By and  on January 5, 2010

BERLIN — Wolfgang Joop and Coty Prestige have taken a literally freethinking approach to the designer’s second signature men’s scent, Freigeist.

With its German name (which translates as “freethinker” in English), the scent’s atypically masculine heart of wild jasmine; the ad campaign’s group shot starring men and women of all ages, shapes and sizes, and the abstract painting by Joop used on the box, Freigeist doesn’t shy from breaking conventions.

“Wolfgang [Joop] constantly breaks with given standards where he thinks they have to be broken in order to find new ways and inspiration. And he takes us with him,” said Stefanie Fitzgerald, vice president of marketing for Coty Prestige. She was also the person who came up with the name. “At first, he found it a bit overwhelming to be called a freigeist. It’s quite something to put on a person,” she added, while Joop himself said, “I thought, “My goodness, what a heavy word for a light scent.’”

Due out in Coty Prestige’s selective distribution network in Germany, Switzerland and Austria in February, Freigeist is expected to match the sales volume of the first signature Wolfgang Joop men’s fragrance, which observers placed at between 20 million to 30 million euros, or approximately $30 million to $45 million at current exchange rates. Unlike its predecessor, however, which bowed in fall 2008, Freigeist “is talking to a different group of people olfactorily. This is fresher, floral, fougère, while the other was oriental, so it’s a completely different taste group,” Fitzgerald pointed out.

Sophie Labbé and Alienor Massenet of International Flavors & Fragrances composed the unorthodox male blend, which features a top note of gin, a wild jasmine heart and wild leather and mahogany base notes. The bottle, which was designed by Lutz Herrmann, is a petrol blue color.

The five-unit Freigeist range is comprised of 50- and 90-ml. eaux de toilette priced at 50 and 70 euros, or $75 and $105 at current exchange rates; a 90-ml. aftershave splash for 50 euros, or $75, and a 200-ml. hair and body wash and a 75-ml. deodorant stick, both priced at 22 euros, or $33.

Dieter Eikelpoth, a longtime friend of the designer, shot the ad visual, which captures Joop surrounded by friends, associates and muses — male and female.

The Freigeist launch will be supported by print advertising, TV spots, scented ads and, in some stores, Joop’s painted version of the main advertising motif will be placed on an easel.

While Freigeist’s main target is the German speaking European market, it’s not a German exclusive. “As a word, freigeist is like zeitgeist or wanderlust,” noted Fitzgerald.

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