The Phillips Collection is getting 24 new Monets next month but they'll be considerably less expensive than the two paintings ("On the Cliffs, Dieppe" and "The Road to Vetheuil") currently gracing the museum's walls. In fact, interested parties can walk out with a "Les Fleurs de Claude Monet" for an estimated $75.

Of course, Les Fleurs really didn't come from the brushstrokes of the French impressionist. Rather it is a perfume "inspired" by Monet, a fragrance fashioned out of memories of the luscious gardens at the artist's home in Giverny, France.

But to creator Bernard Portelli, Les Fleurs is still very much a work of art. "The idea of it is very simple," says Portelli, a Parisian hairstylist who opened the Washington salon Okyo in 1985. "Monet was blind for the last eight to 10 years of his life. If Claude Monet wanted to create something with his love of flowers, he could have done the perfume himself."

Portelli, who has collaborated on fashion projects with such designers as Yves Saint Laurent and Jean-Louis Scherrer, had the idea for creating a perfume back in 1983. A chance meeting with French businessman Jean Maizeret resulted in the perfect team: Maizeret had just purchased rights to use Monet's name, but had no products developed yet. "We were talking about different ideas because I just wanted to do a perfume," says Portelli. "The idea to get together with the {Monet} name just happened." He formed Colber Group Ltd., which now has worldwide distribution rights to the scent.

Before they could smell success, Portelli and Maizeret first had to deal with a little bureaucracy. "It took us a long time to get the final approval from the French government because in {the licensing of} art, everything is controlled by the government. That took us two years just for the approval to use Monet's name on a perfume."

The bureaucratic tango turned out to be the easy part. To re-create the gardens of Giverny, Portelli made up an exact list of flowers Monet cultivated at the turn of the century. "Among those flowers, we picked up ... the best flowers to mix together {including jasmine, iris, lily of the valley, white rose, daffodil and lavender}. From that choice, it took a long time to make because when we create a perfume, the nez can only smell three times a day." It has something to do with the expert smeller's olfactory nerves and other such biological quirks. Not exactly a scientific process, but it was important to Portelli that his perfume was made "not in an industrial way."

After three years of research, Portelli was satisfied with the blend. He picked a small, family-run business in Normandy to make the extracts and got Pierre Dinand, known for his perfume bottles for Paco Rabanne and Givenchy III, to design the packaging. The first lots of Les Fleurs were sold at the Giverny museum. The Phillips Collection's first order of 24 bottles is expected to arrive in mid-November.

"From the beginning to the end, we made the choice to market the product in a museum," says Portelli. "We could have gone directly to department stores, but we really did not want to do anything too commercial because of Claude Monet," as if the mere mention of the artist's name explains everything.

So far, Colber Group has received orders for "Les Fleurs" from 25 museums around the country, including the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Houston Museum of Fine Art and the New Orleans Museum of Art. The Phillips will be the only local museum to carry the fragrance.

Of his unconventional distribution method, Portelli says: "We don't only want to make money. We want to have a classic scent and a classic image... . We won't sell millions of bottles, but we'll sell a lot. We'll make enough money to create more perfume products."

More Films to Remember Twenty-five films were added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress last week. Under the National Film Preservation Act of 1988, films are selected for their "cultural, historical and aesthetic importance." The selection is made by members of the National Film Preservation Board, experts recommended by that board, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington and the library's motion picture curators. Nominated films are chosen by the public and film critics. The 25 films selected are "All About Eve" (1950); "All Quiet on the Western Front" (1930); "Bringing Up Baby" (1938); "Dodsworth" (1936); "Duck Soup" (1933); "Fantasia" (1940); "The Freshman" (1925); "The Godfather" (1972); "The Great Train Robbery" (1903); "Harlan County, U.S.A." (1976); "How Green Was My Valley" (1941); "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946); "Killer of Sheep" (1977); "Love Me Tonight" (1932); "Meshes of the Afternoon" (1943); "Ninotchka" (1939); "Primary" (1960); "Raging Bull" (1980); "Rebel Without a Cause" (1955); "Red River" (1948); "The River" (1937); "Sullivan's Travels" (1941); "Top Hat" (1935); "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" (1948); and "A Woman Under the Influence" (1974).