NEW YORK — With the launch of a signature men’s fragrance this fall, Dunhill will embark on a U.S. strategy designed to inject newness and build long-term viability into underdeveloped areas of its fragrance portfolio.

The effort, led by Dunhill’s fragrance licensee, Cosmopolitan Cosmetics Inc., includes launching the men’s scent — called simply Dunhill — exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue in October. It also entails shifting distribution of two existing scents — the 70-year-old Dunhill for Men and the 1984 entry Dunhill Edition — into wholesale distribution, also at Saks.

Previously in the U.S., Dunhill for Men and Dunhill Edition were only carried in Dunhill’s 10 stores. But those U.S. shops are closing, as reported — with the exception of Dunhill’s Manhattan location at 711 Fifth Avenue — as part of a strategy by the brand to “develop a strong wholesale business,” one source said, a plan not limited to the fragrance category. Several Dunhill shops were shuttered at the end of July and its Houston boutique is slated to close at the end of this month. Dunhill is owned by Compagnie Financière Richemont.

Discussing the launch of the signature scent, Don Loftus, president and chief executive officer of Cosmopolitan Cosmetics Inc., said, “Our strategy is to launch Dunhill in a very prestigious way. We’re doing it to really reestablish the image of the brand,” he added, “and build it for the future.”

The three scents slated for Saks could combine to reach retail sales of $3 million during the 12 months after the launch of Dunhill, according to sources. Robertet blended the juice for Dunhill, which has lemon and geranium accords at the top; a heart of white cedarwood and orris, and musk, sandalwood and tonka bean in the drydown.

Three other Dunhill scents — which were launched between 1999 and 2002 — exist in broader department store distribution. These include Dunhill Desire for Man, which is carried in about 1,800 doors; Desire Blue, which is distributed to about 900 doors, and X-centric, which is found in about 600 doors. There are currently no plans to modify these wholesale businesses.

Sources estimate Dunhill’s U.S. fragrance business at about $20 million, which represents roughly a quarter of the brand’s worldwide fragrance business.Distribution of Dunhill’s new signature scent could be expanded outside of the Saks chain early next year, and international plans call for it to reach about 10,000 doors globally, including locations in England, Germany and France.

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