Coach: Planning for the Man With New Scent

Coach is looking to beef up its men’s business by launching its first masculine scent, Coach for Men, in mid-September.

The ad will appear in the New York Post this fall.

Coach is looking to beef up its men’s business by launching its first masculine scent, Coach for Men, in mid-September.

This story first appeared in the August 28, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“This is intended to be a signature scent for the modern man,” said Walker MacWilliam, senior vice president of design for Coach, who describes the brand’s typical consumer as “now and aspirational — two parts New York and one part European.” The Coach leathergoods range for men includes shoes, briefcases, wallets, belts and outerwear.

“Our aim was to complement Coach’s men’s assortment in a bold way, and we think we have done so with this fragrance,” said MacWilliam.

That included paying close attention to how the Coach for Men bottle and scent could complement and reference the brand’s men’s assortment, noted Julie Howard, senior vice president, global marketing and brand development for BeautyBank, the division of the Estée Lauder Cos. that produces Coach’s scents. “We did eight passes on the mahogany stripe on the neck of the bottle, for instance.”

The fragrance, created by Reed Krakoff, president and executive creative director of Coach, and Karyn Khoury, senior vice president of corporate fragrance development at the Estée Lauder Cos., in cooperation with Firmenich’s Honorine Blanc, has top notes of grapefruit and Mandarin Naartjie NaturePrint, a heart of Darjeeling Tea, petitgrain leaves and juniper oil, and a drydown of oakmoss, cedarwood and patchouli. “Mandarin Naartjie NaturePrint, which captures the scent of a small citrus fruit native to South Africa, has never been used in perfumery before,” said Khoury. “Combined with Italian bergamot, it gives the scent a crisp beginning.”

The bottle, a heavy glass rectangle with a frosted stripe detail, brushed nickel cap and Coach’s horse and carriage logo and stripe, “speaks to Reed’s tastes — masculine, with materials synergies to our leathergoods business,” said MacWilliam. “For instance, the cap’s color is that of the nickel finish we use on our hardware. There are subtle details and nuances of that type throughout this project.” Outer packaging is white with a mahogany strip and the Coach logo in silver.

The fragrance will be available in one size, 3.4 oz. for $75. It will be sold exclusively in Coach stores — of which there are currently about 300 in North America — and on coach.com. National advertising is not planned, but an extensive sampling campaign — with more than 100,000 vials on card — is intended to raise awareness for the fragrance, as is an ad in the New York Post.

While none of the executives would discuss sales projections, industry sources estimated that the new scent would do upwards of $5 million at retail in its first year on counter.

Coach entered the fragrance business in the spring of 2007 with an eponymous women’s fragrance, Signature. A second women’s scent, Legacy, then bowed, and the brand’s beauty ancillaries include lip glosses, candles and body creams.