YVES Saint Laurent and controlling group Elf Sanofi are toasting to the success of his new perfume, Champagne, which has made Fr200m ( pounds 23m) in its first three months, despite a legal battle forcing it off the market, writes Howard Rombough. Not bad when you consider the worldwide launch cost half that amount - Fr100m according to Elf Sanofi. The Paris court of appeals, judging in favour of wine makers protecting the name of Champagne, has ordered Champagne to be pulled from the French market.

A perfume called simply Yves Saint Laurent is now being sold in France with exactly the same flask and packaging as Champagne. Press ads following the court's decision showed the newly named bottle above the copyline: 'You can never censor the elegance, you can never censor joy, celebrations and women.'

Champagne will continue to trade under its name elsewhere, although actions will be pursued in Great Britain and Germany against the manufacturers. However, Champagne (the perfume) has enjoyed its biggest success in the land of bubbly - the towns of Reims and Epernay.

This week, adverts have appeared all over Paris with the cheeky copyline 'It's name is forbidden but women know how to ask for it'.

Comments