LilaNur is marking its next chapter with a new fragrance.
Called Zafran Boisé, the scent has notes of smoked saffron, rose, cypriol, praline, sandalwood and oud, and was developed by Firmenich master perfumer Honorine Blanc. It draws inspiration from Kashmiri kahwa tea, a saffron-infused green tea, and retails for $285.
“There’s such a movement afoot for the beauty and majesty of India, both domestically and internationally, and there’s a whole South Asian beauty moment that’s happening in the U.S.,” said Paul Austin, the brand’s cofounder. “LilaNur is speaking to niche consumers who have been told over and over about perfumers in Grasse. What we’re bringing to these categories is the understanding that India is one of the richest cultures of perfumery.”
It’s the first fragrance LilaNur has launched since its debut in late 2021, when it was projected to hit $1 million in first-year retail sales, according to industry sources. Austin declined to quantify sales, but said the brand is expected to at least double growth with expanded distribution, which includes Neiman Marcus, Moda Operandi and The Conservatory, where LilaNur will debut this fall.
Existing distribution includes Bergdorf Goodman in the U.S. and Harrods in the U.K.
“What I love about LilaNur is that it shines a light on the tradition of Indian perfumery through some of the most beautiful scents I’ve ever experienced,” Jessica Matlin, Moda Operandi’s beauty director, said in an email.
“Our clients come to us for fine fragrance because they are looking for something new and absolutely unique, and to have an experience with our advisers that is really about learning,” Brian Bolke, owner of The Conservatory, added via email. “The story behind LilaNur is absolutely intoxicating, and the richness of these powerful yet sublime scents is what sets them apart.”
Austin said marketing has been minimal, and word-of-mouth has been the brand’s key growth driver. “Everything we’ve done has been organic,” Austin said. “We’ve not had any advertising. It’s all been very intentional through our network of friends of the brand, and now there’s been a bedrock built on people who believe in the brand. As we now expand our footprint, that’s when we’re going to start to see momentum build.”
Prestige fragrance grew 13 percent in the first half of 2023, according to data from Circana, as reported.
The brand’s next imperative is education around Indian fragrance culture. “People think of luxury fragrances, and they think of France. India hasn’t traditionally been a place you’d think of,” he said. “What we’re trying to do is to be the first to bring that story at the highest possible level — that is about educating people, finding the right allies, building the right retail partnerships and now it’s all going to click together for us.”