NEW YORK — The Healing Garden is getting intense.

Mirroring a trend in the prestige market of launching potent flanker fragrances to successful scents, Coty Beauty is introducing The Healing Garden Waters Intense. The line features higher concentration, eau de parfum versions of the three Healing Garden Waters scents — Pure Joy Intense, Perfect Calm Intense and Sheer Passion Intense. The fragrances will ship in September.

The introduction of The Healing Garden Waters Intense is expected to boost sales of the entire franchise. According to Coty, Healing Garden sales at retail, including Wal-Mart, are $80 million.

Industry sources said the flankers to Waters could add another $12 million to $15 million in sales. Although not commenting on estimates, Coty’s Anastasia C. Ayala, senior vice president, Global Fragrances, said flankers have the potential to produce 25 to 30 percent of the sales of the original.

Retailers said the introduction of Healing Garden Waters Intense could provide a needed boost to mass market fragrances. Fragrance sales in mass doors declined 4 percent to about $900 million for the 52-week period ended January 26 (excluding Wal-Mart), according to Information Resources Inc.

Launched in 2001, The Healing Garden Waters stood out in the mass fragrance market because of Coty’s unique use of waterborne technology in developing the scents. Waters helped Coty attract a younger consumer than many of its existing scents.

“We’re still seeing excitement with Waters and it holds a 2.1 percent share of the market — that’s notable since it is a very fragmented market. Waters is in the top 10, according to IRI,” said Jacqueline Singer, group marketing director global fragrances. In addition, Waters has accomplished that against a competitive market, including prestige scents sold at discounts in mass stores.

To freshen up Waters, Coty decided to intensify the scents. The EDPs are available in 1.7-oz. sprays priced at $22.50. That puts pricing between the 1-oz. Waters priced at $17.50 and the 3.4-oz. size, which retails for $27.50.

Rather than merely boosting all of the accords equally in Waters, Coty teamed up with IFF to calculate which ingredients to amplify. Comparing the formulas to a symphony, Paul Seplowitz, vice president, product development, said the final scents were the culmination of mood mapping to find the right balance. “The colors were also darkened to signify the intensity,” he said.The Coty team does not expect any cannibalization away from Waters to Waters Intense. “We hope to bring in a new customer,” said Ayala. “And, if we do lose some shoppers, I’d rather lose it to our own brand.”

One retailer said she was enthused because some customers wanted a longer-lasting scent than the original Waters, which is a light scent that reflected the major trend of three years ago.

Although a flanker, Intense is getting support comparable to a launch. New print advertising will appear in the fall featuring Intense with a compelling image of a female and male model. The advertising is more hard hitting and seductive than the original Healing Garden Waters creative. Coty also will tie the entire Healing Garden concept into a TV show called “Ground Force.” Imported from England, the show involves creating gardens in people’s homes — similar to “Trading Spaces,” where rooms are redecorated. “This is all part of Coty’s philosophy of linking our products and lifestyles,” said Singer.

The three scents will be launched with counter units reflecting the advertising concept. “As with Waters, The Healing Gardens Intense has scents to induce well-being as well as moisturizers and antioxidant vitamins for skin. This is part of our philosophy — to add ‘goodies’ to our products,” said Ayala.

Eckerd Drug Stores is not only planning a new store near Ground Zero, the Florida-based chain is staking ground in Colorado. The chain said it plans 20 units in Colorado in 2004 and another 25 in 2005.

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