4711 Gets Selective With New Scents

Fragrance brand 4711 is going eau naturale with a new selective line of eaux de cologne called Acqua Colonia.

The new range.

COLOGNE, Germany — Fragrance brand 4711 is going eau naturale with a new selective line of eaux de cologne called Acqua Colonia.

This story first appeared in the March 19, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The five-item, unisex Acqua Colonia range uses natural ingredients and has an aromatherapy bent, and it will be introduced as a subbrand within the 4711 assortment.

Acqua Colonia has a more high-end presentation than existing 4711 scents — and a higher price point to match. Mäurer & Wirtz, the Stolberg-based owner of 4711, is hoping to attract a younger, more diverse customer base with the initiative.

Acqua Colonia “fits into the trend toward wellness and indulgence,” said Johannes Verhoog, managing director of Mäurer & Wirtz. “Aromatherapy is hotter than ever before, and this really comes at the right time for this trend.”

The Acqua Colonia quintet comprises Lemon & Ginger, Lavender & Thyme, Vetyver & Bergamot, Royal Riesling and Melissa & Verbena. Each fragrance has a specifically colored label (for example, yellow for Lemon & Ginger, white for the wine-themed Royal Riesling).

The fragrances come in six-sided, textured Molanus glass bottles, a design that has been used by the brand since 1822. Boxes are embossed with botanical motifs in subtle colors accented with gold graphics.

The Acqua Colonia scents come in 170-ml. splash bottles with a spray mechanism included in the box. The price point is 39.50 euros, or $51.84 at current exchange. Industry sources estimate the Acqua Colonia scents could combine to exceed $15 million in retail sales volume during their first year on the market.

The 4711 brand, which is carried in 50 to 60 countries, is well-known in its home country of Germany. Since taking the brand over from Procter & Gamble in 2007, Mäurer & Wirtz has paid close attention to its image and a strategy of making the brand appeal to a younger audience.

A print ad campaign for Acqua Colonia will feature images of the product, and blocks of copy explaining the attributes of the various scents, for instance that Vetyver & Bergamot is “relaxing,” or that Lemon & Ginger is “invigorating.”

The Acqua Colonia line is launching in Germany and will be carried in all of Douglas’ 445 German perfumeries, where promotional offers and shop window displays will call attention to the new products.

Selective distribution to other German retailers will follow and reach upward of 1,500 doors. Export will likely include Italy and Spain and possibly Oman. While negotiations are still under way, Mäurer & Wirtz is also targeting U.S. department stores.