Ever wondered what exactly goes into a glamorous beauty launch? Sigourney plots out the months and minutes leading up to the Tory Burch fragrance event. The chic New York brand is entering Australia first via the designer’s signature fragrance, Tory Burch Eau De Parfum (think vetiver, pink peony and crisp grapefruit over a woody base) and we were lucky enough to partner with the brand on their big moment.
One Month Before The Press Launch
At a catch up meeting with Aramis & Designer Fragrances (part of the Estee Lauder Companies) the team tell me that they are launching Tory Burch’s fragrance in Australia. I’ve been a fan of the brand since I came across their store in East Hampton and have always adored Tory’s eclectic-come-preppy aesthetic. I love the way she combines bold colours and patterns with crisp tailoring, so I’m intrigued to smell the scent. At this stage it’s still in a preview bottle, but one whiff and I’m instantly transported to Southampton, a crisp citrusy breeze of orange blossom, bergamont and jasmine wafts into the room. We talk about partnering on the launch, so I head back to the office with the team to draft up some ideas.
Two Weeks Before Launch:
We have a plan for our partnership, so I catch up with the PR team at the Estee Lauder offices to go over the details and they present me with a bottle of the scent. The flacon is pure Tory Burch – clean and minimal glass with a bright orange and gold fretwork cap. On the top, the “T” logo that adorns Tory’s famous ballet flats. It’s reassuringly heavy to hold. I spritz it on and notice it an hour later – it’s dried down to a warm woody base that lingers deliciously on the skin. I tell my husband Damien I have to buy a Tory outfit for the event. This is an important partnership, I argue. I need to have full brand immersion! Although the fashion brand hasn’t arrived in Australia yet I have a trip to Europe coming up… I pore over the website and fall in love with their new collection - in particular a tropical print that would be oh-so-perfect for the launch.
One Week Before Launch:
We are in Munich and after much traipsing around German department stores and frustrated confused conversations (with both kids in tow) I learn that Tory has a stand alone store just a few strasses (streets) away. The glamorous two level boutique is a colourful ode to Tory style with glamorous homewares, gold fretwork everywhere and luxe carpets. Max has a ball playing with his Lego while I try on half the store. The bemused sales assistant is even sweet enough to heat up a bottle for Lulu. I decide on a silk shirt in my beloved tropical print and the most stunning pair of tassled shoes (they were on sale, Damien, I swear!) then swing by Zara for a pair of navy shorts to work back with them and the outfit is complete. I cart it around Europe in the full purple/orange packaging and shoe box because I love it so much.
The Night Before
We landed yesterday and I’m so jet-lagged I can barely speak. I decide to call in reinforcements with hair and makeup for the morning. I couldn’t cope with a bad hair day on top of everything else. I apply a coat of fake tan in a coma before flopping into bed at 8 o’clock.
Max wakes me asking for breakfast. The newsletter is due out this morning and my WIFI is down. I spend the next five hours trying to upload and fix everything in a near state of panic, all the while juggling irate jet-lagged children. Why does technology fail when you need it most?
Dive into the shower and lather up with the delicious Tory Burch Bath & Shower Gel– it lathers satisfyingly and fills the bathroom with the most luxurious fragrance. To amp up the scent, I apply the silky Tory Burch Body Lotion from top to toe. I love layering my fragrance like this, it’s a beautiful way to make the scent last.
I finally feel somewhat calmer and can relax into my day. Casey leaves me with the most gorgeous little touch up kit she gives to all her brides complete with blotting paper, eye drops, mints and a tiny sample pot of the lipgloss she used on me. I’ve never been so prepared.
The driver arrives and we glide through the traffic to the beautiful Chiswick Restaurant in Woollahra. It’s the perfect setting for a Hamptons-inspired affair, with its leafy outlook and classic décor. I step into the mélange of beauty editors, clutching glasses of Perrier Jouët Rosé and South Side Cocktails (Tory’s favourite, I’m told). Much air-kissing ensues before we file through a hallway to the ‘reveal’ - a stunning private room that looks over the Chiswick gardens.. The tables are decorated in Tory Burch homewares flown in especially for the occasion and punctuated with bright violet sweetpeas and beautifully calligraphed name cards. At the front of the room there are classic blue and white porcelain vases heaving with blush roses also flown in for the event. Bottles of the scents that are launching are lined up for testing - the Eau De Parfum and the Absolu scent, which is delicious – a little more floral and intense than the original and a gorgeous choice for evening.
The General Manager of Aramis & Designer Fragrances, Edith Magerstein stands and welcomes us before introducing us to the local ambassador for the launch, Nadia Fairfax. Nadia, wearing a chic green ensemble and fabulous Tory Burch earrings explains how she met with the team in New York and fell in love with the brand. “She’s a very, very cool woman and being able to spend that time and to hear what she’s done with fragrances and the success in the US is mind blowing, I’m really excited to be a part of the launch.”
As waiters appear with shared entrees of Yellowfin tuna with squid ink crackers and carrot with goats curd salads, we are shown a video with the designer talking through her inspiration (she used vetiver alongside her other favourite blooms because her father used to wear it) and explains the structure of the scent and key notes. The PR team hand out cards with it spritzed on it as the beauty editors inhale them, murmuring approvingly among themselves, some of them sketching notes or typing into their phones. The room is filled with the stunning scent.
A fleet of uniformed waitstaff glide in carrying the mains – Matt Moran’s famous slow cooked lamb and incredible roast chicken, as wine glasses are topped up and the convivial atmosphere in the room reaches a crescendo.
As lunch is cleared and incredible dessert plates arrive (Valrohna chocolate and pineapple bombe Alaska) I linger with the last of the guests and the team from the Tory Burch Hong Kong office. We discuss how the brand will be received by Australians – I’m pretty sure they’ll love it as much as I do. The bold and energetic spirit of the brand and crisp clean scents are perfect for our lifestyle – and are landing here just in time for Spring.
Shop The Look:
Tory Burch Eau De Parfum 50ml, from $155, and Tory Burch Eau De Parfum 100ml, $195, launch in David Jones to coincide with the David Jones Flower Show before rolling out nationally to Myer and Sephora on September 11.
Story by Sigourney Cantelo. Photography by Alice Mahran. In association with Tory Burch.