By  on June 20, 2008

Prada plans to show off its new man in Milan next week.That's when the house will launch its latest men's scent, Infusion d'Homme, at its men's ready-to-wear show on Sunday. "This scent is an important next step in our quest to build our fragrance business," said Jose Manuel Albesa, general manager of Fragrance and Skincare SL. The business unit is a 50-50 joint venture of Prada and Puig. "We've been growing at a solid pace over the last five years and are happy in the doors where we are, and we will continue to grow. Our strategy with this scent is to be in the top five in every single door we will be in."While Albesa declined to give a sales target in dollars, industry sources noted that a top-five men's ranking in the U.S. would mean doing sales of at least $25 million at retail in 12 months."Infusion d'Homme was inspired by Infusion d'Iris, Prada's 2007 women's scent, and was constructed similarly," said Didier Maine de Biran, general manager of Puig North America. That fragrance was launched last fall in more than 40 countries. "Like Infusion d'Iris, it works closely with the body to create a subtle yet distinctive scent, which is inspired by the finest artisan traditions of classic perfumery." As well, he added, "It has a very fresh, crisp smell — like a man just out of the shower."The juice, concocted by Daniela Andrier of Givaudan, mixes Tunisian neroli, iris pallida, vetiver, cedarwood, incense and benzoin. "Daniela has been working with us for years and has got the balance between innovation and signature — a very Prada way of doing fragrances," said Albesa. The collection will include eaux de toilette in five sizes — 1.7 oz. for $54, 3.4 oz. for $74, 6.75 oz. for $100, 13.5 oz. for $160 and 25.5 oz. for $275 — as well as a 3.4-oz. aftershave balm, $49.50; aftershave lotion, $49.50 for 3.4 oz.; bath and shower gel, $35 for 8.5 oz., and soaps, packaged two for $38. The larger eaux de toilette sizes come with portable 1-oz. flasks and funnels for consumers to use for portability. All prices are for the U.S. only.Like its sister scent, Infusion d'Homme is bottled in a weighty glass flacon intended to be a modern interpretation of a vintage fragrance decanter. The glass is adorned with a metal version of the Prada crest, created in 1919 by Miuccia Prada's grandfather. Outer boxes are of pale gray heavy paper with an off-center logo intended to offer a modern effect.The fragrance will launch first in the U.S. and Europe, and then move quickly to Russia, Asia and the Middle East in the fall. Next year, it will be released in Latin America and elsewhere, said Albesa. "The U.S., the U.K. and Italy are our immediate priorities," he said. "We have great strength in these markets and this will reinforce our position in these markets. Our second priority is to continue to build business in Spain and France — we have seen a nice growth there over the last five years."In the U.S., Infusion d'Homme will be available in less than 100 specialty store doors, including Neiman Marcus, Prada stores and Saks Fifth Avenue's Manhattan flagship, in September. In October, U.S. distribution will expand to include Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's and Barneys New York, for a total of about 850 specialty store doors in the U.S. "Infusion d'Iris had incredible momentum and we are looking forward to expanding that strength with Infusion d'Homme," said Maine de Biran. The prestige division of Coty Inc. distributes the fragrances marketed by the Puig Beauty & Fashion Group, including Prada, in the U.S. prestige market.The national ad image, shot by Steven Meisel, features an extreme close-up of model Rogier Bosschaart. In the U.S., it will begin running in September fashion and lifestyle magazines, said Camila Tomas, marketing director of fragrance and skin care for Prada. "It will be heavily supported with print advertising and sampling."

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