Beauty Beat: Northern Group Enters a New Realm … Arden Offering

NEW YORK — Realm, the fragrance franchise based on synthesized human pheromones, is launching its first women’s scent in a decade.<br><br>The new fragrance, an eau de parfum called Pherose by Realm, is slated to launch Nov. 1 in roughly...

NEW YORK — Realm, the fragrance franchise based on synthesized human pheromones, is launching its first women’s scent in a decade.

This story first appeared in the October 20, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The new fragrance, an eau de parfum called Pherose by Realm, is slated to launch Nov. 1 in roughly 700 department store doors, including Macy’s West, Bon-Macy’s, Dillard’s and Carson Pirie Scott.

Robert Crames, president and chief executive officer of Northern Group Inc., noted Pherose is intended to inject new life into the Realm brand, whose last fine fragrance introduction was the 1997 launch of the unisex entry, Inner Realm. “We have an excellent men’s business,” Crames remarked, “and we want to build the women’s business as well.” The company’s original Realm for Men and Realm for Women scents were launched in 1993.

Crames added that the Pherose introduction is the company’s “initial effort” since purchasing the Realm trademark in the spring. Since 2000, Northern Group had been the licensee for Realm as a result of a deal struck with San Jose, Calif.-based Human Pheromone Sciences Inc., which produces the brand’s synthetic human pheromones. Northern Group, which currently has $100 million in total revenues, has distributed Realm in the U.S. since 1998.

The Pherose collection is designed to be accessible to a younger consumer than that of Realm for Women, according to David Horner, president of strategic marketing firm Horner Enterprises. Horner, who is working in a creative capacity for Northern Group, cited Pherose’s price points — a 1.7-oz. bottle of Pherose is priced $39.50, while a 1.7-oz. bottle of Realm for Women is priced $60.

Pherose takes its name from the words “pheromone,” “Eros” and “rose,” noted Horner, who described the glass bottle, which also comes in a 3.7-oz. for $54.50 as a contemporary interpretation of a flower. The full Pherose collection includes the two sizes of eau de parfum; a 6.8-oz body moisturizer for $27.50, and a value set for $45, which includes the 1.7-oz eau de parfum, the body moisturizer and a 0.15-oz. purse spray.

Industry sources estimate the collection could do $3 million to $5 million in first-year retail sales.

The juice, which was blended by Ungerer, mixes top notes of ivy leaf, bergamot and white peach; middle notes of rose, orchid and jasmine, and a base of musk white woods and amber.

Support for Pherose will include video news releases — eight- to 12-minute segments made available via satellite to about 1,200 independent television stations and local network affiliates, which can include edited versions of the video in their broadcasts. The segments will feature panel discussions involving editors and authors discussing topics like relaxation, self-confidence, well-being and the purported effects of pheromones on human attraction.

“We believe we’re the only fragrance with an ingredient story,” said Horner, “so we’re treating it differently than other advertising campaigns.” To sample the scent at counter, synthetic red and pink rose petals will be used in lieu of paper blotters.

Future plans for Pherose call for a slow rollout into wider department store distribution in the spring. Realm has slated a pheromone-based candle and body butter for Valentine’s Day. There is also a line of Realm spa products in the works.

— Matthew W. Evans

Arden Offering

NEW YORK — Elizabeth Arden Inc. priced a public offering of 5 million common shares at $18.25 each.

The fragrance and beauty products company sold 3.7 million shares in the offering, while selling shareholder Unilever sold 1.3 million shares.

The company said in a statement it plans to use the net proceeds of about $62.8 million to redeem $56 million of its outstanding 11 3/4 percent senior secured notes due 2011.

EA will not receive any proceeds from the sale of the shares by Unilever

The offering is set to close on Oct. 22.

Consumer goods producer Unilever converted about $16 million of Elizabeth Arden’s Series D convertible preferred stock into common stock, which it then sold in the offering. Unilever granted underwriters a 30-day option to buy up to 750,000 more common shares to cover possible over-allotments.

Elizabeth Arden, formerly FFI Fragrances, bought Unilever’s Elizabeth Arden and Elizabeth Taylor fragrances in 2001 and subsequently changed its name.