By and  on August 10, 2007

PARIS — The Lacoste apparel and fragrance businesses are being cultivated in a similar fashion.

"The Lacoste brand has developed a level of sophistication not see in five to 10 years," said Oliver Kastalio, global vice president for prestige products at Procter & Gamble Co., holder of the Lacoste beauty license. "What's being seen in the fashion line is being mirrored by the fragrance range and brought to life with the launch of Lacoste Elegance."

The new men's scent — which just hit U.S. and U.K. shelves and is being rolled out to Germany and France, then to Italy and Spain in October and Russia in November as part of its global introduction — targets males aged 30 to 35, according to Kastalio.

Elegance's fougere oriental juice, created in partnership with Quest, includes a "light aromatic accord," with notes of thyme, mint, violet leaves and Juniper tree berries; an oriental woody accord of sandalwood, cedar wood and amber notes, plus a bitter chocolate accord, and a spicy accord, made of black pepper, nutmeg, cardamom and raspberry notes.

Its advertising campaign includes 15-, 20- and 30-second TV spots, created by Michael Haussman, featuring model Norbert Michalke as a modern-day gentleman in an urban escapade. There are also single- and double-page print ads and an Internet campaign. Sampling is to include miniatures, among other formats.

Lacoste Elegance's bottle, which is partially swathed in a brushed-metal sheath and capped in the same material, was created in collaboration with Paris-based design agency QSLD. The flacon's blue-and silver-colored outer packaging was conceived in partnership with Lutz Herrmann Design of Hamburg, Germany.

P&G executives would not discuss sales projections, but industry sources estimate the scent will ring up around $100 million in retail sales during its first year.

The Lacoste fragrance business has grown 15 times the size it was in 2001, when P&G took over the business, according to Kastalio, who would not divulge numbers.

The Lacoste Elegance lineup includes a 90-ml. eau de toilette spray for 66 euros, or $90.20 at current exchange rates, and a 50-ml. eau de toilette spray for 50 euros, or $68.40. The 90-ml. aftershave lotion is 54 euros, or $73.90; the 50-ml. aftershave lotion is 43 euros, or $58.85; the 75-g. aftershave balm is 35 euros, or $47.90, and the 75-g. stick deodorant, 150-ml. spray deodorant and 150-ml. shower gel are 22 euros, or $30.15, each. Prices are for France.In the U.S., the collection is priced at $50 for a 1.6-oz. eau de toilette spray; $65 for a 3-oz. eau de toilette spray; $50 for a 3-oz. aftershave splash; $42 for a 2.5-oz. aftershave balm; $28 for a 5-oz. shower gel and $22 for a 2.5-oz. deodorant stick. It is being carried by 2,500 U.S. department and specialty store doors, including Bloomingdale's, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Macy's and Dillard's.

"Lacoste Essential, which we launched 18 months ago in the U.S., reestablished the Lacoste brand as a serious fragrance brand in the U.S.," said Don Loftus, president and chief executive officer of P&G Prestige Beauty in the U.S. "Adding Elegance to the mix addresses a different side of that consumer and we believe it will be a huge success."

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