By  on August 22, 2008

Perry Ellis has embarked on a bid to reestablish itself in the U.S. prestige fragrance market.

With the launch this summer of a new signature men’s scent at selected Macy’s stores, executives at Falic Fashion Group LLC, the fragrance licensee for Perry Ellis International Inc., plan to establish a foothold in U.S. department stores and lay the groundwork for the introduction of new and existing Perry Ellis scents.

Indications are that the new scent has performed well so far, landing within the top 15 fragrances at 120 Macy’s Central stores, according to Rachel Caldes, the chain’s assistant buyer for cosmetics.

“We brought the [fragrance] in right around Father’s Day, but the official push was in mid-July,” she said, adding, “It came out of nowhere and really surprised us with what it could do.”

She noted that the chain, which has been “tying [the scent] in to the resurgence of the [Perry Ellis] clothing line,” plans to roll out the Perry Ellis scent next month to nearly all 238 Macy’s Central doors. Additionally, Macy’s stores in the Midwest have expressed interest in carrying the fragrance, according to Caldes.

Perry Ellis is the first scent developed by Falic Fashion Group since the firm acquired the fragrance license from Perry Ellis International for $63 million in January 2007. (The license was formerly held by Parlux Fragrances Inc., which had sold it back to Perry Ellis International in late 2006.)

“The first step is to go back into department stores where the [Perry Ellis] fashion is doing well,” said Jerome Falic, chief executive officer of Falic Fashion Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hollywood, Fla.-based Duty Free Americas Inc. The group also owns the Christian Lacroix fashion house and the Urban Decay and Hard Candy cosmetics brands.

Falic, who is aiming for eventual chainwide distribution of the fragrance at Macy’s, noted the scent is rolling out to Dillard’s this month. He said he believes it could reach a total of 1,500 department store doors.

While Falic declined to discuss numbers, industry sources estimate the new Perry Ellis scent could generate roughly $15 million in first-year retail sales.

An advertising and promotional campaign is thought to be worth between $5 million and $10 million and the effort includes a 30-second TV spot for the scent that plays every 15 minutes in New York’s Times Square.

Perry Ellis, a sensual, woody eau de toilette, was developed by Mane and includes top notes of green apple, an ozone accord and bergamot; a heart of orange flower, white lavender, rose, violet and cinnamon, and base notes of amber, black patchouli and warm woods. It comes in two sizes, 100-ml. for $60, and 50-ml. for $45.

The scent’s heavy, linear glass bottle was created by design firm QSLD and manufactured by Bormioli Rocco. Draped over the front of the bottle, which features a wooden cap, is a woven fabric strap that contains a decorative eyelet.

While the new signature scent is only carried in the U.S., Perry Ellis fragrances are “very geared toward” Hispanic consumers, said Falic, who noted that the brand’s strongest fragrance markets are currently Central and South America and that he’s eyeing expansion into the Middle East and Asia.

Since 1985, some 31 Perry Ellis scents have been launched for men and women, including 360-degrees for men and women, 360-degrees Red for men and women and Perry Ellis 18 for men and women. “We would like to see these back in department stores,” said Falic.

Falic added that future plans for the brand call for a new women’s scent to be launched either late this year or in early 2009 and that the firm is eyeing celebrity fragrance licensing ventures.

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