Manifesto, the new Yves Saint Laurent women’s fragrance, “is a declaration of contemporary femininity,” said Stephan Bezy, international general manager of Yves Saint Laurent Beauté at L’Oréal. The scent is also meant to become a second YSL pillar worldwide beside Opium.
An aspiration of women today is to be admired and desired, continued Bezy, adding, “and, for us, this fragrance celebrates those women.” Manifesto, which is expected to attract a core 30- to 35-year-old demographic, is intended to celebrate YSL’s modernity, audacity and youthfulness, as well.
“This brand has youth in its genes,” said Bezy, who explained YSL doesn’t age and has always been on the cutting edge, having introduced fashion such as the tuxedo for women.
“Yves Saint Laurent gave power to women,” he continued. Manifesto’s juice, created by International Flavors & Fragrances perfumers Anne Flipo and Loc Dong, is woody floriental, including notes of jasmine, white corollas, lily of the valley, blackcurrant, vanilla, tonka bean and cedar- and sandalwood.
Manifesto joins the YSL fragrance portfolio that already has scents such as Paris, Yvresse and Rive Gauche, which span a variety of olfactive families.
Company executives would not discuss sales projections, but industry sources estimate Manifesto will generate 60 million euros, or $73.7 million, in first-year wholesale revenues.
The fragrance’s print advertisement features actress Jessica Chastain with hands coated in paint (looking like elegant gloves). It was photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, and will come in formats including single and double pages.
Bezy said Chastain “has the luminosity, charm, grace and power — the audacity, as well — to embody the fragrance.” He added, “She’s really an Yves Saint Laurent woman.” YSL signed on Nicolas Winding Refn for the film campaign due to his ability to create tension and emotion in characters, despite no talking between them, according to Bezy. The Manifesto spot, which will be shown on television, the Internet and in movie theaters, comes in 10-, 20- and 30-second versions.
The fragrance’s bottle design is intended to be luxurious and mixes curvaceous and linear forms. The amethyst-hued central section could call to mind a diamond-cut jewel or belt, said Bezy. “It was the color of absolute seduction for Mr. Saint Laurent,” he explained.
The flacon’s textured cap gives a nod to fabric.
Manifesto will be introduced starting in France on Sept. 10. Also in September, it is to be launched in the local and travel-retail channels of major European countries, such as Germany, the U.K., Italy and Spain, plus Dubai. In March 2013, the scent will make its debut in the rest of the world, including the U.S., bringing its door count up to 25,000.
The Manifesto lineup includes 30-, 50- and 90-ml. eau de parfum sprays that are to retail in France for 54 euros, or $66.35; 77 euros, or $94.60, and 101 euros, or $124.10, respectively.
The goal is for Manifesto to become a YSL fragrance bestseller like Opium, which was launched in 1977. That fragrance’s advertising was updated last year with a campaign featuring actress Emily Blunt.
“It has incredibly boosted sales,” said Bezy. “Opium is back in the top 20 in Europe.”