According to a WWD article Calvin Klein is launching a new feminine fragrance this autumn, fronted by sexy Latina actress Eva Mendes to a storm of controversy involving network censors. It was only the other day we were talking about the provocative advertising of original Obsession and here we are again!
The new floriental fragrance, named Secret Obsession, is due out in mid-September. Secret Obsession's juice was produced by Givaudan and art-directed by Ann Gottlieb and encompasses the following notes:
Top: exotic plum, mace and damascena rose
Heart: Egyptian jasmine, French orange flower and tuberose
Base: cashmere woods (a popular aromachemical smelling woody/musky), burnt amber, Madagascar vanilla and Australian sandalwood (since the Mysore variety from India is heavily restricted).
Mendes reportedly really loved it as soon as she tried it! She could be earning $3 million to $5 million over the life of a three-year contract for representing the fragrance, so she would say that, wouldn't she? Still, the composition sounds decent enough, so we will wait and see.
Right now it is the campaign that has the world abuzz. The ad campaign was art-directed by Fabien Baron and the commercials and print ads were shot by Steven Meisel.
"The Obsession brand resonates in a very provocative place," said Catherine Walsh, senior vice president of American fragrances for Coty Prestige, which holds the Calvin Klein Fragrances license. "And we wanted to do a provocative ad. But we're not trying to be raunchy. There's a lot of skin, but it's done tastefully."
Evidently not tastefully enough for the network censors, who have banned the ad. "Every time we do TV [with the Calvin brand] it comes back with some sort of push-back from the networks — but nothing like this. This time," she vowed, "we're going to fight."
Rumours say that it's a combination of what Mendes says — and doesn't say — to the accompaniment of provocative music and lots of skin. Reportedly the ad is open to interpretation, having Mendes talk about a sexy secret, leaving a lot to the imagination, which might conjure up wilder thoughts than what is actually happening. Coty executives declined to reveal the spot before its official unveiling which will happen in early June. (so stay tuned, we will present it when it airs!)
Mendes will also star in Calvin Klein's new women's underwear campaign this fall. According to Mendes herself, she was attracted by the idea of freedom of expression and the chance to appear different in a mainsteam venue:
"When I was approached by Calvin Klein, I thought that it would be so satisfying for me to be part of a campaign where I could show women and girls that it's okay to be different. I remember when the Obsession ads with Kate Moss came out— I thought she was so gorgeous. Kate wasn't a conventional beauty, her teeth weren't perfect and she wasn't blonde; my friends and I could relate to that. If I could provide that encouragement for someone with the Secret Obsession campaign, that would be amazing."However executives are quick to point out that the new fragrance is really not a new twist, but a completely different perfume with merely a sexy image to share. "This is no flanker," said Walsh. Obviously the meaning of flanker eludes them, as the term is generally being used for fragrances that borrow the name or part thereof of a successful fragrance to boost the recognition factor of a new one. But maybe that's too subtle or splitting hairs.
"Obsession put Calvin Klein on the map in 1985 and continues to be an integral piece of the brand portfolio," added Michele Scannavini, president of Coty Prestige. "Over two decades later, we see it come full circle with Secret Obsession. While Obsession epitomized the overt glamour and sexuality of the Eighties, Secret Obsession will become the meaning of what is sexy today — more personal, sophisticated and intoxicating. Eva Mendes is a reflection of how things have changed over the past 20 years."
Eaux de parfum will be sold in three sizes: 1 oz. for $40, 1.7 oz. for $55 and 3.4 oz. for $72. (The 1-oz. size will be exclusive to Sephora). Two ancillaries will also be sold: a 6.7-oz. body lotion for $38 and a 6.7- oz. shower gel for $30. The scent will be available in about 2,200 department and specialty stores in the U.S. Globally, it will be available in all markets in which the Calvin Klein brand is sold.
Just as an aside: Eva Mendes is no stranger to glossies and advertising as she has posed for Revlon and neither to provocation, as attested by the following film in which she flaunts her assets alongside Joaquin Phoenix to the sound of Heart of Glass : We Own the Night.
So what say you: yay or nay for Eva Mendes and the new fragrance?
Pic via WWD.