NEW YORK — Manuel Canovas, the Paris-based luxury firm known for its colorfully printed floral swimwear and home furnishings, is testing the waters of fine fragrance.Canovas’ first fragrance effort, which consists of two scents — called Le Vert and Le Rose — launched in December in 25 independent U.S. specialty boutiques. Patricia Ratut, director of Canovas’ U.S. operation, discussed rollout plans recently at the firm’s Seventh Avenue showroom. She sees distribution of the scents expanding to as many as 200 U.S. doors within the next year. "It’s very niche," Ratut said. "We want to slowly penetrate the market." Internationally, the scents are slated to hit 1,300 doors within the next year.The positioning of the fragrances attempts to maximize synergies within Canovas’ resort lifestyle appeal. This is evident from the Miami-esque pastel hues on the scents’ packaging to the fact that deluxe spray samples and ancillary items were included in a special swimwear set that shipped within the label’s cruise collection last month."We want to leverage the perfume against the [existing] business," said Ratut, adding that Le Vert — French for "green" — and Le Rose possess a visual likeness to existing offerings. "Green is our trademark color," Ratut said. "A touch of pink [for Rose] is linked to flowers."The fragrance collection is seen garnering first-year wholesale sales of more than $500,000, according to industry sources. The eaux de parfum come in two sizes: a 50-ml. version for $49 and a 100-ml. one for $69. A pair of ancillaries, a 6.7-oz. hair and body shampoo, $29, and a 6.7-oz. body lotion, $31, accompanies each scent. Fragrance Resources developed the juice for Le Vert and Takasago blended Le Rose.Although details are still pending regarding a planned specialty chain launch of the scents, Ratut is eyeing Saks Fifth Avenue, which has carried Canovas swimwear for the last five seasons. Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman are also potential targets. "We are looking for a late spring entry" for the fragrances at Saks, Ratut said. She noted that Saks launched an existing candle collection from Canovas last month — in the same 15 stores where the retailer merchandises the swimwear. Further plans call for a reintroduction of the candles, a 15-year-old business, at Bergdorf’s this spring and an initial candle launch at Neiman’s in the fall.
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