Burberry’s Her fragrance, officially launched last week and being rolled-out internationally and in travel retail this month, is shaping as a key project for both Coty and Burberry.

It is the first new feminine fragrance family for Burberry since the 2014 launch of My Burberry (later joined by My Burberry Black and My Burberry Blush).

For Coty, this is the second major fragrance launch since it took over Burberry’s beauty licence in October last year. The first was Mr Burberry Indigo (a fresh interpretation of men’s fragrance Mr Burberry), which launched in April this year.

“Cara Delevingne embodies the energetic spirit of a Londoner.”

Simona Cattaneo and Francis Kurkdjian kicked off last week’s official launch with a discussion of the creative process behind the new Burberry Her fragrance.

The juice was created by perfumer Francis Kurkdjian who described it as an “airy gourmand”. The campaign features British supermodel – and long-time Burberry collaborator – Cara Delevingne.

Following on from the success of Indigo, and of Burberry’s recent make-up releases, Coty VP Global Marketing Travel Retail Markus Stauss said that Coty and Burberry were optimistic for the success of the fragrance, noting promising results in the first week after launch.

Stauss added that the scent had received positive response when tested in Asia and that the team was hopeful for success in the market.

As explored by The Moodie Davitt Report information partner Jing Daily, Chinese consumers tend to prefer “lighter, fruitier, and fresher fragrances”. Creating a scent that pleases both Western and Eastern tastes is a challenge that shouldn’t be underestimated.

Behind the scenes: The Burberry Her campaign was shot by Juergen Teller. It sees Cara Delevingne exploring the sights and sounds of her hometown of London.

Creative process

Speaking at the launch, Coty Chief Marketing Officer Simona Cattaneo said that the aim of Burberry Her was to “really leverage the spirit and the heritage of this historic British brand.”

“It is a British story and a London story,” she continued, explaining that the challenge given to perfumer Francis Kurkdjian was to “capture the scent of London and being a Londoner.”

Master perfumer Francis Kurkdjian has been creating fine fragrances with Burberry for five years.

Kurkdjian, a highly renowned contemporary perfumer, has been creating fragrances for Burberry for five years. In conversation with Cattaneo, he spoke of the pleasure of working with a brand with such a strong identity and heritage: “there are not many brands that have such a strong DNA.”

He also explained that, unlike his previous projects for the brand, Burberry came to him this time with “almost all the elements” already decided – the face (Cara Delevingne), the bottle, even snapshots of the campaign.

“I won’t say it was super easy,” he said, “but I was given enough food for thought in order to translate this vision.”

The process of ‘translation’, he continued, involved merging the spirit of the campaign with the realities of contemporary perfume.

“I guess it was a lot about Cara and how she acts,” he said of the campaign. “There is a freedom, a lot of airiness… And it was very anchored in London. You see snapshots of famous iconic monuments.”

Alongside this, he considered the “very important” need to be current to trends in the world of perfume. “What’s happening now in the perfume world is gourmand,” he explained. “Sweet, gourmand fragrances: it is a done deal. It’s a fact that you can’t avoid.”

Gourmand perfumes
  • A gourmand fragrance consists primarily of synthetic edible notes.
  • Honey, chocolate and vanilla are common notes, as are various fruits and spices.
  • Thierry Mugler’s Angel (1992) is often credited as the first modern gourmand scent.
  • As Francis Kurkdjian notes, gourmands have seen significant popularity for some time now.

An airy gourmand

Burberry Her EDP is described as a “vibrant, fruity and floral” fragrance. Top notes are of blackcurrant, blueberry and raspberry; heart notes are of jasmine and violet; at the base are notes of dry amber and musk.

For Kurkdjian, it was important to bring together the “airiness” of Burberry’s concept with the sweetness of a gourmand.

“This is the first truly gourmand fragrance we have launched under the Burberry name,” said Kurkdjian, who added that he wanted to make a gourmand that did not have the “sticky and sweet… almost dark” quality of most others.

Burberry Her EDP is described as a “vibrant, fruity and floral” fragrance. Top notes are of blackcurrant, blueberry and raspberry; heart notes are of jasmine and violet; at the base are notes of dry amber and musk.

“The idea was to lighten it up, almost like whipped cream; to find the sweet note and make it dry and airy” – Francis Kurkdjian

The balance, explained the perfumer, was created by combining both natural and synthetic ingredients. The combination allowed for an “airiness” that makes this different from other gourmand fragrances.

“The idea was to lighten it up, almost like whipped cream; to find the sweet note and make it dry and airy”, said Kurkdjian, explaining that amber notes were the answer. “If you manage to find the right balance between sweet gourmand and amber notes, the masculinity of amber brings light and holds the gourmand up.”

Kurkdjian added that the resulting fragrance boasts both a strong signature – “you can immediately recognise when someone is wearing it” – and a long-lasting sillage (trail).

The Her campaign sees Cara Delevingne exploring London’s landmarks and, as here, riding on one of the city’s famous red buses. (© Courtesy of Burberry/Juergen Teller)

The bottle

The shape of the flacon reflects exactly that of Burberry’s first fragrance, Burberrys for Men, which launched in 1981. The colour has been updated with a blush pink that is continued on the packaging; pink ribbons are printed onto a white box.

“The flacon is timeless, it’s effortless, but at the same time I would say it is very contemporary,” said Simona Cattaneo.

She added that the gold charm around the neck can be customised with engraved initials. The option will be available at selected locations in travel retail.

The shape of the Her flacon was taken from the Burberry archives. It follows the design of the brand’s 1981 fragrance Burberrys for Men.

Speaking at the launch, Coty’s Simona Cattaneo hinted that there would be customisation opportunities involving the ribbons on the Her packaging as well as the gold charm at the neck.

The campaign

Burberry cast British supermodel Cara Delevingne as the face of the Her fragrance. Delevingne is a long-time collaborator of the brand and was the joint face of the campaign for 2014 fragrance launch My Burberry, alongside fellow Brit and supermodel Kate Moss.

Delevingne is a native Londoner and the campaign, shot by renowned photographer Juergen Teller, features the model at a variety of locations around the city. “Cara Delevingne embodies the energetic spirit of a Londoner,” said Burberry.

(© Courtesy of Burberry/Juergen Teller)

(© Courtesy of Burberry/Juergen Teller)

The campaign video (below) comprises a series of stills and short clips, meant to reflect the freedom and energy of the model, the city and the fragrance. For the soundtrack, Delevingne recorded a special version of the song ‘Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner’.

As Francis Kurkdjian noted, the campaign – along with the bottle – was actually conceived and shot before the creation of the scent itself. It provided strong inspiration for the fragrance.

Burberry Her launched into travel retail this month. Sizes and RRPs are as follows: EDP 50ml (US$84.50, €71.90, £56); EDP 100ml (US$108, €97.90, £79.20; body lotion 200ml (€36, £30.40); body spray 100ml (€28.90, £23.20).