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PARIS — L’Oreal’s Prestige et Collection International (PCI) is putting the pedal to the metal this winter for the launch of Giorgio Armani Parfums’ Armani Mania fragrance for Men and Parfums Cacharel’s Gloria scent for women.

The additions are part of PCI’s ongoing drive to grow its prestige fragrance business, which includes Armani, Cacharel and Paloma Picasso. Sales at Ralph Lauren Fragrances, whose creative development is overseen in New York, are consolidated into PCI’s.

The group’s fine fragrance sales currently represent a bit more than 42 percent of volume at L’Oreal’s luxury product division.

And since the general fine fragrance business represents about one-half of the general prestige market, “We have the opportunity to see the fine fragrances grow more quickly in the division,” said Patricia Turck-Paquelier, international president of PCI international, who took the division over one year ago.

PCI has also been working to reinforce the identity of each of its fine fragrance brands and the individual role of each brand’s president. In the division, there is also an emphasis on longer tenures for managers on particular projects.

“We can’t have zapping [from brand to brand],” said Turck-Paquelier, who said a minimum of three years for managers to five years for brand presidents is key.

Such changes seem to be reaping rewards. Despite a difficult past year, PCI’s sales at yearend 2001 were up by about 10 percent in Europe, said Turck-Paquelier.

In the U.S., in terms of cumulative NPD rankings for last year, she said Ralph Lauren was the second-best-selling fine fragrance brand. Also cumulatively, she said PCI had four of the 10 best-selling men’s and women’s prestige fragrances in the period in the U.S.

“Our portfolio of brands allows us to be relatively balanced,” said Turck-Paquelier.

Armani has had a particularly strong turnout. “It was up by more than 19 percent in Europe, which, in a market that is pretty tough, was beyond expectations,” she continued.

The brand, whose volume has tripled over the past five years, has a fragrance portfolio that now includes Acqua di Gio for Men, which registered more than 20 percent growth last year, and the Emporio duo, whose primary strength is in Europe among teen consumers, said Turck-Paquelier.

The Armani makeup line, which was launched in selective markets in 2000, will be rolled out further into Europe and enter Japan next year.

“We could be number one in Europe,” said Turck-Paquelier of the entire Armani franchise.

As part of this push, Armani is launching Armani Mania for men this spring.

While Armani executives refused to divulge numbers, industry sources estimate the new Mania scent could ring up at least $40 million in wholesale volume its first year.

“It is meant to reinforce our men’s position,” said Turck-Paquelier. “It is meant to be strongly linked with the fashion universe of Giorgio Armani.”

Whereas the Acqua di Gio for Men might be more au naturel, the Armani Mania man is more urban.

Armani Mania’s smoky gray glass bottle with gray metal cap was created by Fabien Baron. Its elements are meant to be coherent with the style of an Armani suit, explained Guillaume de Lesquen, international managing director at Giorgio Armani Parfums. “We tried to translate the Armani fashion statement,” he said.

The fresh woody amber juice was concocted by Quest’s Francis Kurdgian. Its top note includes mandarin and saffron; the middle note, cedar and vetiver, and the base note, amber and musk.

The single- and double-page advertisements for the fragrance were shot by Steven Klein and feature model James Penfold and the scent bottle. The tag line reads, “The new fragrance for man.”

There will also be outdoor ads and sampling, including scented strips, for the launch of Armani Mania.

Both the product and ads will hit the market at the same time: March through April in Europe and European travel retail. The rest of the world, including the U.S., is slated to get Armani Mania in September.

As part of the rollout, Armani will create areas in some museums, airports and beauty sellers to showcase the scent amid music and other fanfare.

The 50-ml. Armani Mania eau de toilette spray goes for about $34.40, the 100-ml. eau de toilette — whose shape echoes the Mania woman’s bottle — for $54.90, the 100-ml. aftershave lotion for $40.80, the 100-ml. aftershave balm for $39.60, the 200-ml. shower gel for $24 and the 150-ml. deodorant spray for $22.70. All figures are converted from the euro at current exchange rates and are for France.

Cacharel, the L’Oreal brand that has historically focused on youth’s tenderness, with such scents as Anais Anais, Loulou and Noa, is about to show another, more sultry face in the guise of a fragrance called Gloria.

“Gloria is about another facet of youth, a more provocative, daring one,” said Turck-Paquelier.

Even its name was chosen as an affirmation of women’s strength and pride, said Cecile Begue-Turon, international managing director for Parfums Cacharel.

“We want to construct a world of Gloria,” she continued.

Cacharel executives would not talk numbers, but industry sources estimate the scent could ring up a minimum of $40 million in wholesale sales in the first 12 months.

Gloria has a lifestyle positioning, with five products, whose scents and textures are to be mixed and matched.

For Gloria’s juice, Firmenich’s Olivier Cresp created a fresh oriental scent, including gray amber, Bulgarian rose, hibiscus and amaretto. It appears in different iterations throughout the ancillary line.

“Why a fresh oriental?” he asked. “It is something different. Here, the oriental is very sensual. Its tonality is different: very warm.”

The bottles for the Gloria line, whose products are to be sold individually, range from pink to blue to amber and were designed by Annegret Beier, whose inspiration was colorful, artisanal Moroccan glass. She also created the outer, purple packaging.

The double-page advertising, featuring a head-on shot of model Dominika and Gloria bottles, was created by Air Paris. Creative direction was overseen by Tho Van Tran, still shots were taken by Nick Thornton-Jones and film direction was headed up by Warren du Preez.

The video ad includes bursts of color and sound — Patti Smith’s rendition of “Gloria” — plus takes of Dominika and the product. There are also four different five-second spots, destined for cable and TV music stations.

Gloria’s initial launch will be on April 15 through early May for parts of Europe and the Orient, among other regions. Stores in Latin America and Asia should start carrying the fragrance in September, and America is currently slated for March 2003, though Cacharel executives say it could happen sooner.

A 50-ml. eau de toilette spray will go for $36.10, a 100-ml. spray for $53.30, a 100-ml. body spray for $26.70, a 150-ml. body milk for $26.70, a 100-ml. oil and body pour for $26.70 and a 100-gram scented candle for $23.20, converted from the euro at current exchange.

On deck is a Gloria travel kit and other products, executives say.