By  on April 8, 1994

NEW YORK -- Coty Inc. is not about to be caught napping.

The company, which has had a string of mass market hits, plans to launch two more women's fragrances this fall. One, called Vanilla Musk, is a sequel to Vanilla Fields, last year's sleeper whose success caught even Coty executives by surprise.

The other, Longing, represents the company's most concerted attempt yet to compete with prestige scents diverted into the mass market.

Jerry Abernathy, president of Coty, projected that Vanilla Musk, which will make its debut in September, will have a wholesale volume of $12.5 million in the first year.

The company will support the launch with $3.5 million in print advertising during its fourth quarter, which begins in August, and extensive sampling, Abernathy said. Sampling will include seven million scented strips and about one million in-store towelettes and scented cards.

Longing, set to bow in October, is an attempt to replicate the prestige fragrance experience at the mass market level.

"We are not just competing with traditional mass fragrances anymore," Abernathy said. "So we have been gradually upgrading the quality of our packaging and imagery for the last several years."

The line will be priced slightly higher than any of Coty's existing price points. Prices will range from $14 for a 0.5-oz. cologne spray to $23 for a 1.7-oz. cologne spray.

Le Fleur, Coty's most expensive fragrance until now, tops off at $22.50.

Abernathy projected that Longing would have a first-year wholesale volume of roughly $15 million.

Coty is planning to invest $5.5 million in print and TV advertising to support the new scent during the fourth quarter of this year, Abernathy said. Sampling will include 1.25 million carded vials and scented cards in-store, as well as seven million scent strips in magazines.

To create product awareness of Vanilla Musk prior to its launch, a 0.35-oz. cologne spray will go on counter in August, with a price tag of $4.50. The full line of three items will hit stores Sept. 1. They are a 0.375-oz. perfume oil for $10, a 1-oz. cologne spray for $12 and a 1.7-oz. cologne spray for $17.

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