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Florabotanica: A Dangerous New Flower for Balenciaga

The new fragrance, aiming for the 18-and-up market, is intended to double the brand’s scent business.

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NEW YORK — “We see this as a game-changer for the brand,” said Catherine Walsh, senior vice president of American Fragrances for Coty Prestige, speaking of Florabotanica.

This story first appeared in the June 29, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

She noted the current Balenciaga scent business was designed to appeal to 25- to 35-year-olds but is finding its sweet spot with the classic-loving, 35-plus market.

“Florabotanica targets a younger consumer — 18-year-olds and up,” continued Walsh. “They may not know Cristóbal Balenciaga, but they certainly know Nicolas Ghesquière. In the U.S., this is very much a fashion brand.”

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She called the flower in the fragrance’s ad visual “not just a pretty flower, but a pretty dangerous flower. Nicolas’ vision is to twist and turn the heritage and make it something of today.”

Countrywide, the Florabotanica line will include 30-, 50- and 100-ml. eau de parfum sprays that are to retail for $65, $95 and $125, respectively. Ancillaries are to include a body lotion and shower gel.

Florabotanica will be carried in about 300 U.S. specialty store doors. After a one-month exclusive in September with Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, the scent is to be rolled out in October to Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s.

In September, the fragrance will be introduced abroad in the U.K., Canada and France. The rollout will then include Italy, Russia and Spain in October, followed by Australia, Germany and the Benelux countries in November. Worldwide, Florabotanica will be carried in about 5,000 doors.

Walsh noted the new fragrance is intended to double Balenciaga’s scent business. She declined to talk numbers, but industry sources estimate Florabotanica will generate $40 million in retail sales globally, of which about 30 percent is expected from the U.S.

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