NEW YORK — Britney and J.Lo gave mass market fragrances a jolt. Can Minnie Mouse, Strawberry Shortcake, Nemo and Cinderella do the same?
Air Val International of Barcelona, a Disney-licensed partner, and Miami-based Camrose Trading Inc. will unveil a line of juvenile fragrances to the United States at next month's ECRM Fragrance and Cosmetics Conference in Pittsburgh.
Licensed properties are enjoying consumer demand, led by celebrities and the popularity of categories such as bath and oral care. In total, according to Disney statistics, sales of Disney Consumer Products hit $23 billion in 2006. Disney characters appear on everything from diapers to snacks.
Air Val secured the rights in June for distribution of juvenile fragrances bearing popular Disney names from "Cars" to "Pirates of the Caribbean." There are also scents based on the different Disney princesses, which are among today's hottest licenses, according to retailers, who said girls are obsessed with anything having to do with princesses.
In addition to more than 16 current properties, Air Val hopes to capitalize on future Disney efforts by releasing new scents based on Disney releases.
The juvenile fragrance business has been a tough sell in the U.S. in the past. Although Tinkerbell had a following, attempts from companies including Bonne Bell with Bottled Emotion and Caboodles didn't attract young fans. Probably the best success has been MaryKateandAshley, but that targets a slightly older audience.
John Bauersfeld, vice president of sales, Disney Fragrances, a company helping get the collection out to retailers, thinks that is all about to change. "These products are perfect for grandparents to buy, and we're also trying to appeal more to boys. The scents are light, and the packages are designed around the logos," he said.
There are unique links to the properties, such as a strawberry on the cap for Strawberry Shortcake. And Vera Wang's Princess has nothing on Cinderella — there's a cute crown cap on the Disney Cinderella bottle.
There are body sprays as well as light eaux de toilette, all priced under $12. There are also gift sets such as those packaged in a lunch box for $19.95. The target age group is four to 10, although Bauersfeld doesn't rule out older kids who buy the products for nostalgic reasons.
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