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Beauty Beat: Adidas, Coty Set Originals Fragrance

Like the sports and apparel brand itself, the Adidas fragrance franchise is moving from mass to class with its first Adidas Originals men's fragrance.

BERLIN — Like the sports and apparel brand itself, the Adidas fragrance franchise is moving from mass to class with its first Adidas Originals men’s fragrance.

The new fragrance is under the aegis of the Lancaster Group — which markets those scents parent Coty Inc. positions as prestige fragrances — rather than under Coty’s mass market division. Next month, the eight-unit range will hit the counters of perfumeries, department stores and Adidas Originals stores in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Poland — plus Adidas Originals stores exclusively in the U.K.

A further rollout in France, the U.S., travel retail and the rest of the U.K. is slated for the first quarter of 2006, and plans are in place for a women’s Adidas Originals launch in March or April of next year.

Lancaster and Coty executives declined to discuss sales goals, but industry sources estimated the men’s scent could rack up $30 million in first-year retail sales.

Whereas the sports brand Adidas — and Coty’s Adidas fragrance and ancillary products — are primarily functional in orientation, Adidas Originals is a selective, lifestyle brand, executives contend. As an apparel and accessories label, Adidas Originals targets young, street-smart consumers with a style Adidas claims blends authenticity, classicism and innovation. Lancaster has endeavored to reflect this in the Adidas Originals scent.

“The fragrance market has been stagnant or declining for years, and it’s very, very important to establish new concepts in this environment,” said Nicole Nitsche, marketing manager of the Lancaster Group in Germany.

Created by Philippe Bousseton, senior perfumer of Takasago, the juice has a classic base of wood — plus vetiver and vanilla — top notes of aromatic nutmeg, fennel and coriander, and a heart of citrus, mint, sambuca, licorice and blue curaçao, which is known as the Kiss Cool accord.

Bousseton discovered a cocktail called Kiss Cool at a party, and after smelling it, decided it was something he had to use. “The only problem was to re-create the ambience of the bar and the music olfactorily,” he said. “The bar had a rich and cozy feel, which we get through woods. And, as for the effect of the music, there are a lot of aromatic plants to give that sparkle.”

This story first appeared in the August 9, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The bottle and blue packaging, which were designed by Lutz Hermann, also aspire to capture the brand’s fusion of past and present. The heavy and slightly retro glass flacon has striped, grooved sides reminiscent of Adidas’ signature three stripes, and the silver metal cap is engraved with the Adidas trefoil. The bottom of the bottle is tinted blue, emitting a shimmer of color off the grooves and up to the familiar blue label with its zigzag edges. There’s a message on the rear of the label, which one can read through the juice: “Exclusively manufactured for Adidas Originals by Coty, Paris.”

The range comprises 30-ml., 50-ml. and 100-ml. eau de toilette sprays priced at 18, 26 and 39 euros, or $22.20, $32 and $48.10 at current exchange rates, respectively. The Adidas Originals lineup also includes a 100-ml. aftershave lotion, a 75-ml. aftershave balm, a 200-ml. shower gel, a 75-gram deodorant stick and a 150-ml. deodorant spray — a line of ancillaries that ranges in price from 12 to 20 euros, or about $14.80 to $24.65. Christmas sets have also been planned.

The Adidas Originals scent targets 17- to 28-year-old “young, individual consumers.” The aim, said Nitsche, is not only to provide a new facet of the Originals experience to the brand’s fans, but also to entice young men into perfumeries. “This customer group in particular seldom goes into perfumeries because [the group] doesn’t find adequate products,” she contended.

While fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld was standing behind the lens for the fall-winter Adidas Originals apparel campaign, he did not shoot the ad for the fragrance. Nonetheless, Nitsche said the motifs for print and outdoor advertising are going to be “a type of reshoot with fragrance-specific details.”

In general, Lancaster hopes to build on as many synergies with the Adidas Originals apparel and accessories line as possible. “At every future Adidas Originals event we will discuss how the fragrance can be integrated,” Nitsche said. As for in-store support, “It will be the classical package, from A to Z.” This will include point-of-sale promotions and displays and sampling in the form of spray vials.

“We have to make sure we stay affordable, but cool. We want to be everywhere in the scene, and we’d rather invest in synergies with fashion rather than in miniatures,” Nitsche said. “The [fragrance] market is ripe for new stories and is specifically looking for new avenues of business,” she continued. “And if we don’t wake up the market ourselves, who will?”