By and  on August 8, 2005

PARIS — Parfums Azzaro has concocted what it believes is a scent of seduction.

This fall, the Groupe Clarins-owned brand will introduce Azzaro Pour Homme Silver Black. In the U.S. and Canada, the men's fragrance will be known as Onyx.

Indeed, the fragrance is meant to be a seduction tool, according to Gerard Delcour, president and chief executive officer of Parfums Azzaro.

"Seduction was a key word for Loris [Azzaro]," he added, referring to the brand's designer.

Patrice Vizioz, international marketing director of Parfums Azzaro, explained the color silver denotes men's elegance, while the black represents masculinity.

"The silver attitude is a way of being, a way of comporting one's self," he said. "Black is darker, more focused on sensuality and sexuality."

In the U.S., Parfums Azzaro has a strong foothold with Chrome, which was introduced eight years ago and was reportedly the number-five men's fragrance in department stores during spring. Industry sources estimate Chrome generates annual sales of $25 million in the U.S.

"For some time, we had been thinking about positioning another significant men's brand next to Chrome, which [has been] an extraordinary success," said Brad Horowitz, senior vice president of marketing for New York-based Clarins Fragrance Group. "The objective [of Onyx] was to put something next to Chrome to complement it, not cannibalize it." As opposed to the "seduction" positioning of Onyx, "Chrome is fresh, wholesome, modern — built around the story of three generations of men," noted Horowitz.

Delcour refers to the new fragrance as a cousin of the 1978 fragrance Azzaro Pour Homme. They share the same bottle design. However, as Silver Black's name suggests, its flacon is black with silver accents. Executives said the latter targets 25- to 40-year-old men.

The Silver Black scent was concocted by Françoise Caron of Quest International. It features top notes of bergamot, lime, apple and anise; a heart of coriander, juniper and cardamom, and base notes of vetiver, patchouli, sandalwood and white musks.

In the U.S., the eau de toilette will be available as 1.7- and 3.4-oz. sprays, priced at $44 and $60, respectively. Its ancillary line includes a 1.7-oz. aftershave and a 2.7-oz. deodorant for $30 and $16, respectively.The scent will bow in October in the U.S., Canada, France, Belgium and Switzerland. A further rollout is planned for 2006 and 2007.

Azzaro executives refused to divulge sales forecasts, but industry sources estimate Silver Black, or Onyx, will generate upward of $20 million in first-year retail sales volume in the U.S.

With the new scent, Clarins executives are said to be targeting a top-10 ranking in the U.S. men's department store fragrance category. The fragrance will be carried in roughly the same 2,000 U.S. department store doors that stock Chrome.

"The hallmark of any Clarins brand is a focus on the long term," said Horowitz. "We don't get into anything lightly."

The fragrance's launch will be backed by an advertising campaign shot by Bruno Bisang. It features model Maryam Abdullina dressed in a shimmering Azzaro gown sidling up to model Marc Leroy. The campaign will run as single pages and be supported by scented inserts. There will also be one million vials-on-card, which will be handed out in-store for 13 weeks, from October to December.

An estimated $15 million has reportedly been earmarked to advertise and promote the scent in the U.S.

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