By  on April 29, 1994

NEW YORK -- For its follow-up to the high-powered macho image of Drakkar Noir, Cosmair Inc. is aiming at a more sensitive and slightly older man.

The company is giving Horizon for Men, set for an early fall launch, a more tranquil mystique with a $10 million to $12 million advertising and promotional campaign.

"It's about man seeking balance in his life, seeking harmony," said Laura Lee Miller, vice president of marketing for the European Designer Fragrance Division, which is launching the fragrance.

Robert Cassou, senior vice president and general manager, said he thinks the concept is strong enough to propel Horizon into the top 10 men's fragrances. Cassou declined to discuss dollar projections, but industry sources said the company is aiming for first-year retail sales of at least $25 million.

Horizon is the second scent from designer Guy Laroche, whose 10-year-old Drakkar Noir still ranks in the top five of many retailers' bestseller lists.

Cosmair, the U.S. arm of L'Oreal, will introduce Horizon in 500 to 600 doors in August or September, Cassou said, and will roll it out to about 1,200 doors six to eight weeks later. Launch accounts have not been finalized, Cassou said. Drakkar is in 2,000 doors.

Because of Drakkar's strong U.S. franchise, Cassou said, the American and French executives worked together closely on Horizon's development, teaming up to find the right name, concept and juice.

L'Oreal launched the product in Europe in April 1993. Following some initial technical problems -- the blues of the glass bottle and the plastic cap were not a perfect match -- and tough competition from XS by Paco Rabanne, Horizon managed to make it into France's top 10. Having also been launched in several South American, Asian and Middle Eastern countries, the line had a worldwide wholesale volume of about $30 million (170 million francs) at current exchange rates.

The task of naming the scent and defining its concept was especially important for Horizon because, Cassou said, "There's really not a lot of recognition for Guy Laroche design in the U.S. marketplace."

The company skewed Horizon to the 18-to-34-year-old market rather than Drakkar's 16 and older set, in order to minimalize cannibalization of Drakkar. More importantly, Cassou said, the company devised a concept that "is almost the antithesis of what Drakkar Noir is about."

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