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."Although she declined to provide sales figures for Issey's women's scent, Roos released store rankings for the fragrance to demonstrate how well it's doing.

"We are 40th overall in France, but 10th in our sales points. And we hope to gain a place this week," said Roos. She noted that Chanel perfumes are retailed in 1,700 French doors, Yves Saint Laurent in 2,000 and Lancome in 2,600, while L'Eau d'Issey is available in just 450.

In Germany, she claimed, L'Eau d'Issey was 33rd overall but fourth in its doors; in Italy, 24th generally but 10th in the doors that carry it, and in Britain 40th in the market but 14th in its doors.

The women's scent will also bow this fall in Boots, the giant British drugstore chain that is expected to significantly boost Miyake sales in that country.

In the U.S., distribution was expanded in April beyond Saks to 27 doors of Neiman Marcus. John Stabeneau, vice president and divisional merchandise manager at Neiman's, said L'Eau d'Issey has exceeded expectations, landing in the top five.

L'Eau d'Issey will roll out to more "fine department store" doors in the U.S. by the end of the year, Roos said.

BPI fragrances are distributed in the U.S. by Mode et Parfums Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Campbell & Thistelton (USA) Ltd. Joshua Smirin is president of both Mode et Parfums and Parfums Boucheron, also a wholly owned subsidiary of Campbell & Thistelton.

Jacques Cavallier, a "nose" at Firmenich, created the Miyake men's scent.

The top note is of Japanese citron tree, complemented by fresh verbena, mandarin and cypress, plus coriander and sage. At the heart of the scent are blue water lily, nutmeg, cinnamon and saffron, with a hint of geranium. The bottom notes are made up of amber, sensual musk, sandalwood, vetiver and cypriol, an Asian tree.

The scent comes in 75-ml. and 125-ml. eau de toilette sprays and a 125-ml. splash, priced at $40 (220 francs), $60 (320 francs) and $55 (295 francs), respectively.

As with the women's scent, the men's comes with a transparent soap in a clear box. The deluxe version of the soap retails at $28 (150 francs). The line also includes an after shave lotion and an after shave emulsion, each priced at $38 (205 francs) for a 100-ml. bottle.One innovation is the stick deodorant, which is transparent and opened with a plastic screw. It costs $18 (95 francs).

The stick does not contain alcohol, which is unusual in Europe.

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