Charged with the task of creating the premier scent of iconic fashion designer Elie Saab, Nathalie Helloin-Kamel understands the finer points of creating a brand that smells good – writes Ashleigh Sharman.
Vice President of Elie Saab Parfums and Issey Miyake Parfums at Beaute Prestige Internationale (BPI), Nathalie Helloin Kamel recently revealed the first fragrance, Le Parfum, of inimitable designer Elie Saab – a project which she was personally involved with, bringing Elie Saab on board with BPI to work with fragrance master Francis Kurkdijian.
“When we decide to work with a fashion designer our objective is to faithfully translate his vision, creation, philosophy and style into a fragrance,” explains Nathalie. “We start with the fashion. We try to stay close to it as that itself is unique, so that is where we start and it is always a key point for us.”
Titled Le Parfum this is not only the first fragrance from Elie Saab but ‘the’ fragrance, the scent of Saab, which sets the tone for a new and exciting extension of the brand.
“This is not a separate story. We are not selling another story, simply an extension and fragrance translation of the Elie Saab story,” says Nathalie. “Saab wanted to create something very faithful to the couture and its creation, a reason why he also signed the license with us, so we need to make sure we are consistent with what he does, the only way we can ensure we are different.”
Haute couture conveyed in a jewel of a bottle, the fragrance is a fight between floral and woody scents leaving a classically elegant finish housed within glass that plays with curves and sleek lines – the signature of Elie Saab.
Elie Saab Paris Boutique
“This is not a trend, but haute couture – we look for a long term vision rather than a trend as it allows the fragrance, like haute couture, to live forever and not just be bought once as a fad. We can seduce the customer and that is the strength of haute couture.”
“The first element we must think of comes down to consistency, with the brand, elements and values of the brand, consumers are very sensitive to these things. When you do focus groups have proved to us that we must be faithful to the fashion story, they won’t accept a duality they want the one story and of course all the visual elements must tell the same story – from the bottle, to the fragrance, to in-store.”
“Year after year I am convinced about one thing about fragrances, the fragrance itself is the key at the end of the day success is because of the fragrance. You never have the winning recipe, the key is the fragrance and our objective at BPI is to build the brand over time to very loyal customers, not overnight. And for the customer to stay loyal to the brand there is only one key, the scent.”
ELIE SAAB Le Parfum is available exclusively at MYER through Cosmax, (02) 9695 5678.
*This article appears in the September/October issue of INSTYLE
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