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Guess Steps Up Game With Latest Scent

With the launch of the newest women's fragrance, Guess by Marciano ? the third women's scent in the Guess portfolio ? the company is limiting...

With the launch of the newest women’s fragrance, Guess by Marciano — the third women’s scent in the Guess portfolio — the company is limiting its distribution and raising the price point in an attempt to make the brand appear more upmarket and exclusive.

“We’re establishing a new distribution network, creating an upmarket brand more so than the present [Guess] brands have in the fragrance category,” said Neil Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Parlux Fragrances Inc. “This is an effort to raise the prestige and keep the integrity of being a fashion brand.

Guess by Marciano will be launched in conjunction with Parlux Fragrances, which has been the licensee partner for more than three years. Some of Parlux Fragrances’ other licensing partnerships include Paris Hilton, Jessica Simpson and Nicole Miller, with the latter two scheduled to launch fragrances this fall.

Launching officially next month in 2,000 high-end department stores and freestanding Guess stores, Guess by Marciano is a complex oriental blend of spicy and fruity notes. Created by Barbara Zoebelein from Drom Fragrances, the women’s fragrance is composed of top notes including star fruit, grapefruit, curacao orange and cardamom; middle notes of peony, pink honeysuckle and jasmine, and bottom notes of raw wood, vanilla and dulce de leche enhanced with musk.

“The formula is more complex to reflect the new attitude of Guess,” said Katz, adding that the packaging is also more upmarket. “We’re trying to keep up the pace with the Guess consumers and their expectations.”

Industry sources estimate the scent will bring in about $30 million in the U.S. in first-year retail sales, with a total of $55 million generated globally. Advertising and promotional support will be about $8 million.

According to Kathleen Galvin, Parlux Fragrances’ vice president of marketing, the fragrance plays off the idea of a fishnet motif and a more “edgy” woman.

Available in 90 markets, Guess by Marciano will retail for $49 for a 1.7-oz. bottle and $65 for a 3.4-oz. bottle. Ancillaries, including a body butter and body lotion, also will be available. The fragrance will be followed with a signature Guess men’s scent. It is scheduled to launch this fall.

The launch of the women’s Guess by Marciano coincides with the fashion initiative to create a new store concept, said Galvin.

“Guess is moving forward with the brand in a new direction — a bit more upscale,” said Galvin. “The stores are being redesigned, moving away from the white, blond wood and chrome to a richer look with darker interiors in black, gray and red. This is all integral to creating a more consistent image for the brand worldwide.”

Guess by Marciano will be supported by a print ad campaign that will start breaking in about half-a-dozen April books. Sampling and in-store events will also be part of the promotions.