Paris Hilton is launching her fifth women’s fragrance, called Fairy Dust, and her licensee, Parlux Fragrances Inc., hopes the tabloid princess will add a pinch of magic to the business.
Executives declined to discuss figures, but industry sources indicate that the company is shooting for a wholesale volume of $20 million for the first year, reportedly backed by a promotional and advertising war chest of $6 million to $7 million. The ad budget, amounting to $3 million to $4 million alone, will be funneled mostly into fashion magazines, with scented strips. The ad was photographed by Mark Liddell.
The department store distribution — including Macy’s, Belk, Bon-Ton and Boscov’s — will approach 1,500 doors, according to Neil Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Parlux, which is based in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Katz takes a wide-gauge view of the Hilton business. To him, a fragrance launch is a process of bringing news to the Hilton customer. Whether it results in the sales of the new fragrance or stimulates sales of an earlier scent is of little consequence. The object is to energize the customer base and whet its appetite.
While Parlux would not break out figures, sources indicate that the ultimate goal is to grow the Hilton franchise from $90 million to over $100 million in sales, once cannibalization is taken into account.
When asked where Hilton’s fragrances sell, Katz said the brands are distributed in 90 countries, with a lot of sales strength in South America, Russia, the U.K. and in the duty free and travel retail markets.
And the hotel-chain heiress works the business, making about 10 to 15 public appearances a year, not to mention being a ubiquitous presence that the media apparently loves to hate but can’t seen to get enough of. “Everybody hates Paris, but she is on the front page,” Katz said. “She appears and makes people love her. People can hate her all they like, but she is a great business partner.”
The attention generated by her appearances is then capitalized on by a well-organized sales force armed with gift-with-purchase promotions.
The new fragrance, created by Mane USA, has a top note of sparkling Prosecco accord, pink peony and orange blossom, with a heart of spring gardenia, peach nectar and water lily. The drydown consists of sueded patchouli, cashmere musk and vanilla cream.
The fragrance will be available in two sizes of eau de parfum, 1.7 oz. and 3.4 oz., priced $45 and $55, respectively. There also will be a 6.7-oz. body lotion for $28.
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