Paris will launch on June 6 in France’s Galeries Lafayette, then on June 13 in Sephora’s Paris flagship. Within two weeks, the fragrance will be introduced throughout Europe, Asia and the U.S., where it will first come out on yslbeauty.com, followed by the countrywide launch in July.
In France, the eau de parfum will come in three sizes: 30 ml. for 60 euros, or $67.10; 50 ml. for 86 euros, or $96.20, and 90 ml. for 110 euros, or $123.05. The YSL beauty brand has been growing rapidly of late, notching gains of more than 18 percent in 2015. “We have very strong growth this year as well,” said Bezy. That’s thanks to products like Rouge Volupté Shine, which was the number-one beauty item sold in Japan in selective distribution early this year. At the same time in Korea, among the top-five selling prestige beauty items, three were from YSL: Rouge Pure Couture, Vernis à Lèvres and Encre de Peau. “YSL is the fastest growing [among] the top-10 luxury beauty brands in the world,” claimed Bezy.