By and  on June 24, 1994

NEW YORK -- Parfums Givenchy is reaching for a larger audience.

The French fragrance company is in the midst of a global rollout of Fleur d'Interdit, or "forbidden flower." It is described as a funky fragrance for young women and is designed to draw new users to the Givenchy counter.

Following a mid-April introduction in 13 department stores in Japan, Fleur d'Interdit is now being rolled out to 2,665 perfumeries in France, Switzerland and Belgium, three-quarters of which are in France.

It will be launched in the U.S. in October. Givenchy executives would not discuss sales projections or promotional budgets, but industry sources estimate that Fleur d'Interdit could do $20 million at wholesale in 1995, backed by $5 million to $8 million in advertising and sales promotion.

The fragrance will also be launched in other international markets from September through the first half of next year.

Although the launch is global, consumer targets differ in the various markets. In France and Japan, Givenchy is attempting to recruit a new generation by aiming Fleur d'Interdit at women age 20 and under. Marketing a fragrance for teenagers is a first for Givenchy, according to executives at the parent company in Paris.

The U.S. subsidiary, however, is aiming at a broader audience -- women who might be interested in Fleur d'Interdit's low price points and light formulation. The target area includes women from 18 to 25, but could involve other demographic groups as well, noted Robert Brady, president of the New York-based Parfums Givenchy Inc.

He noted that in Europe, teenagers shop in the prestige market perfumeries. But in the U.S., young women tend to shop for fragrances in chain drugstores, which are not part of Givenchy's normal distribution.

As far as market dynamics go, the new scent fits into an emerging trend here that first gained widespread attention last year with the launch of Elizabeth Arden's Sunflowers, with its low entry price and light formula.

In October, Calvin Klein Cosmetics will launch CK One, a fragrance for men and women that features a light formulation priced well below Klein's other scents.

Fleur d'Interdit is being launched with only two stockkeeping units, 1.7-oz. and 3.4-oz. eau de parfum sprays, retailing for $25 and $35, respectively. A body lotion will be added in the first quarter of 1995.The price points are about half those of Givenchy's two main women's fragrances. Givenchy's 1992 entry, Amarige, has an opening price point of $50 for a 1.7-oz. eau de toilette, and the 1985 scent, Ysatis, sports a $48 opener.

"If our premise is right, we can attract an audience quickly by going after good juice and terrific price points," said Brady. "There is a customer out there looking for value. We want to get that customer and bring them into our other brands eventually and broaden our name awareness."

The fragrance, created by V. Mane et Fils, also is a departure for Givenchy. While Amarige was a floral oriental and Ysatis was a floral woody oriental, Fleur d'Interdit marks the first time the company has marketed a fruity floral.

The youthfulness is also reflected in the packaging. The translucent glass bottle, designed by Givenchy's in-house Paris team, is decorated with a raised floral motif, and the fragrance itself is colored pink.

The carton is pale green, in contrast to the intense red of Amarige and black of Ysatis.

Brady said the fruity formulation and the coloration of the fragrance and the packaging were intended "to appeal to a younger audience and we made this less serious to make it appealing to a younger constituency."

In Paris, Jean Courtiere, president of parent Parfums Givenchy, said, "We thought that under the ripped jeans and T-shirts were hiding sentimental hearts."

Courtiere asserted that Fleur d'Interdit is the first prestige distribution teenage scent from a major perfume house in France.

"Kookaò Oui-Non, Une Touche de Naf Naf [from L'Oreal] and [Chanel's] Bourjois are sold on the mass market, and [L'Oreal's] Cacharel is for women in their 20s," said Courtiere, delineating the difference between Givenchy and those brands. "Our objective is to draw young girls into perfumeries."

"Teenage girls are the consumers of tomorrow," added managing director Alain Lorenzo. "Fleur d'Interdit is a way to develop brand fidelity at a young age."

Referring to the low price points, he added, "We wanted a product that girls could afford to buy themselves regularly."Brady expects the prices to be so appealing that he wants American department stores to merchandise the new scent separately to avoid cannibalizing Amarige and Ysatis. He also plans to assign 1,500 rotators to move from store to store, concentrating on helping the sell-through of Fleur d'Interdit.

In comparison, 4,000 to 5,000 rotators normally work on Amarige and Ysatis.

Brady said he hasn't completed his advertising plans, but the magazine lineup will include Cosmopolitan and Mademoiselle.

He said he plans to offer retailers freestanding merchandising units that can be stationed in junior and missy departments to cross-merchandise the fragrance with the fashion. He also is thinking about stationing rotators in the fashion departments to sample the scent.

Givenchy will rely heavily on sampling with scented strips and billing inserts. Brady estimated the distribution will number 1,000 to 1,500 doors.

He also plans to make a memorable in-store statement, promising, "We are going to do something whimsical with point-of-sale visuals."

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