Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are quietly continuing their all-price-point, all-category retail domination with a new fragrance launch for their contemporary apparel brand, Elizabeth and James. Actually, make that two new fragrance launches.
Elizabeth and James Nirvana White, a sophisticated floral musk with notes of peony and muguet, and Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black, a woody scent with notes of violet, sandalwood, and vanilla, will exclusively hit Sephora stores and its website in January 2014. Each scent comes in three different sizes and will range in price from $22 for a rollerball to $75 for a 50ml bottle.
The fragrances were two years in the making, according to the sisters. At a recent launch event in NYC, Mary-Kate said it took about a year and a half to develop Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black and two to three months for Elizabeth and James Nirvana White. Part of the reason it took so long was because they were trying to figure out how to make the perfume act like an oil, which Mary-Kate told me is her preferred type of fragrance. “I’m more into oils, and that’s actually why it took so long [to develop the fragrance],” she said. “We didn’t want to just do another perfume. We wanted it to be able to sit on your skin like an oil, and to wear like an oil and to have that intimacy of how it becomes a part of you.”
The sisters also brought all their favorite bath and body products (and no, they wouldn’t name names) to the fragrance meetings to identify the notes they were most drawn to. “Body wash, face wash, oils–things we use every day kind of started to define what those ingredients were and what we were trying to draw out, at least for the first fragrance, the type of notes that we’re really attracted to,” Mary-Kate said. Her favorite fragrance is a sandalwood oil that she picked up in an ayurvedic spa.
The twins were also inspired by something I’m pretty sure all women can relate to. “For us, nirvana is when we’re in bed at home,” Ashley said.
Why two fragrances at once? “Our brand is based on duality and this seemed the perfect way for us to explore that with a new customer at Sephora,” Mary-Kate said. And for any of you who have been
fangirls of following the Olsens since their mini-mogul days, you know this isn’t their first fragrance. “We’ve been through this process in some ways before, but never to the extent of the process we ended up going through for this,” Ashley said.
The twins launched their first fragrance, Mary-Kate and Ashley One and Two, back in 2003, according to Fragrantica, and followed it up with several city-inspired fragrances, like Tokyo Fusion and LA Style. But unlike those scents, don’t expect to see the twins’ names and images splashed all over the packaging and ad campaign (see right). The simple, textured bottles are black and white accented with gold. The ad campaign features a naked model (full butt on display, mind you) lying on a rug with a dog.
Can a fragrance for The Row be soon to follow? One can only hope.