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Lacoste to Launch Noir Men’s Fragrance

The scent, making its debut in May, is the fifth installment in the men’s line inspired by the sports brand’s iconic polo shirt.

PARIS — The Eau de Lacoste L.12.12 franchise is getting dressed up for evening — wearing black, of course.

Noir, making its debut in May, is the fifth installment in the men’s line inspired by the sports brand’s iconic polo shirt that was launched in early 2011 with a trio of scents. A fourth, Rouge, came out in 2012.

“[Noir] still remains in the fresh olfactive territory, but it’s a bit more intense,” said Carla Liuni, vice president of fashion brands for P&G Prestige, Lacoste’s fragrance licensee. She explained the woody aromatic juice, which was created by P&G with International Flavors & Fragrances, contrasts watermelon and dark chocolate notes. It also includes notes of Egyptian basil, lavender, verbena, cashmeran, coumarin and patchouli.

As with the other fragrances in the L.12.12 line (whose name integrates the first Lacoste polo shirt’s moniker), Noir’s bottle has a textile crocodile logo and is partially textured to evoke the polo shirt’s cotton weave.

Its single- and double-page print campaign was photographed by Kay Mücke. Bo Platt directed a video advertisement, which comes in 20-, 15- and 10-second versions and will be shown on TV, movie screens and the Internet. The spot features an origamist’s hands manipulating a white Lacoste polo shirt into a crescent moon shape and then transforming a black polo shirt into the Noir bottle.

“We continue to build on the strength of the [original L.12.12] campaign,” said Liuni. For digital, there are to be some customized local activities, such as QR code-initiated videos, as well.

Noir will be launched in May in the U.S., the U.K., the Middle East and parts of Europe. In July it’s to come out in France, Spain, Benelux, Germany and the Asia-Pacific region. Then Russia and Latin America will get the scent in August.

Globally, Noir is to be in more than 25,000 doors, like the rest of the L.12.12 line.

In Europe the 30-ml. eau de toilette spray will retail for 40 euros, or $52 at current exchange, while the 100-ml. version will go for 67 euros, or $87.15.

Although P&G executives would not discuss numbers, industry sources estimate Noir will generate $50 million in first-year retail sales.

The L.12.12 franchise has been growing by double digits since its launch and currently ranks among the top 10 men’s prestige scent lines globally, according to industry sources.