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After 35 years, the Aramis fragrance collection is getting a makeover this fall.
This story first appeared in the July 17, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The brand, which is owned by the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., is being repackaged and, in September, its collection of eight men’s scents that were introduced between 1974 and 2006 will be relaunched. The new look line has been dubbed the Gentleman’s Collection by Aramis.
The original Aramis scent, called Aramis Classic, which was launched in 1964, will remain unchanged.
The initiative is designed to appeal to Aramis’ current customer base, but is also an attempt to recruit younger customers to the brand.
“The Gentleman’s Collection by Aramis embraces coveted classics,” stated Leonard A. Lauder, chairman emeritus of the Estée Lauder Cos. “I love the concept of discovering something old that is new again. The Gentleman’s Collection is like a wardrobe of fragrances, each one for a different day, a different mood. The collection has new appeal to our loyal customers and is an opportunity for new customers to discover.”
The idea of using the same bottle design for each scent is to unify the look of the collection and make the line more cohesive, according to executives. Labels, however, will remain different for each fragrance.
“We think it will give Aramis a renewed image,” Diana Espino, vice president and general manager for the Aramis, Sean John, Lab Series Skincare for Men and Kiton brands, said of the strategy. “It will bring the look of the brand together.”
“Classics resonate and collections resonate,” said Carol Russo, senior vice president and general manager of sales and marketing in North America for Lauder’s Aramis and Designer Fragrances division. She cited the expanding practice of brands launching multiple scents or collections rather than one fragrance at a time.
Six of the scents — Aramis 900 (1974), Devin (1977), JHL (1981), Tuscany Per Uomo (1984), New West for Him (1988) and Havana (1994) — will be relaunched in the U.S. All eight, including Aramis Life (2003) and Aramis Always for Him (2006), will be relaunched internationally. The six that are slated for the U.S. market are “long-standing favorites,” according to Russo.
Aramis Classic continues to rank in the top 20 in the U.S., said Espino, and number 17 globally. She contended that with the new look, the repackaged scents will be “more impactful at point of sale.”
“As inventories get tight [in stores],” added Russo, “this is a way of platforming the collection.” She noted that distribution of the Gentleman’s Collection will be kept limited — about 300 doors in the U.S. are to carry the scent.
Bergdorf Goodman is to unveil the collection beginning in September, and in October, selected Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, Dillard’s and Macy’s stores are slated to get the line.
Each scent in the Gentleman’s Collection is an eau de toilette that will come in a 3.4-oz. bottle and be priced at $48.
While executives would not comment on sales projections, industry sources estimate the collection could generate $25 million in first-year retail sales worldwide, with about half of that coming from the U.S. market.
“This is a way to go back,” Russo remarked, “and give Aramis a new beginning.”