By  on March 4, 1994

NEW YORK -- Atlantis International is planning to breathe life into three aging fragrances by making them more accessible. The company is dropping their prices by as much as 33 percent."In the Eighties, fragrance prices kept going up and up, and there seemed to be no limit," said Brian Appel, president of the West Hempstead, N.Y.-based Atlantis. In late 1992, the company purchased the North American distribution rights for the Je Reviens and Ma Griffe women's fragrances and the men's scent Vetiver from Worth International Ltd. of London."When we took over these fragrances, I came out and said, 'We've got to lower the prices,"' Appel continued. "If it sells for $40, it's going to end up in an alternative outlet for $25 anyway."The updated Je Reviens line, originally launched by the French fashion house Worth in the 1930s, will include 16 sizes of parfums, eau de parfums and eau de toilettes, as well as a five-item bath line.Prices will range from $16 for a 1-oz. eau de toilette spray to $68 for a 0.25-oz. parfum. In comparison, a same-size version of the eau de toilette had been $23, while the parfum had been $80.Ma Griffe, launched in 1946, and Vetiver, introduced in 1957, were both created by the French fashion house Carven.The nine-item Ma Griffe fragrance line will range from $14.50 for a 1-oz. parfum de toilette to $68 for a 0.25-oz. parfum. A 1.7-oz. parfum de toilette, which had been $30, will retail for $21. Ma Griffe will also have a five-item bath line.Vetiver will be sold in two versions: Vetiver and Vetiver Dry. The 10-item line will range from $14 for a 0.85-oz. Vetiver Dry eau de toilette and 1-oz. version of Vetiver, to $29.50 for a 3.4-oz. Vetiver eau de toilette. A same-size version had been $33."We wanted to price the products slightly above prices at mass retail outlets," said Appel.Connecticut-based Gary Farn Ltd. and Allen Haynes Ltd. of California had been the U.S. distributors of the scents until Worth International bought the licenses in 1992."That's when we took over the distribution in Canada, the U.S., Mexico, along with the duty-free business," Appel said. "We created a national sales force, and in January we announced the new price points."Appel said the fragrances are still in stock in scattered department stores."We've inherited some of the supply and some of the confusion," he said. "But we've been talking to a lot of retailers, and we hope to straighten it out by Mother's Day. We'll have a soft launch then and increase the distribution in the fall."Appel intends to market the brands in department and specialty stores such as Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and Nordstrom, as well as specialty perfumers like Profumerie Douglas and Cosmetic Center. He said the three scents should be in about 1,000 doors by the end of the year."We've basically inherited about a $5 million business in North America," he said, adding that he anticipates 15 percent growth for each of the next three years, meaning a volume of nearly $7 million in 1995.Appel said the fragrances will be advertised on television and radio beginning in the fall, but the campaigns and on-air schedules are still being developed."We're also going out with extensive full-size gift-with-purchase promotions starting at Mother's Day," Appel said. "These brands haven't been promoted in years, but they can still be strong."

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