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Elie Saab's newest product breaks into fragrance market.

Summary: Elie Saab, perhaps Lebanon's most famous fashion export, has captivated runways across the world over recent years with his exquisitely elegant women's evening wear.

BEIRUT: Elie Saab, perhaps Lebanon's most famous fashion export, has captivated runways across the world over recent years with his exquisitely elegant women's evening wear.

His gorgeous gowns have become permanent fixtures on red carpets, worn by the likes of Beyonce, Blake Lively, Rihanna and Angelina Jolie.Now Saab has ventured into the fragrance market, with his Le Parfum -- minimalist by name and nature. It's a Lebanese fragrance, with a cedar, patchouli and rose honey base, and notes of jasmine and orange blossom.

Launched in Beirut earlier this month, Saab's debut fragrance accounted for 10 percent of all perfume sales in Rafik Hariri International Airport in the first two weeks it was on sale.

Saab spoke to The Daily Star about his latest product to hit the market, his inspiration for the perfume and plans for the future.

Q: Why did you decide to launch your first perfume?

A: Actually this idea is not recent to me. The brand ELIE SAAB is now reaching a broader audience and launching a perfume stood as the natural step after the development of the ready to wear and accessory lines.

The plan of launching the perfume goes back eight years, but I simply didn't find at that time the right alliance.

Q: What is the perfume inspired by?

A: The same woman who inspires my collection is behind my perfume inspiration: the feminine, elegant woman. As to creating this perfume, I also thought a lot of my childhood memories; I've always loved certain scents, I think it comes from the fact that I grew up in a city on the Mediterranean.

Q: How much input did you yourself have as to the fragrance?

A: Definitely, I had an input in every process of the creation; ELIE SAAB's Le Parfum translates the codes of the couture house into the language of perfume. It is a new way to wear the brand.

Q: Who is the perfume aimed at? What sort of woman do you envisage wearing the perfume?

A: I believe that every woman who aspires for ELIE SAAB dress and likes my style would wear the perfume. A perfume is dedicated to the greatest number and can be worn every day. It is meant to emphasize the women's beauty to make them more attractive, more sensual and put some magic in their lives. Wearing a perfume is bringing the final touch that signs the personality.

Q: Do you currentlyhave plans to launch further perfumes or other products in the future?

A: I have a lot of ambitions, and this is just the beginning. I am not only a fashion designer; I have a vision and a long term business plan.

ELIE SAAB Le Parfum is available in 50 ml ($102) and 90 ml ($139) bottles and can be purchased at the ELIE SAAB store, ABC mall, Aishti, C+F and at Rafik Hariri International Airport where limited edition one liter bottle, at $1,500, is also available.

Copyright 2011, The Daily Star. All rights reserved.

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Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:Jul 26, 2011
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