Berlin — Escada’s new summer scent is ripe for the picking.The latest fashion fragrance from Proctor & Gamble’s global prestige division, Cherry in the Air, is a fruity gourmand with notes of black cherry, marshmallow and sandalwood the company hopes will represent a sweet treat for both customers and retailers. It’s the 21st edition of the successful limited-edition series that kicked off with 1993’s Chiffon Sorbet. “What we’ve seen with this proposition is that it attracts a younger consumer,” says P&G Prestige global vice president Luigi Feola. “Often these younger consumers are new users of prestige fragrances, so it’s a good point of entry into the prestige fragrance world, which drives category sales growth for our retailers.” Cherry in the Air launches first in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, hitting counters today. In February, Cherry in the Air will also be present in Russia and Latin America and in travel retail in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The rollout continues through March and April, with a concentrated digital and in-store promotion in the spring, ending up with around 10,000 doors globally, including the U.S. with selective distribution in stores such as Macy’s.The scent’s girly packaging and key visual feature a kicky drawing by fashion illustrator Margot Mace, whose work has been featured in publications such as Vogue Japan and Madame Figaro. It shows an ecstatic young woman bedecked with flowers, cycling through a cherry orchard. The fragrance’s red-to-pink ombré bottle is printed with cheekily cascading fruit, and adorned with a wearable elastic ribbon ring — a red bow with a cherry (button) on top. These elements are all designed to present an enticing optimism and playful, happy mood not always present in the crisis-ridden current day. “We’re Proctor & Gamble, so we test a lot with consumers before we actually launch,” laughed Feola. “We’re very confident about the impact that this can have.” Suggested pricing for the eau de toilette is as follows: 30 ml. for 39 euros, or $52.74; 50 ml. for 55 euros, or $74.37, and 100 ml. for 69 euros, or $89.25. A 150-ml. body lotion is priced at 23 euros, or $31.10. All dollar figures are calculated at current exchange. Escada’s past summer fragrances had lost a bit of their glow over the years, but sales heated back up with 2011’s Taj Sunset, which turned in double-digit growth over the previous release. Summer 2012 saw a “greatest hits edition,” with 2002’s Sexy Graffiti, 2004’s Island Kiss and 2005’s Rockin’ Rio back on counter, also turning in double-digit growth, according to Feola, who expects as strong or better performance from Cherry in the Air. And the summer release is blooming a little earlier this time around. “Given the success of the previous editions, our market and the retailers have asked us to have it for a bit longer, so we have extended the time of the exploitation,” Feola said, noting that Cherry in the Air will be sold until early summer. While P&G preferred not to give specifics, industry sources estimate the new fragrance could generate some $60 million to $70 million at retail in the first year. Overall, Escada fragrances perform best in Western Europe, Russia and the Middle East, with the fashion fragrances also doing well in the U.S.This year also marks 10 years for Escada fragrances at P&G. “We’ve more than doubled the business since then,” points out Feola. “And we have plans to continue growing it. It’s a core brand in our portfolio, and we’re investing in it, and we are frankly very happy with the results we’ve received so far. ”In 2011, Escada sales increased by 50 percent, driven by that year’s Especially Escada release, and the popularity of the limited-edition Taj Sunset — which resulted in a mutual halo effect. Additionally, the refreshing of the fashion house after its purchase by Megha Mittal in 2009 has also contributed to overall brand awareness for Escada scents, said Feola.
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