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J.Crew to Launch First Fragrances

After a handful of makeup collaborations, the retailer is going deeper into its beauty business.

When it comes to beauty, J.Crew's aesthetic is unmistakable: Fresh skin, simple eye, a swipe of punchy red lipstick. But what does the brand smell like? (Is this something you've ever wondered? No?) On Monday, we'll all find out.

J.Crew is making its first foray into fragrance, a collaboration with the perfumer Arquiste, which sells its other fragrances at retailers including Barneys, Net-a-Porter and Birchbox. According to a rep for the company, there will be two scents — "No. 31" and "No. 57" — which will sell for $78 (50 ml) and $25 (10 ml) in all of J.Crew's stores and online. 

According to the company, the inspiration for the fragrances came from a gallery show by Peggy Guggenheim. (We'll let that sink in for a minute.) More specifically, they're modeled on Guggenheim's "Exhibition by 31 Women," the States' first all-female modern art exhibition featuring works that debuted in 1943. If that sounds lofty, it is, but the actual composition of the fragrances draws on the scents of the cocktails and perfumes that would have filled the gallery that night — think aged whisky, cedarwood and vanilla. Alcohol: The universal reference point.

This isn't the first time J.Crew has collaborated on a beauty product, having worked with Bite to create three matte lip colors that launched in July and on a range of nail polishes with TenOverTen. The retailer sells a number of third-party beauty brands on its website, including Dr. Dennis Gross skincare products and Jurlique creams. Still, fragrance represents something of a deeper investment in the beauty business; WWD reports that the fragrances took over a year to develop, and it's not a particularly inexpensive business. 

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We'll be looking to see how J.Crew continues building out this wing of its business in the future — and also stopping by a store on Monday to see what a cocktail-inspired fragrance actually smells like.