By  on July 17, 2009

NEW YORK — Coty Inc., Elizabeth Arden Inc., Parlux Fragrances Inc., The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. and Unilever are frequently associated with celebrity scents. But another fragrance marketer, Romane Fragrances, recently earned its star status when Apple Bottoms selected the firm for its foray into fragrance with Apple Bottoms by Nelly.

As reported in April by WWD, the scent ships in September to Macy’s Inc. and The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. with Nelly, the multiplatinum recording artist, scheduled to make appearances to build awareness of the fragrance, his apparel and a new album. Apple Bottoms by Nelly was inspired by Nelly’s apparel line, known for catering to trendsetting women of all shapes and sizes. “This fragrance is designed to be the perfect complement to the lifestyle of the Apple Bottoms woman,” said Nelly in a statement.

A 3.4-oz. eau de parfum will retail for $58, a 1.7-oz. for $48 and a body lotion and body wash for $22 and $20, respectively. Gifts with purchase and holiday gift sets will also be available. The fragrance is one of a handful of stars set to launch for the upcoming holiday.

The package features gold chain images and a python print. The bottle exhibits feminine curves and a gold apple medallion. “We really wanted to tie in with the brand’s look in apparel,” said MarieAnna Ferdinand, vice president of product development at Romane. She said the fragrance is intended to evoke the same “fabulous” feeling a woman gets about herself in Apple Bottoms jeans.

Romane earned the nod to get the Apple Bottoms license thanks to its experience in the specialty and independent segment of the retail business, as well as with hip, teen retailers. The company’s roots in the specialty arena date back to 1969 when founder Bernie Dworin saw a need for proprietary scents for men’s stores.

In recent years, that expertise has translated into marketing fragrances to teens via myriad merchants catering to that demographic. Romane continues to market its own managed brands, private label and licensed scents to retailers including Charlotte Russe, The Buckle and Rue 21. Other licenses include St. John Knits and Anchorman’s Sex Panther. The company sells more than 40 of its own brands through independent retailers, westernwear stores and online. The company is now run by Monte Henige, who sharpened his business acumen in the finance world.

“We chose Romane for their [the executives’] experience, their innovative marketing and most importantly, their understanding that the fragrance itself has to be fantastic,” said an executive at Apple Bottoms.

Ferdinand said, “Our companies are definitely like-minded,”

The Apple Bottoms fragrance is a mixture of citrus, pink peony, rose and coconut as well as sandalwood, amber, musk and a subtle hint of apple. Like many celebrities, Nelly had input on the final concoction.

Romane believes it will attract not only Nelly and Apple Bottoms fans, but also consumers who are just intrigued by the fragrance and packaging. “This isn’t really only a celebrity fragrance; it is a brand of its own,” said Ferdinand.

Apple Bottoms by Nelly represents what Romane hopes will be even further developments in celebrity scents. The executive added, “We are always looking for new opportunities.”

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