NEW YORK — Well, it took about 242 years, but Creed is finally getting it’s feet wet.
The Anglo-French perfume house founded in 1760 is set to enter the bath-and-body category this September — something Laurice Rahmé, president of Creed USA, has been itching to do for a while.
"People have been begging us for a line extension," she said. "Olivier never wanted to do it." According to Rahmé, Olivier Creed, the master perfumer and scion of the historic fragrance house, resisted the idea for quite some time, preferring to stick with his eau de parfum.
"Creed makes a dry oil, but it never really caught on in the U.S. — people still want creme," said Rahmé. "We had to beg and beg."
He finally warmed to the idea, she said, when she mentioned to him that "it’s really too bad — people will have to buy their body products from someone else."
Timing was also a factor. "Everyone else is launching a fragrance," said Rahmé, referring to the 33 new scents scheduled to launch from various companies this fall. "Either that or different versions of the same scent," she added with a grimace.
Hence, the seven-item Creed bath-and-body starter collection. For women, there is a shower gel and a lotion based on two of the company’s most popular scents — Spring Flower, with notes of melon, peach, apple, rose and jasmine, and 2000 Fleurs, with notes of magnolia, rose, lilac, jasmine, iris and jonquil, mandarin, black current and green tea. The Bath and Shower Gel will retail for $50 and the Body Lotion will sell for $68.
For men, there is a hair-and-body wash based on three best-selling fragrances — Silver Mountain Water, with citrus fruit notes mixed with black currents and tea; Green Irish Tweed, a blend of sandal wood, ambergris, violet leaves, verbena and iris, and Erolfa, with marine, mandarin, basil, rosemary and sandalwood notes. The hair-and-body wash will retail for $50.
All of the bath items are made with eau de parfum, not eau de toilette. "It really makes a difference," said Rahmé.Royal Water, a unisex scent, will debut in November. Eventually, Rahmé hopes at least 15 of Creed’s 45 scents will have corresponding bath items.
The new products are packaged in white plastic bottles reminiscent of Creed’s eau de parfum flacons and come with a deluxe vial of the original fragrance.
Industry sources expect the bath line to bring in $1 million at wholesale.
"Our stores are very excited," she said. Creed operates two company-owned stores in New York — the Creed flagship at 9 Bond Street and the Creed boutique at 897 Madison Avenue. Creed also is distributed in Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Jacobson’s and select specialty stores.
And how does Olivier Creed feel now?
"He’s very happy," reported Rahmé, adding that Creed’s sales are up 29 percent this season. "We are reaching more people — [the bath-and-body products are] great for people allergic to fragrance and young people who wear lighter scents." Rahmé also noted that the new products would appeal to Japanese American consumers who mainly buy line extensions because they prefer more subtle scents.
"And something priced under $70 is a big thing for Creed," she half joked. The company’s fragrances range from $70 to $380.
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