Love Story signals a new chapter for Chloé

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Last week I limped to Paris to report on the reveal of the new pillar fragrance from the house of Chloé, called Love Story. Sadly, thanks to a nasty calf strain sustained in the gym the night before I left (reinforcing my view that the only acceptable form of exercise is shopping), the trip for me was more redolent of a Horror Story, replete with strong painkillers, some very last-minute outfit rethinks and – worst of all – flat shoes, a sartorial ghastliness I refused to entertain even when attending Cannes whilst heavily pregnant.

Chloé’s new Love Story edp, available from late September

On arrival at Gare du Nord things turned a touch Crime Story, when I discovered that my no-show driver had been pulled over by the police. After what felt like a NeverEnding Story, I finally made it to central Paris, to begin the launch proper.

It was worth it. Coty never fails to put on a fabulous event and this was no exception. We began with a delicious lunch at the Hyatt Paris Madeleine – Karl, if you’re reading, I had the roast chicken with apricots in a Medina sauce – followed by an interview with the fragrance face (of which more later). Coty then treated media guests to a tour of the city which shadowed several of the locations featured in the Love Story ad campaign, including the Pont des Arts and the (recently renamed) Marché aux Fleurs Reine Elizabeth II – surely the most perfect possible location for nose Anne Flipo to present the juice.

The fragrance concept was inspired by the “love-locks” of the Pont des Arts

And what a juice it is. Love Story explores new floral territory for Chloé, which hitherto has focused largely on the rose. The new pillar scent is underpinned by orange blossom, neroli and jasmine stephanotis, a glorious white floral combination that somehow manages to be fresh, sexy and clean all at the same time.

A genuine bride and groom pose on the bridge

Transport to the Flower Market took the form of vintage convertible Citroen 2CVs, driven by men so typically French they must surely have been cloned in a laboratory, and a boat trip along the River Seine, from which Coty Prestige Group Vice President Marketing Balenciaga, Chloé and Roberto Cavalli Caroline Javoy delivered the marketing low-down.

Make no mistake, Coty has high hopes for this launch, and indeed the brand in general, particularly among Asian consumers who like to purchase it when they travel, as a souvenir of Paris.

Mon chauffeur: so French it hurts…

In travel retail, Love Story will be launched into the current Chloé distribution, which is more than 2,000 doors, and supported with a number of HPPs in key airport locations. The bigger picture involves boosting the Chloé fragrance brand to a top five position globally.

It certainly looks like a winning formula. The Chloé Love Story concept is clever and coherent, inspired by the famous “love-locks” of the Pont des Arts, a Parisian bridge now extensively decorated with padlocks, which are engraved with the names or initials of couples, who then throw the padlock key into the River Seine below, in a gesture said to represent their love and commitment.

Nose Anne Flipo introduces the Love Story juice

Both the fragrance flacon and the advertising reference the bridge’s and the Chloé brand’s famous padlocks (hands up if you remember the Paddington It Bag). The Love Story bottle, which incorporates the brand’s signature “pleated” glass, is subtly shaped like a padlock, decorated with a ribbon. The Love Story in question is the whirlwind Parisian romance that blooms between fragrance face Clémence Poésy and her beau.

Coty Prestige President Jean Mortier with fragrance face Clémence Poésy

Poésy is luminously beautiful in the campaign – and will doubtless help to sell a lot of scent – but sometimes handsome is as handsome does. It’s not exactly encouraging for journalists to hear, before an interview has even started, how exhausted their subject is after a hard day talking to the press (usually while ensconced in a luxury hotel room, being waited on hand, foot and finger by minions). There are much worse ways to earn a living, and as someone who comes from a pretty deprived coal-mining background, I would know.

Love story bar
The fragrance bar at the Love Story evening event

Coty has been canny enough to work with some absolutely cracking celebrities and spokespeople over the years. Cavalli face Elisa Sednaoui was phenomenally eloquent and expressive at the 2011 Florence reveal. Eva Mendes (the launch face of Secret Obsession in 2008) – was luscious to look at and gave an interview that was warm, amusing, refreshingly candid and full of self-deprecating humour. And then there was Madonna. A genuine global superstar, heroine of my teenage years, who was interesting, articulate, considerate and courteous to every single journalist in the room.

Christine and the Queens
Christine And The Queens get the party started

All I shall say is, having observed La Poésie’s multiple refusals to pose with or even for a selection of media guests both post-interview and at the evening bash, playing the haughty Fleur Delacourt in the Harry Potter films can’t have been that much of a stretch.

However, it mattered not, and did nothing to detract from the overall fabulousness of the event. The Chloé Love Story launch concluded in serious style with a rooftop reception at the Institut du Monde Arabe, which boasts breath-taking views of the Seine and Notre Dame. The Champagne flowed, the canapés kept coming, and a set by rising star Christine And The Queens got the party started – and kept it going til the small hours.

The Moodie Report’s Rebecca Mann: literally on top of the story

There was no jiving with Jean Mortier on this occasion but, encouraged by the indefatigable Coty team I did manage a little one-legged hobble on the dance floor, fortified by some fizzy liquid painkiller (ahem) that was far more fun than ibuprofen.

The evening, like the day, was a tale of triumph. Chloé’s Love Story launch was epic on every level.

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