The retailer has partnered with trendy fragrance marketer Bond No. 9 to create Saks Fifth Avenue for Him and Saks Fifth Avenue for Her. It claims this is the first time "a specialty store has commissioned a perfumery to design scents."
Bond No. 9, which has several retail stores throughout New York, is best known for its artisanal New York neighborhood scents. And no, they don't smell like subway tunnels or Dumpsters: Scents like Nuits de Noho, Chelsea Flowers, and Riverside Drive are among its best-sellers, both in its own stores and at Saks stores around the country.
Saks is on a roll, even among the strong performances turned in by competitors like Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. In its most recent quarterly results, Saks reported a comparable-stores gain of 13.2%, and says it expects to see growth in the high single digits through the end of the year. And direct sales through its e-commerce division were up 40%.
Fragrance sales, on the other hand, aren't so hot. The NPD Group says that in 2006, sales of prestige fragrances fell 2% to $2.9 billion. Sales of designer fragrances, however, including Vera Wang Princess and Juicy Couture, have outperformed celebrity fragrances. Since 2003, NPD says, designer brands have grown $115 million in sales--totaling $1.9 billion in 2006.
Saks Fifth Avenue for Him, which the retailer says is a blend of classic and contemporary, is an aqua scent, with "an initial dash of Sicilian bergamot for coolness, followed by cardamom, amber, and cedarwood for warmth." Saks Fifth Avenue for Her is "a classic gardenia eau de parfum, given a chic, contemporary twist with the addition of sparkling jasmine, vetiver and smooth vanilla."