P&G Goes Pure for Boss Scent

Procter & Gamble Prestige Products intends to install a new boss in the men's fragrance market - Boss Pure, a scent the company will launch here in April.

Procter & Gamble Prestige Products intends to install a new boss in the men’s fragrance market — Boss Pure, a scent the company will launch here in April.

This story first appeared in the February 22, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“Hugo Boss is our largest [fragrance] brand worldwide, but it hasn’t reached its full potential in the U.S.,” said Don Loftus, president and chief executive officer of P&G Prestige Products in the U.S. “We have an opportunity to change that with Boss Pure, which we believe will strongly appeal to the U.S. market as well as a global audience. We will take an aggressive stance to make this fragrance a success.”

The scent, intended to evoke the purity and freshness of water, marks the first time the Boss fragrance franchise has entered the “fresh” olfactory segment, according to Nicholas Munafo, executive vice president of sales and marketing of P&G Prestige in the U.S. “That segment currently represents 45 percent of the men’s scent business,” said Munafo. Past Boss fragrances have fallen mostly into the aromatic fougère families, he noted.

Boss Pure, created by P&G fragrance scientist Will Andrews and his team, in cooperation with International Flavors & Fragrances, is a woody aquatic with top notes of fig water and Mediterranean citrus; a heart of lily and hyacinth, and a drydown of massoia wood.

“The interesting thing about water is that, while you may assume that it is tasteless, water has very distinct flavors depending on where it is bottled,” said Andrews. “You probably wouldn’t like my London water, with its chlorine taste. It has a different flavor entirely from New York City water.” Similarly, a fragrance ingredient can smell different depending on its country of origin, he explained.

He then offered samples of Badoit mineral water, filtered through granite, and Contrex, filtered through limestone, to illustrate his point. The point, Andrews said, was that the scent’s inspiration was “what consumers think pure water would smell like,” rather than the literal interpretation of it.

The Boss Pure bottle, intended to resemble what the company calls “a modern interpretation of a wall of water,” comprises two rectangular pieces — a heavy glass rectangle, with the back of the bottle sleeved in opaque, highly polished silver-toned metal. The fragrance is encased in the glass portion, with the metal side — with the Boss name — visible through the juice.

The collection includes eaux de toilette in two sizes, $49.50 for 1.7 oz. and $65 for 2.5 oz.; a 2.5-oz. aftershave spray, $47; a 5-oz. shower gel, $27, and a 2.4-oz. deodorant stick, $21.

The fragrance will be available in April, at about 1,500 U.S. department and specialty store doors, including Bloomingdale’s, Dillard’s, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Sephora and Hugo Boss, noted Munafo.

While P&G executives declined to discuss sales projections, industry sources estimated that Boss Pure could do upward of $40 million at retail in the U.S. in its first year on counter. Industry sources estimated that $10 to $12 million would be spent on advertising and promotion in the U.S. in that time frame.

National advertising is expected to break in May fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines. Loftus noted that in-store visuals will be a major focus for the promotional campaign, as will outdoor venues such as billboards. TV ads are in discussions and could come at Christmas.

“The key was to bring sensuality and beauty to an incredibly technical TV commercial,” said Thomas Burkhardt, global marketing director for Hugo Boss fragrances. “Shooting in slow motion allowed for the creation of an exceptionally fresh and sensual ad.”