By  on August 1, 2008

PARIS — In tandem with Guerlain’s 180th birthday, the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned brand is introducing a men’s scent, Guerlain Homme, in the fall.

The idea was to “reinvent Guerlain fragrance for men,” said Laurent Boillot, president and chief executive officer of Guerlain. “Let’s create it like it was the first one — the first Guerlain Homme fragrance. That’s simply why we rapidly came up with Guerlain Homme as its name.”

At Guerlain, where an estimated 20 percent of the fragrance business is rung up by men’s scents (among which the bestsellers are Habit Rouge and L’Instant de Guerlain pour Homme), that breakdown could be closer to one-third men’s and two-thirds women’s scents in the long term.

Guerlain Homme was conceived with a younger consumer in mind.

The citrus, aromatic woody juice was created by Sylvaine Delacourte, Guerlain’s fragrance creation director, and Thierry Wasser, the house’s perfumer, around ingredients similar to those found in a mojito — namely, lime, mint and rum notes. There’s another accord of bergamot, green tea and geranium notes and a facet of cedar and vetiver notes, among others.

“We decided to go for a fresh note, having in mind that we have some very important countries in which to develop our business,” said Boillot. “There is originality, there is personality, but there is accessibility. In that sense, it is also accessible to a younger target.”

Jean-Paul Goude created Guerlain Homme’s campaign in which model Renne Castrucci drinks from a watering hole alongside a wide assortment of wild animals, many of which would never in the real world be seen peacefully side by side.

“In every man there is an animal,” said Boillot. “Jean-Paul Goude used the universal codes of Noah’s Arc.”
In keeping with that wild-at-heart idea, Guerlain Homme’s ad tag line reads: “For the animal in you.”

The campaign will come in single and double pages, among other print formats, plus 30- and 20-second TV and movie theater spots. 

Paolo Pininfarina was chosen to design the Guerlain Homme bottle (his first fragrance flacon) because “he is one of the most elegant car designers,” said Boillot. “The association of glass and metal makes this bottle something classical. Even the metal piece can subtly reference a car.”

Guerlain executives would not divulge sales estimates for the fragrance that will first be launched in Guerlain boutiques on Aug. 22, followed by a worldwide introduction Sept. 1. In the U.S., it will be launched in September at Saks Fifth Avenue, rolling out to Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstrom and Sephora in October, for a total of 400 U.S. doors.

Industry sources say Guerlain Homme will ring up $63 million in first-year retail sales.

The Guerlain lineup includes a 30-ml. eau de toilette spray for 43 euros, or $67.15; a 50-ml. eau de toilette spray for 60 euros, or $93.70, and an 80-ml. eau de toilette spray for 73 euros, or $114. Ancillaries include a 75-ml. stick deodorant for 24 euros, or $37.50; a 150-ml. spray deodorant for 26.50 euros, or $41.40; a 150-ml. shower gel for 27 euros, or $42.15, and a 100-ml. aftershave gel for 38.50 euros, or $60.10. Prices are for Europe.

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