Prepare for an Alien invasion.
This story first appeared in the February 21, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
In an effort to continue growing its Alien fragrance pillar in the U.S., Thierry Mugler will launch Alien Eau Extraordinaire in its full U.S. distribution in April, after a one-month exclusive at Saks Fifth Avenue.
“We believe that Alien will be a top-20 pillar in the U.S. by yearend,” said Lionel Uzan, senior vice president of sales and marketing for the Clarins Fragrance Group. “Globally, Alien is now as big as Angel on a volume basis. In the U.S., we’ve been seeing double-digit growth with Alien, and saw growth of 24 percent without added doors last year, but it’s still in Angel’s shadow a bit. We believe this new offering, along with new communications efforts, will fuel Alien’s growth in the U.S. Our goal over the next three years is to have the Alien franchise as big in the U.S. as it is elsewhere.” The original Alien bowed in 2005.
Concocted by Dominique Ropion and Véronique Nyberg of International Flavors & Fragrances, the scent opens with Tunisian neroli and Italian bergamot tea, leading into a heart of tiare flower and cashmeran. The drydown contains white amber and heliotrope. White amber is the signature of the original Alien scent.
Eaux de parfum will be retailed in two sizes — 2 oz. for $69 and 3 oz. for $89.
“Like the other Alien bottles, Alien Eau Extraordinaire’s bottle was inspired by gemstones and precious crystals,” said Uzan. “This new design pays tribute to the marquise style, a way of cutting stones in 56 facets.”
In the U.S., the scent will be sold in about 900 department and specialty store doors, as well as on muglerstoreusa.com.
The brand is also doing a revamp of its Alien advertising globally, with a TV and print campaign that begins in March. “We’re trying to take the consumer out of the ordinary and to forge an emotional link,” said Uzan, noting that the company is doubling its media investment this year. Print ads in selected books will also include an exclusive collapsible spray sample.
Shot by Floria Sigismondi, the visual is of a solar goddess in a Tuscan estate — wearing a white gown woven with LED lights and optical fibers, which make it glow from the inside. “To continue the story of Alien, we imagined the follow-up to the previous visual: It is the awakening of the Goddess to solar light, like a renaissance through the sun, source of life on earth,” said Christophe de Lataillade, creative director of Thierry Mugler Perfumes. “She receives this light and, in turn, diffuses it. This is the image of the goddess-statue who becomes a woman; her heart begins to beat in symbiosis with the light. She is more accessible, more feminine.”
The brand also plans an intensive social media and digital campaign, beginning in April, including a sophisticated interactive game.
While Uzan refused to discuss sales targets, industry sources estimated that Alien Eau Extraordinaire would garner retail sales of about $25 million globally in its first nine months on counter.