NEW YORK — It’s going to be a very fragrant holiday season for Victoria’s Secret.
This story first appeared in the May 31, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The company is gearing up for two major fragrance launches this fall — Very Sexy for Her, a follow-up to Very Sexy for Him, last year’s entry into the men’s fragrance category, and Secrets, a collection of five scents based on different emotions.
“Our objective hasn’t changed,” said Robin Burns, president and chief executive officer of The Limited’s Intimate Beauty Corp. and its Aura Science and Victoria’s Secret Beauty divisions. “We want to be the market-share leader in all fragrances, the leader across a broad audience.”
The company is currently reporting double-digit growth in their total fragrance business, and according to Burns, the best way to continue this trend involves filling their fragrance portfolio with a broad spectrum of products with different attitudes. The Victoria’s Secret fragrance stable already includes the Dream Angels scents, Pink, Very Sexy for Him, the recently launched Body by Victoria scent and Garden, a scented toiletries collection. “All of our scents are sexy, sophisticated and ultrafeminine, but there is room for a lot of interpretation,” she explained. “You have to have enough product to appeal to everyone.”
To that end, Very Sexy for Her and Secrets represent a rounding out of Victoria’s Secret’s fragrance lineup, offering both new concepts and yet another set of price ranges.
“These are two very important launches,” said Sherry Baker, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Victoria’s Secret Beauty. “It’s furthering our goal to be the primary fragrance resource for consumers.”
Very Sexy for Her — which debut in October through Victoria’s Secret’s 1,001 points of sale, including 495 freestanding Beauty stores and in-store beauty boutiques and 506 niche stores, in addition to the catalog and Web site VictoriasSecret.com — blatantly plays upon the lingerie chain’s sexy image with a provocative scent, bottle and imagery. “It has a sensuality that merges with the skin,” said Maria Corbiscello, senior vice president and chief product development officer.
Firmenich, who also created the juice for Very Sexy for Him, gave Very Sexy for Her top notes of clementine, pimento and capucine; middle notes of camellia, sambac, mimosa and hydrangea flowers, and base notes of vanilla orchid, pearl musk and white amber.
The bottle, designed by Lloyd & Co., was designed to be equally seductive with blood-red glass accented with an asymmetrical silver cap. “The cap is meant to be reminiscent of an off-the-shoulder dress,” said Marcia Mossack, executive vice president and chief creative officer of Intimate Beauty. “And once you open the box, you see the bottles are dressed in a fishnet stocking.”
The five-item line contains a 0.5-oz. purse spray priced at $25, a 1-oz. eau de parfum spray for $35, a 2.5-oz. eau de parfum spray for $45, a body lotion for $20 and a body wash for $15.
According to Baker, the company will fill its 12,000 running feet of display windows with Very Sexy for Her visuals, which were shot by Russell James and feature a very long-legged Gisele Bundchen wearing black lace panties. “The focus is on the legs,” noted Burns. “Legs will always be sexy.”
The new scent will be supported by a full marketing campaign that includes scent strips in the Victoria’s Secret catalog, one million vial-on-card samples and mailings to Victoria’s Secret Beauty and lingerie customers. “We want to penetrate the lingerie market by 30 percent,” said Burns. In addition, 20 million scented impressions will be distributed — four times the amount used for the launch of Very Sexy for Him.
Executives are pleased with Very Sexy for Him sales, which are expected to level off at $45 million its first retail year and are equally confident about Very Sexy for Her, aiming the scent to break into the top 10. Industry sources expect the line to hit first-year retail sales of $50 million.
The other new fall launch, Secrets, is set to debut in September exclusively in Victoria’s Secret Beauty stores. The five fragrances, identified by double-digit numbers such as 33 and 88, were created by International Flavors & Fragrances, Dragoco and Firmenich. The collection will include a 1.7-oz. bottle of cologne tentatively priced at $22, a 3.4-oz. bottle of cologne for $32, body lotion for $13 and body wash for $11.
In keeping with the collection’s name, particular notes of each fragrance are being kept hush-hush.
According to Mossack, the packaging, which was designed in-house, plays off the company’s lingerie with a different lace pattern for each scent featured inside the box. “The launch of the five scents will be the equivalent of one big launch,” said Baker. “It’s highly interactive and our set-up will allow her to feel free to play with the scents.” Two weeks before the Secrets launch, the company will offer a pre-sell in the form of a purse spray kit for $10.
In addition to the fragrances, the company is also set to launch its fall color lines. Diamonds and Pearls, a special-effects lip color collection, will hit stores in September and contains Glamour Defined Swivel-Up Lip Liner, Smooth Talk oversprayed lipsticks and two gloss compacts in Diamond Dust and Pearl Dust. Eye Drama, the company’s eye collection, will bow in October and contains Suede Duo Versatile Wet/Dry Eye Color, Pretty Primer Eye Shadow Base, Glamour Defined Swivel-Up Eye Liner, Dramatic Eye Effects Transforming Wand, Lip Drama High-Shine Lip Color Kit and a small collection of accessories. Prices range from $8 for a mirrored compact with case to $25 for the Lip Drama High-Shine Lip Color Kit. Makeup currently accounts for about 30 percent in total sales for Victoria’s Secret Beauty.”