By  on March 29, 2012

Nautica is sailing back into the men’s fragrance market with a new pillar called Aqua Rush, due in May.

“We wanted to capture the exhilaration of being on the water and feeling the waves with this scent,” said Steve Mormoris, senior vice president of global marketing for Coty Beauty. In contrast to past Nautica scents, he added, Aqua Rush is “an experiential fragrance.”

“Many of the previous Nautica scents have been classic, with discernible individual notes,” he continued. “Here, we’ve used sea breeze accord and teakwood to evoke the overall feeling of breaking waves and seawater.”

Maria Vicari, president of global licensing for Nautica, noted that the category as a whole “fits very clearly in our portfolio.” Mormoris added that the Nautica scent franchise consistently ranks in the top 20 in the U.S.

“Fragrance is the halo of any lifestyle brand and it is an important category for us globally,” said Vicari. “We feel that Aqua Rush will not only appeal to existing customers but also to a younger demographic.”

The “refreshing, sensual” scent’s key target is men 20 to 45 years old, noted Teri Siegel, vice president of global marketing, lifestyle fragrances, for Coty Beauty. Its bottle is intended to be a modern interpretation of the sail, she said, with the profile “leaning forward, as if propelled by the wind.”

The Aqua Rush scent, concocted by Firmenich’s Harry Fremont, has top notes of sea breeze accord, yuzu splash and coriander; a heart of water mint, clary sage absolute and violet leaves, and a drydown of amberwood, water musks and teakwood.

Eaux de toilette in two sizes, 50 ml. for $49 and 100 ml. for $65, will be offered. A deodorant body spray, $10, will also be available.

Print advertising, shot by Anders Overgaard and featuring Marc Oliver, will begin running in June men’s and lifestyle books. A TV spot, also featuring Oliver and shot by Overgaard, will bow this fall, most likely for the holidays, said Siegel. The launch marks the first time Coty has done TV advertising for Nautica since the company acquired the license from Unilever in 2005.

Coty’s first Nautica scent, Voyage, launched in 2006 and is still sold. “For Voyage, our man is on a yacht,” said Siegel. “With Rush, we’re taking him off the launch and putting him on a Windsurfer.” The Rush bottle is superimposed over the shot, as if Oliver is windsurfing inside the bottle.

The scent will be sold in about 1,600 department and specialty store doors in the U.S., including Macy’s. It will also be sold in Canada at the Bay, and in Mexico. Vicari added that as a mature brand, Nautica continues to add new regions and territories globally in an effort to expand its reach.

While executives declined comment on projected sales or advertising spending, industry sources estimated that Nautica Aqua Rush could do upward of $20 million at retail in its first year on counter, with an advertising and promotional war chest of about $5 million.

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