By  on March 4, 1994

NEW YORK -- Avon Products has taken the bath category a step further by adding aromatherapy. The result is its newest introduction, a line called Soothing Seas.The primary ingredients of the new collection, which went on sale this week, are sea minerals, which Avon claims help to relieve stress.Avon first dabbled in aromatherapy in 1986, when it launched the Tranquil Moments line, a group of products that purportedly contribute to a feeling of relaxation. It also carries three additional bath lines."We wanted to take aromatherapy into a new area," said Sharon Hall, general manager of the company's personal care division. "Our intent was to reinforce the notion of the bath as a relaxing, stress-free environment."Hall said Avon would eventually like to see Soothing Seas match the business done by Tranquil Moments, which she said "continues to do extremely well."She declined to give a specific sales projection, but according to industry estimates, both Tranquil Moments and the new Soothing Seas could have sales nearing $15 million this year.Soothing Seas was introduced with three items: Foaming Bath Salts, $7.99 for an 8-oz. jar; Polishing Bath and Shower Gel, $4.99 for a 5-oz. tube and Smoothing Talc, $2.69 for a 3.5-oz. canister.A body cream, which will retail for $5.99 for a 6-oz. jar, will be added in April. All the products are said to contain natural extracts and minerals from the sea, which Avon claims have soothing and therapeutic qualities.Each item is also imbued with a fresh floral scent that Hall noted is intended to be "reminiscent of the sea."The main notes of the fragrance are tuberose, jasmine and muguet, with hints of mandarin citrus and melon. Later this year, Avon will add Aromatherapy Fragrance Mist, a version of the bath line's scent.Some Avon customers were introduced to Soothing Seas through a preview promotion beginning in late January. Trial sizes of each item were sold for a limited time, and according to Hall, one million units moved at 69 cents apiece.The line was also featured in the Avon brochure that came out last Thursday, Feb. 24. The brochure page which features the collection is scented, and consumers can rub a certain spot to release the fragrance. Hall said that 15 million of these "scented impressions" will be distributed.

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