MONTEIL RETURNING TO THE LAUNCH GAME

Byline: S. L.

NEW YORK--With five years of repositioning completed, Lancaster is out to make its Monteil Paris brand a player in the fragrance industry.
While the firm has a long fragrance heritage under its former name, Germaine Monteil, it hasn't launched a new scent since Galore 30 years ago. Still, Lancaster, which took over the brand from Revlon in 1990, will launch L'Eau de Monteil in October with the intention of rivaling the hefty sales of the firm's other efforts, such as Joop and Cool Water.
"Monteil has a great history with fragrance, which a lot of people don't know about," said Lancaster marketing director Bradley Friedrich. "The brand has a small group of core customers.
"We think [L'Eau de Monteil] is going to dramatically broaden our consumer base," he added. "It's going to draw new people to the counter and get us some younger customers."
The fragrance will hit the shelves in October in Monteil's department store distribution, which has been cut to 900 doors from its peak of more than 1,800 as part of the strategy to revitalize the brand.
As reported, in Monteil's strongest European markets--Germany, Austria and the Netherlands--the scent is being introduced this month.
A "teaser" advertising campaign with scented strips will appear in the U.S. in a small number of September magazines, while a full-fledged campaign will run in October, November and December issues of "the major fashion and shelter books," according to Friedrich.
As it has been in the midst of an overhaul--the last five years have been dedicated to winnowing out nonperforming lines, reviewing distribution and introducing a small number of products--Monteil has not nationally advertised any of its products in nearly two years.
In stores, vials and scented seals on cards will be distributed to shoppers. The new fragrance also will be cross-sampled with Activance, a moisturizer being launched globally at the same time. Together, the two products represent the new face of Monteil, according to the firm.
Activance samples will be placed inside L'Eau de Monteil packaging at the time of the scent's introduction, and Monteil's skin care gift sets this fall will carry fragrance samples.
L'Eau de Monteil is expected by the company to rival the initial sales volume of Joop's Nightflight, Lancaster's latest major fragrance endeavor.
According to industry estimates, the target for Nightflight is to reach $30 million to $35 million at retail from the time of its mid-April launch through December.
Friedrich also noted that L'Eau de Monteil will be backed with an advertising and promotion budget similar to that of Nightflight. Sources estimate that Lancaster is spending $8 million to $10 million on Nightflight this year.
L'Eau de Monteil will be launched with five items, with fragrance prices ranging from $38 for a 1.7-oz. eau de parfum to $68 for a 0.5-oz. perfume. Also sold will be a shower gel and body lotion.
"[The prices] are a little lower than the rest of our brands," said Friedrich. "That's to give us better access to younger consumers."
The fragrance was fashioned by Michael Forster, president of the corporate creative center of Lancaster Group, along with Creations Aromatique. It has top notes of orange and carnation, a heart of jasmine, rose and wisteria and a base of sandalwood and vanilla.
"It's a transparent floral, with a citrus top [note]," said Friedrich. "We're bringing Monteil into the Nineties."

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