By  on June 23, 2008

Men's grooming brand Zirh is aiming to make a bigger statement in the fragrance market with the introduction in September of a new men's scent called Ikon.

The eau de toilette, a woody, spicy blend, is due to be launched at Bloomingdale's on Sept. 1, where it will be carried exclusively for a month before rolling out Oct. 1 to 1,500 doors, including Macy's and Sephora.

"It is a bigger step in terms of the legitimacy of the brand in the men's fragrance category," Brian Robinson, president of Zirh Holdings LLC, said of Ikon, the firm's third scent. "This will be the start of us doing a lot more in the men's fragrance category."

For starters, Robinson hinted at plans for a flanker to Ikon as well as a new, stand-alone scent for fall 2009. Zirh's existing fragrances include a signature scent, which was launched in 2001, and a 2005 entry called Corduroy.

In addition to picking up the fragrance launch pace, Zirh also is stepping up its investment in fragrance with what industry sources estimate to be a $10 million advertising and promotional campaign for Ikon.

Part of the effort consists of print ads that were photographed by Daniel Jackson and feature model David Gandy. The visuals are slated to appear in fall issues of magazines including Men's Health, Playboy, Men's Vogue and Best Life.

The campaign, sources added, could drive retail sales of Ikon to $20 million worldwide in the scent's first four months on the market.

"It is more national advertising than we've ever done before," said Robinson.

The name of the scent is spelled with the letter K to harmonize visually with the typography of the Zirh logo, said Robinson.

"We wanted to come up with a name that was masculine," he said, adding that Ikon was designed with a particular guy in mind. "He's a pioneer, a risk-taker — men and women admire him. Everybody dreams of being a trailblazer, but there are very few. That [few] is the premise of what Ikon means."

Howard Kreitzman, vice president of cosmetics and fragrances for Bloomingdale's, stated that "Bloomingdale's has a long-standing relationship with the Zirh brand." He added that the retailer has "strong expectations for [Ikon]."The black rectangular Ikon bottle, which was designed by Chad Lavigne and manufactured by Vitro, features a round, brushed-chrome cap.

The scent was blended by Frank Voelkl of Firmenich and mixes top notes of cardamom, davana flower, ginger and lemon with a heart of black cinnamon, clove buds, iris root and labdanum and a base of frankincense, cedarwood, liquid amber, patchouli and vetiver.

The edt will be available in 4.2-oz. and 2.5-oz. sizes for $65 and $50, respectively. A hair and body wash, 6.7 oz. for $24, and a deodorant, 2.5 oz. for $18, will accompany the launch of Ikon.

Sampling, including vials on card and a miniature 7-ml. version of the scent, will be part of the promotional effort for Ikon. There also will be testers and counter cards.

International launch plans call for the scent to reach the U.K. and Canada in September, followed by a worldwide rollout in October to about 50 countries in Europe, Scandinavia, Asia and South America.

Meanwhile, Zirh, which launched items from its eponymous skin care line on HSN earlier this month, plans to introduce separate shower gel and soap collections at Bloomingdale's and Macy's West in September.

The five-item shower gel line, which is called Zirh Warrior, features names such as Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Charlemagne, Cyrus and Ulysses — and a bust of each historical figure is featured on the packaging. Ingredients in the scented shower gels, $22.50 each for 12 oz., have been sourced from the geographic regions where each historical figure ruled.

The soaps are called Cocktail Bars and have names like Cucumber Martini, Hurricane, Screwdriver, Sake Bomb and Long Island Iced Tea. Each 5.3-oz. bar will be priced at $15 and includes ingredients found in the beverages of the same name. For instance, the Sake Bomb soap features rice bran, which is said to brighten the skin, and Screwdriver features vitamin C, an exfoliator.

"We want to be forward-thinking," Robinson said of the shower gel and soap initiatives, "and stay on the cutting edge of being cool and hip."

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