After leading the markets with its iconic monogrammed luggage, Louis Vuitton is finally taking a plunge into the perfume industry, with the release of its first fragrances in 70 years.
After a forgotten attempt in the 1940s, the luxury brand has announced its return to the scent scene with the Les Parfums Louis Vuitton, slated for a September release this year.
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE , better known as LVMH, the conglomerate that owns the label, will begin stocking its 473 stores with perfumes after it set up a fragrance laboratory in France’s lavender-rich Provence region and hired master perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud, the name behind winners like Acqua di Gio from Giorgio Armani and Issey Miyake’s L’Eau d’Issey, to ensure standards that match its image of perfection.
At least one of the fragrances will be infused with a note of leather, in line with Louis Vuitton’s signature leather goods. The success of the line, however, is expected to depend on the pricing of the project. Charging around $100 per 3.3 oz. bottle could hinder the monopoly of brands such as Dior and Givenchy that are leading the sales of fragrances currently, Bloomberg reported. However, if the pricing is doubled, the products may be difficult to sell, even to a wealthier clientele.
Economies, like China’s, are experiencing a slowdown of growth and fashion capitals like Paris are facing the threat of terror attacks, causing some analysts to predict this year to be the industry’s second-weakest since 2009, Bloomberg reported.
Louis Vuitton’s trunks, bags, clothes, shoes, jewelry and other items generated sales of 8.5 billion euros (over $9 billion) last year, Bloomberg reported, quoting Guy estimates. However, LVMH perfume and cosmetic sales grew more than 600 million euros to 4.5 billion euros, accounting for almost 13 percent of LVMH’s business.
“Louis Vuitton is copying the model Chanel has,” Euromonitor analyst Nicholas Micallef reportedly said. “They want to highlight the fact that they are exclusive from start to finish.”
A more exclusive collection with limited numbers will help Vuitton “cut through the clutter,” attracting younger shoppers who may upgrade to other products follow the appeal of the fragrances as they become more wealthy, Micallef speculated.
“Since its founding, the Maison Louis Vuitton has always been inspired by far flung destinations and driven to accompany voyagers wherever they travel,” the fashion house says on its website, reiterating its exclusivity.