By  on July 1, 1994

PARIS -- Issey Miyake has unveiled his first men's scent, and its concept closely mirrors his successful women's fragrance, L'Eau d'Issey -- right down to the name.

It is called L'Eau d'Issey Pour Homme, and the clean, spare look of the packaging recalls the women's fragrance Miyake introduced in 1992.

L'Eau d'Issey Pour Homme will be launched in France, Italy, Belgium and Switzerland in September, and will make its debut in Britain in October with an exclusive at Harrods. It will not bow in the rest of Europe until next spring.

Miyake's scents are created and marketed by Beaute Prestige International, a French subsidiary of the Toyko-based Shiseido. BPI also licenses Jean Paul Gaultier's fragrance business.

In the U.S., BPI is likely to launch the men's scent next year, since the company already has committed to the introduction there this fall of the Jean Paul Gaultier women's signature fragrance, with an exclusive at Saks Fifth Avenue.

The Miyake women's scent was launched exclusively in 45 Saks stores last fall, 17 months after its European debut, and BPI might follow this sort of rollout with the men's scent, according to sources familiar with the company.

The women's fragrance won two Fragrance Foundation FiFi awards this year -- best women's launch in exclusive distribution and best women's packaging.

BPI is using Irving Penn, who shot the print ads for the women's scent, to photograph the campaign for L'Eau d'Issey Pour Homme. As with the women's, BPI isn't planning any TV advertising for Homme.

At a recent press presentation here, BPI president Chantal Roos declined to make sales projections for the men's scent. But Mitsuo Miyajima, BPI's director general, said if the men's scent did half the volume of the women's fragrance, "that would be very good."

Sources indicated L'Eau d'Issey did $18 million in wholesale volume in 1993 in Europe.

"Our strategy," Roos said,"was always to launch the scent in a limited number of sales points, to make it known and guarantee the right treatment -- [to rank] in the top 10 of each sales point. Well, we've managed that."

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